The San Jose Earthquakes hoped to bounce back from their California Clasico loss at the weekend with a matchup against the suddenly reeling LAFC, but it was not meant to be, as the Southern California side worked them over in a 5-1 thrashing Wednesday at Banc of California Stadium.
The loss was San Jose’s second in a row since returning to action in an unprecedented 2020 season, and leads to some real concerns the gains the team experienced at the MLS is Back Tournament earlier this year may be slipping away already.
Matias Almeyda maintained the same starting XI as Saturday’s game against the LA Galaxy, with 16-year-old Cade Cowell getting another start after his shining performance at the weekend.
LAFC drew first blood, as Diego Rossi opened the scoring with a nifty angled finish in the 21st minute, the Golden Boot leader continuing a rich vein of form.
In the 29th minute, Vako tumbled over under pressure right on the edge of the box, but the referee did not agree there was a foul, and waved play on.
Jackson Yueill had a free kick from distance in the 34th minute that just went over the bar, it was a very close call for the Earthquakes.
While the first half wasn’t great, San Jose weathered the first 45 minutes and had reason for optimism they could get back into the game if they raised their level after the break, but the home side poured cold water on that hope in the 49th minute, as Bradley Wright-Phillips made it 2-0 with Tanner Beason coughing up a pass in midfield and getting worked on the subsequent counterattack.
It got worse, as Jose Cifuentes then scored for LAFC in the 64th minute as the home side worked harder than the Quakes in the box to get to the ball, Brian Rodriguez setting him up. Then Rossi scored his second goal of the night five minutes later with a nifty finish to make it 4-0.
LAFC brought their subs on after that with the game fully in hand, but one of those subs would not be denied, as former Earthquakes draft pick Danny Musovski opened his MLS account in the 83rd minute to give LAFC five goals on the night.
The only bright spot came on the final kick of the game, as substitute Danny Hoesen scored a consolation goal, but it was too little too late otherwise on a tough night for the team.
So it was a tough performance and there’s not much good to say from it, honestly. San Jose’s energy wasn’t better than LAFC’s, which kind of set everything on the course for the result. Rossi was clinical, and the home side had two debutant scorers. The Quakes got a goal, but only had two shots total on the night, and it was just a rough night all in all, honestly.
San Jose have to dust themselves off quickly and get back into action Saturday against the Colorado Rapids at Earthquakes Stadium. Perhaps the return to familiar confines will give them a boost, as they could use one after two tough losses in Southern California in a row.
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