Oswaldo Alanis pretty much saved the day for the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday in their 2020 MLS season opener, taking a 2-1 loss and scoring a beautiful free kick on the final kick of the match to draw Toronto FC 2-2.
We can talk about the larger implications of the performance (read below), but Alanis got some leaguewide dap for his debut, scoring more goals than fellow new Mexican imports Chicharito and Rodolfo Pizarro, making the MLS Team of the Week...
...and getting a nomination for MLS Goal of the Week, with voting open until midnight on Wednesday night. Vote now!
More news for Tuesday:
- Pundits on Quakes’ opening performance: Matt Doyle liked the energy on the equalizer, but he was concerned by San Jose getting outplayed on the physical side — meant to be their primary strength over opponents — against TFC. Nick Rosano echoed that point in his blurb on the Quakes after Week 1.
- Quakes in Power Rankings: The Week 1 Power Rankings are out, and San Jose rank at No. 19. To remind you, there’s now 26 teams in MLS, so that standing is probably in the range you would expect after the opening round.
- Playing it short: MLS teams can now kick goal kicks to teammates inside their own 18-yard box as an IFAB rule change goes into effect, and through one week the Earthquakes used that strategy more than most teams. Something to keep an eye on this season.
About two-thirds of MLS teams took advantage of the new rule that goal kicks can be received inside the penalty box. FC Dallas is leading the way so far. pic.twitter.com/eqA60X6t5x— Eliot McKinley (@etmckinley) March 3, 2020
- Skahan signed: Wrapping up something we didn’t hit last week, San Jose signed 2nd-round draft pick Jack Skahan to a multiyear deal. The 22-year-old played collegiately at University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and scored in the Quakes preseason. For the time being it looks like he’ll be depth and possibly a candidate to do a loan stint with Reno 1868.
- Where are they now? Remember Rafael Baca? The defensive midfielder, underrated everywhere except in San Jose during his Earthquakes stint from 2011-13, recently played his 200th game with Liga MX power Cruz Azul.
- Baca will be coming back to California this month, as Cruz Azul take on LAFC in Concacaf Champions League.
Today’s question: Was Saturday’s game about what you expected for the opener? Better? Worse? Let’s chat in the comments below!