For a team in need of momentum, a midseason friendly could provide a springboard to elevate a club both on and off the field. That didn’t quite happen on Sunday for the San Jose Earthquakes.
In need of some goodwill as the team continues to struggle in MLS play, the Quakes played Manchester United to a 0-0 draw on Sunday at Levi’s Stadium in an international friendly. The match saw the debuts of several young up-and-comers, including goalkeeper JT Marcinkowski and 16-year-old Gilbert Fuentes, as well as the debut of Guram Kashia.
“To play against Manchester United is about staying compact and organized,” said Quakes boss Mikael Stahre. “Of course, not just to wait for the counter attack but to try to possess the ball and create something also, but it was a more defensive approach today, that’s for sure.
“It was important for me to give (players like Fuentes and Macinkowski) minutes in this game playing against one of the biggest clubs in the world. It was more for the future. It was also a signal to the fans that we have young players behind the first team.”
While both teams were able to strike the crossbar during the match, it was the MLS side that created more of the chances. The Quakes outshot Man United, 11-6, on the day while putting six of those 11 shots on frame.
Several familiar faces started for Manchester United, including Antonio Valencia, who was forced out with an early injury. The Red Devils’ lineup included Alexis Sanchez, Anthony Martial and Ander Herrera in the starting XI with Juan Mata later joining the fray for the second half.
Next up for the Quakes is a match against the Seattle Sounders on Wednesday.