If Saturday night is a sign going forward, the San Jose Earthquakes may just surprise a lot of people this season.
Propelled by Anibal Godoy’s 17th minute goal, the Earthquakes opened the 2017 season with a 1-0 victory against the Montreal Impact on Saturday night at Avaya Stadium.
“(I) thought we played really (well),” Earthquakes coach Dominic Kinnear said. “(The) energy was great from the guys.”
The new look for San Jose, besides the black jerseys, featured three new players in the Starting XI: centerback Florian Jungwirth, Homegrown signee Nick Lima at right back and international forward Marco Urena.
San Jose looked aggressive in the attack from the opening whistle, creating their first chance just two minutes into the match, however Chris Wondolowski’s header off of a cross from Tommy Thompson went just high of Evan Bush’s net.
The constant pressure in the attack, along with clutch defensive performances by Jungwirth and fellow centerback Victor Bernardez were things that the Quakes missed a lot of last year and hope to get more of in 2017.
San Jose outshot the Impact 17-5 on the night, holding Montreal without a shot on goal all night. However, they missed chance after chance at taking a 2-0 lead. Lima missed a shot on goal midway through the second half. Urena set up both Dawkins and Wondolowski inside Montreal’s six-yard box, however neither could reach the cross in front of the net. Tommy Thompson had a shot on goal, but it became a routine save for Bush.
Both Jahmir Hyka and Danny Hoesen made their official regular season debuts and although both were able to continue the attacking pressure, neither were able to find the back of the net. Hoesen had the best shot in the 88th minute, however, he just couldn’t reach out for the long ball.
Montreal struggled to get anything going throughout the night. They tried to create a few chances early in the first half, but the Quakes backline was able to stop the threats.
San Jose looks to start the season 2-0-0 next Saturday when they host the Vancouver Whitecaps. Montreal will look to rebound in their home opener against the Seattle Sounders next Saturday as well.
Man of the Match
This one is a bit hard, and while Anibal Godoy is the popular choice, it’s so hard to overlook the impact that Marco Urena had in the Quakes attack. His hustle helped San Jose create numerous chances on goal and his pressure in the attacking third was noticed throughout his shift.
Moment of the Match
Anibal Godoy’s goal in the 17th minute was attributed to the constant pressure the Earthquakes applied on the Impact throughout the match. It all started when Godoy’s pressure forced the turnover inside Montreal’s third. Bush came out of the net and Godoy caught him out of position for the chip-in goal.
Match to Forget
Montreal’s Hassoun Camara was the runaway choice here. He not only delivered an ill-advised pass that led to a turnover that sparked the sequence leading to San Jose’s goal, but Camara magnified his bad night with a red card late in the match.