The San Jose Earthquakes remain winless in eight games of the local return to play phase of the 2020 MLS regular season, after falling 5-0 to the Colorado Rapids at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park Wednesday.
The Earthquakes were not great in the first half but were in the game, only down 1-0, before the dam absolutely collapsed once more and the defense was worked over again and again, in a sight becoming sadly repetitive.
Matias Almeyda didn’t make a ton of changes to his lineup. Cade Cowell and Tommy Thompson returned to the XI, and Carlos Fierro retained his place, while Tanner Beason and Florian Jungwirth started together at central defense again with the injury crisis among the rest of the center backs.
The Rapids almost took the lead in the 9th minute, as a header off a free kick in a scrum was parried by Earthquakes goalkeeper Daniel Vega, with the ball clanging off the post and eventually out of danger.
Colorado continued to probe San Jose in the first half, with their best looks coming on set pieces, the Earthquakes living on the edge as they would see close call after close call.
But the Rapids seemingly drew first blood in the 29th minute from the run of play, as Kellen Acosta dribbled a bit through traffic and hit a curler around to the far post and totally fooled Vega to score, but the goal was called back for Jack Price being offside in the buildup. The VAR called was a rare break for the Quakes, and the game stayed 0-0.
The actual first goal came a few minutes later, when Cole Bassett scored with a wide-open header off Price’s free kick to give the Rapids a 1-0 lead, as this goal stood.
From there the teams went to the halftime break with that scoreline, with the Rapids dominating play and the Earthquakes primarily defending in the first 45.
Chris Wondolowski came off the bench to start the second half, replacing Cowell in the San Jose lineup.
But the refresh didn’t pay dividends, as the Rapids wen tup the gut and Acosta fed Jonathan Lewis, who dribbled in and beat Vega pretty easily to make it 2-0 for the home side in the 50th minute.
The movement, the assist, the finish. TOP CLASS. pic.twitter.com/ACEqIimqXg— Colorado Rapids (@ColoradoRapids) September 24, 2020
Just after the hour mark the Earthquakes nearly scored off a corner kick, as Rapids goalkeeper William Yarbrough was pressed into action with a shot in a scrum inside the box by substitute Danny Hoesen. But the GK did make the stop and San Jose couldn’t find a first goal.
It got worse in the 70th minute, as the Rapids made it 3-0 with an own goal by Tommy Thompson as he tried to clear an Andre Shinyashiki cross. It was a tough break for TomThom, but of a piece with the terrible rut the Quakes are in at present.
The Rapids got yet another goal in the 79th minute, as substitute Nicolas Mezquida scored on another break down the gut, set up by Auston Trusty, to make it 4-0. Then Shinyashiki ensured the rout was on with a goal in the 84th minute, for a repeat of the horrible ending endured in the last game for the Earthquakes, against the Portland Timbers.
What can you say after another lopsided loss? It’s been a difficult season for all teams and many are struggling right now, that is certainly true. But the Quakes are clearly beyond being in a tough spot — they’re locked in a spiral to the bottom. How can they fix this? It’s an open question after yet another bad performance all around.
San Jose are back in action Sunday, when they travel to Los Angeles to play LAFC. LAFC has always had the Earthquakes’ number in the past, but with LAFC wobbly lately, can the Quakes get a win in the most unlikely of circumstances? The prevailing form does not indicate it will happen but hey, crazier things have happened. We’ll see.
What do you think? Leave a comment below.