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Earthquakes show their character in their first win of the season


SAN JOSE, CA, – Tommy Thompson called it. Saturday was different.

For the first time this season, Matias Almeyda got to do the one thing he’s been looking forward the most since this campaign started: going home to his daughter after a match and telling her that they won.

The San Jose Earthquakes bounced back strong in a 3-0 win over a Portland Timbers team that has struggled just as well out of the gate, losing their fourth in a row after Saturday. San Jose snaps a 13-match winless streak that dated back to last season and earned their first clean sheet since September 16, 2017.

“I think we played a great first half,” Almeyda said in his post-game presser. “We scored at the right moments. But yes, I did like the awareness and convictions. It’s not easy to come from a lot of losses and play such an important match for everyone, above all since there were a lot of changes.”

There were several changes to the Quakes lineup on Saturday.

Three players made their first starts of the year – Danny Hoesen, Jackson Yueill and Florian Jungwirth. The most notable was Hoesen getting the start at striker over Chris Wondolowski who started the first four matches of the season.

As Wondolowlski struggled to find the back of the net in the first month of the season, Hoesen didn’t. He opened his tally in the 33rd minute finishing on a loose ball at the far post after Magnus Eriksson had his shot tipped away by Timbers’ keeper Jeff Attinella.

Hoesen’s goal came just over 15 minutes after Shea Salinas scored the opening goal of the match, tapping in a Cristian Espinoza cross right in front of goal.

Espinoza made it 3-0 just 70 seconds after Hoesen scored, beating Attinella to the far post on his shot off of the Quakes’ counter.

“We were a little bit more positive on the ball,” Hoesen said about the win. “We knew we could hurt them. They were in a tough spot as well. We attacked with a lot of positive energy and went after them. Sometimes it just clicks.”

The 70 seconds between the back-to-back goals by Hoesen and Espinoza are the fastest consecutive goals in Earthquakes’ history.

Daniel Vega, who had a key error in the loss to LAFC a week ago, rebounded quick and had the key play of the match, denying Diego Valeri’s penalty kick in the 56th minute after Harold Cummings was called for a handball in the box.

Nick Lima almost even got in on the action, finding the back of the net in the 72nd minute – just two minutes after he subbed on for Thompson – firing a rocket into the upper 90 at the far post, but his goal was called off after VAR showed that Espinoza was offsides.

For a match, at least, the San Jose Earthquakes didn’t look like a team that was lost and getting beat left and right, up and down while learning a new system. They looked confident, looked positive, looked in control, and looked like they had begun to get a grasp on Almeyda’s tactics.

Even though Portland has struggled to start their season with a five-match winless streak on their 12-match opening road-trip, the Earthquakes managed to win a match that many thought they probably should.

“In these moments, we can see the value from the group turning around from a game like last week,” Espinoza said through a translator. “This shows a lot of character from the team. They have a lot of fight in them.”

“There was only just one way to come out,” Jungwirth added. “To battle for every tackle, to fight for every ball, and I think that’s what we did tonight. I think nobody had a break, everybody went for every ball and that was incredible.”

As the backline stepped up their play on Saturday following a month where they allowed a league-worst 14 goals, the Earthquakes attack might’ve also figured out their play style going forward in Saturday’s win.

“Today we finished with a win and everything is much nicer,” Almeyda said. “We played with three forwards and one attacking midfielder and today we saw that style of play that we are looking for.

“I really liked the intensity, how they attacked from the sides, how they combined inside, the patience we showed to hold the game and move the ball from one side to another. Hopefully, we can continue like this.”


  1. Sounder s got rid of Ozzie. Best player in 45 years of the Sounder s
    San Jose holds into Wondo…Salt Lake holds into Beckerman and they don’t progress
    Then d ifference is even bigger..He..Ozzie can still play a few more years


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