The San Jose Earthquakes returned to action after a three-week break with a credible 0-0 draw against Austin FC at Q2 Stadium on Saturday.
The draw snaps San Jose’s four-game losing streak, and coming in Austin’s grand opening of their new stadium, the Quakes defended well all night and once again pushed for goals themselves, although the tap has not yet been opened in that regard.
There were some changes, with Chris Wondolowski and Andy Rios starting in attack, while Judson was deployed at right back with Jackson Yueill back in the lineup. Oswaldo Alanís also made his return to the XI for San Jose.
JT Marcinkowski made an unorthodox save to keep Austin off the board, with Diego Fagundez’s looping header goalbound until the San Jose goalkeeper slapped the ball away from goal to keep it out in the opening minutes.
Former Earthquake Nick Lima had a blast from range in the 26th minute, but Marcinkowski was all over it to keep it scoreless.
Austin had more chances in the opening 45, but San Jose had a few of their own. The stats overall were pretty even at halftime, with only corners being a big edge for Austin. But credit to the Earthquakes for not breaking on their set piece defense, and the teams went into the break with the score 0-0.
The flow of the game continued in the same way in the 2nd half, with Austin having more of the game but the Earthquakes defending well. Marcinkowski was forced to make another big save just past the hour mark, on another attempt from range, this one by Alex Ring.
Matias Almeyda went to his bench in the 67th minute, with Cade Cowell replacing Rios and Shea Salinas entering for Chofís Lopez. Carlos Fierro replaced Paul Marie in the 77th minute. Then Tommy Thompson entered the game in place of Chris Wondolowski in the 82nd minute.
Cowell and Fierro connected on a great chance in the 83rd minute, Fierro’s shot off Cowell’s feed forcing a save by Austin GK Brad Stuver.
The Quakes really pushed for a goal in the dying minutes, and Stuver was really pressed into action late, but he kept San Jose off the board.
I think San Jose defended extremely well in a new-look 3-4-3 formation in this game, and they had to spend much of the night defending. But they also got their own looks, and the main concern is they still cannot score, even while getting plenty of good looks. This team desperately needs a proverbial goal off someone’s backside, but they are doing everything else right to get wins, hopefully soon.
The Earthquakes have a very short turnaround ahead of their next game, when they’ll take on Orlando City SC on the road on Tuesday. Yep, you read that right, a Tuesday league game. Orlando are coming off a win themselves, so we’ll see what a new-look opponent offers for San Jose in a few short days.
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