The San Jose Earthquakes scored three goals, got the win over FC Dallas and did it in front of fans in the stands for the first time in over a year.
It was a rousing team win, and several players played leading roles. One of the players who had a key contribution? Attacker Carlos Fierro.
The Mexican set up Cade Cowell’s goal to fully ice the win (alas, he did not get credited with an assist on the play) in the 2nd half of the 3-1 victory.
A GOAL AND ASSIST.— San Jose Earthquakes (@SJEarthquakes) April 24, 2021
CADE COWELL IS ON FIRE. pic.twitter.com/JifDDrEw6N
But Fierro arguably had the play of the game, with his acrobatic goal-line clearance in the first half when San Jose held a narrow 1-0 lead.
Unreal play from @werofierro @MichelobULTRA | #VamosSJ pic.twitter.com/CCfhBbC2GP— San Jose Earthquakes (@SJEarthquakes) April 25, 2021
Not too shabby from an attacker, right?
“I was just very fortunate to be in the right place and I was able to do my part and luckily I was able to keep the ball out. I think that speaks to the team and right now we’re really happy for the team’s victory today,” said Fierro via an interpreter to reporters postgame on the play.
Earthquakes head coach Matias Almeyda praised the play but also used it as an opportunity to pay tribute to his team generally being unafraid to make mistakes.
“I think that was one of the moments [of the game],” Almeyda said through an interpreter. “I think the best moment of the game for me was in the first two minutes, we had two mistakes. I always tell players they’re to make mistakes, but have the character to repeat that play because that’s the only way we can grow. So I value greatly those two mistakes we had but I also value greatly their bravery to try it again.”
Fierro seemed to find his footing in 2020, his first full season in MLS, and now in his third campaign with the club, has a grasp on the league fully.
After an opening week in which San Jose rallied late but were second-best overall, Fierro credited the team for finding a rhythm in Week 2.
“Last game, we weren’t really able to do our attacking plays but this time was a lot different. We were able to generate more, attack a lot more, so I’m very happy for the team’s way of playing today and just looking forward to the next one,” he said.
And the eagle-eyed out there may have noticed that Fierro and Cristian Espinoza played some of this game flipped from their usual positions, Fierro on the right and Espinoza on the left. With the team really understanding Almeyda’s demands, players are getting more of a chance to mix things up and keep it fresh for them and new for opponents to face.
“Today I started on the right side. I think that varies on the match. I think it also speaks to the freedom Matias gives us and also the confidence I have with Cristian. The more we play, the more we’re able to grow that confidence and the more freedom we have. Some of those calls happen in the game, some before, but I’m just glad with how we’re playing right now and be able to have that good communication between us,” he said.
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