The San Jose Earthquakes once again battled hard, but their losing streak now stretches to four games, after losing 1-0 to the LA Galaxy in the Cali Clasico on Saturday at Dignity Health Sports Park.
It was a gritty performance that you could credibly argue deserved a draw for San Jose, but a single mistake undid a valiant effort on the defensive end, and the attack once again fired blanks on the current losing run.
Matias Almeyda brought back Marcos Lopez and Tanner Beason in defense for San Jose, while Carlos Fierro returned to the XI and Judson made his first start of the season.
The Earthquakes forced a good chance in the 8th minute, Cade Cowell taking a counterattack with three Galaxy defenders on him, but he set up Chofís Lopez for a one-timer, with that shot forcing a save from LA GK Jonathan Bond.
LA nearly scored in the 20th minute, courtesy of a chip from newcomer Kevin Cabral, but after the shot beat JT Marcinkowski, Beason was on the spot and managed to slide over and keep it out of the goal at the last moment to keep the game 0-0.
There were some very nervy moments in the first half for the Quakes, as a double chance in the 32nd minute for the Galaxy nearly led to a goal. A corner kick led to a Daniel Steres header that came off the crossbar, before the rebound came out and Jonathan dos Santos smashed it from range. Marcinkowski was beat again, but this time Thompson had the block behind his GK to keep LA off the board.
The score was tied when the teams went to the halftime break, but the scoreline was certainly kinder to the Earthquakes at that point. San Jose had a couple decent looks, but they were hanging on by their fingernails as the first half wore on.
The Galaxy continued to push for an opening goal to begin the 2nd half, but by and large, San Jose’s defense looked up for it.
The Earthquakes had a good look just after the hour mark, on a counterattack, but the hard work of Carlos Fierro in dribbling upfield and feeding Cowell in a good spot was the youngster’s shot was easily blocked by Bond.
Right after that, Almeyda made the now-customary triple sub, with Paul Marie entering for Lopez, Chris Wondolowski replacing Cowell and Shea Salinas subbing on for Chofís in the 62nd minute.
The Quakes nearly snuck a goal in a couple minutes later, with Fierro setting up Wondo on a flick-on at the near post, but Salinas’ effort to bundle the ball into the net missed the mark.
Andy Rios replaced Fierro in the 67th minute, Fierro having a good shift that just didn’t end up in a goal or assist.
The Quakes went down in heartbreaking fashion in the 70th minute. It appeared LA substitute Samuel Grandsir may have fouled Marie in San Jose’s box to win a ball, and everyone seemed to stop play for a moment, waiting for a whistle that never came. So Grandsir kept playing, and his cross was redirected into the net by Beason, who was having a pretty fantastic game to that point.
#LAGalaxy strike first! #LAvSJ pic.twitter.com/o0LkzFSUTL— Major League Soccer (@MLS) May 30, 2021
Siad Haji entered the game in the 74th minute for Cristian Espinoza, the Earthquakes’ final substitute on the day.
Rios had a great chance in the 79th minute, making a run into the box and getting the feed with only Bond to beat, but the LA goalkeeper made the block to keep him off the board.
This week's entry in the Rios Files... https://t.co/LLcl0Lm82r pic.twitter.com/0yRQIguVec— Matthew Doyle (@MattDoyle76) May 30, 2021
The Earthquakes pushed hard to try and get the equalizer, with Bond making a series of big stops to keep them off the board. All told, Bond made 12 saves in the win, so he did his part and then some to hold the Quakes back.
But having said all that, the Earthquakes continue to play well but aren’t getting the results. Sure seems like they need a few more upgrades to their lineup to bolster the good work being done, only for a bit more quality to shine through on the field.
The Earthquakes will have three weeks off as part of the league’s break, before they take on expansion side Austin FC in their home grand opening on Saturday, June 19. I think they could very much use the time to regroup and hopefully come back better when play resumes.
What do you think? Leave a comment below.