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Earthquakes handle patchwork Red Bulls

Photo by Kelley L Cox/USA Today Sports
Photo by Kelley L Cox/USA Today Sports

Chances came at a bare minimum on Wednesday night, but the San Jose Earthquakes earned a 2-0 victory over the New York Red Bulls at Avaya Stadium.

The Earthquakes captured the lead in the 40th minute, when Fatai Alashe struck a ball from outside the penalty area that deflected off Kemar Lawrence and into the Red Bulls net. The finish was the lone first half shot on goal for the Earthquakes.

Chris Wondolowski doubled his side’s lead ten minutes into the second half, after a perfectly-weighted cross came in from Shea Salinas. The striker leads MLS in goalscoring this season, notching five goals in six matches.

Wondolowski found his way in on goal for the Earthquakes just after the half hour mark, when the Red Bulls backline was caught out of sorts. Midfielder Felipe and Lawrence each fell down for the away team, allowing Wondolowski the breakaway opportunity, which trickled wide of Luis Robles and the Red Bulls goal.

Earthquakes goalkeeper David Bingham had little to do through the opening 45 minutes, with the Red Bulls mustering up just two shots on goal, neither of which were daunting.

Red Bulls head coach Jesse Marsch made five changes to the Red Bulls starting lineup, giving young players like Anatole Abang and Tyler Adams an opportunity to prove themselves while also giving the squad’s regulars a needed rest.

The away side made two immediate substitutions after halftime in the hopes of changing their fortunes, introducing Bradley Wright-Phillips and Sacha Kljestan for Shaun Wright-Phillips and Adams.

The Red Bulls gathered the majority of the game’s possession as the second half wore on, but the team had very little to show in terms of shots. Kljestan’s header in the 69th minute was one of the side’s few opportunities that forced Bingham into a save.

Bingham made his biggest contribution for the Earthquakes with just over 10 minutes remaining. The Earthquakes keeper pushed a curling Mike Grella shot wide of the post to preserve the team’s shutout.

The Red Bulls continue their road trip on Saturday against the Colorado Rapids, while the Earthquakes meet the Portland Timbers.


As one of the most consistent strikers in MLS, Chris Wondolowski always seems to put himself in the right positions. His second-half header gave the Earthquakes a two-goal advantage, putting a damper on the Red Bulls chances of getting back into the match.


The Red Bulls weren’t able to manage many chances on goal, but David Bingham came up big for the Earthquakes in the minutes that mattered. Bingham denied Mike Grella from close range in the 79th minute, which could have sparked a comeback for the away side had it gone in.


The Red Bulls attack has now gone five matches this season without scoring a goal. Substitute Bradley Wright-Phillips, in particular, continues to struggle greatly in front of net. Other than a shot on target in the 46th minute, the Red Bulls forward had another quiet evening.


  1. Look at the all-time stats on Wondo. His scoring rate is amazing. check out his Game Played and minutes vs the top three. Love to see him net 31 more.

  2. Look, i’m a Red Bulls fan but a USMNT fan first….

    forget the game, can we talk about Tyler Adams??? Wow, seeing him on the field and the amount of confidence and quickness he has as a SEVENTEEN year old definitely made losing this game not so bad! Amped for this kid.

    • Thought he had a pretty good first 45 minutes although he probably could have done a bit better with his clearance in the build up to the first goal. Overall, he looked pretty confident and very energetic and aggressive. Passed the ball backwards/sideways a bit more than you may have liked but overall a solid first start. I remember seeing him a couple of times last season for RBNY II and I was impressed. Looking forward to seeing more of him this season.

      I thought Sean Davis looked pretty good too, especially in the first half when he was pushed up a bit more. Plenty of depth in central midfield for this team … at the back not so much.

  3. I think the red bulls will hit their stride eventually wants there’s more consistency in the back. They’ve been losing these by small margins. What’s more surprising to me is the lack proficiency in the attacking third. Kljestan, BWP, Sam have been absolutely lackluster so far this season. It’s just not clicking. I believe a true 9 could be the answer. As of now the false 9 approach seems to be a miss.

  4. Not a great start to the season, but it must be noted that soccer g-ds have not smiled on them so far at all. They deserve way more than 3 points based on the play. They are at the top of the league or top 3 in shots, possession, and shots less shots conceded. Even last night – no one in their right mind would say “wow, San Jose really deserved this win!”.

  5. Once defenses figured the red bulls high-press out, the warts have begun to show. It doesn’t help that we can’t seem to score at all. This is a mid-level team that outplayed its payroll last season. Despite that they will have a run at the playoffs but fizzle out as usual. The spark isn’t there this season yet. They need some new, better blood to light it up.

  6. I’m utterly shocked. then I remember they lost their best defensive player Miazga and never brought anyone in half as good to replace him. Add to that Perrinelle had an cal reconstruction and they decided not to bring in any cover half as good for him. OK, so I guess I’m not really shocked at all. Same old Red bulls. Doesn’t matter who coaches them. As for last season, even a broken clock is right twice a day.

    • Agree with you on part A,…Red Bulls didn’t take the steps to really improve the center of their defense. Last season was not a matter of dumb luck or fate,…Red Bulls were very good. The bottom line is that the rest of the teams in the league went out and REALLY improved. Red Bulls really needed help in central defense and they did nothing AND they bought into this notion that Sasha Klestjian was under the radar MVP of MLS last season. Truth is, Klestjian is a decent player and good guy,…but he is not all that. They really needed to go out and find a real #10 who could open up defenses,…and they didn’t. Now that they are paying for it. If they don’t get a win at Colorado they will be 1-6 and the fight back to .500 will be tough.

      • Disagree about the offense. This team led the league in goals scored, created a million chances and even in this latest run have looked pretty threatening (less so last night admittedly). You can always improve but I don’t think they needed to do a whole lot to make the offense better in the offseason.

        Defensively, this team was pretty good last year but then lost their two starting CBs and all they did was bring in some dude from the Finnish league. Now they are playing a guy who was fourth choice last season alongside a fullback. Teams don’t need to create a lot of chances to score against this backline. Look at last night. The failure to bring in adequate replacements for Miazga and Perrinelle made no sense and looks really bad now.

        I still think this team will score goals but I’m certain that they will concede plenty. That said, I’m not sure how any one can say the 34 game season where they were the best in the league was a fluke but this 6 game run is who this team really is.

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