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 San Jose Earthquakes

San Jose Erases Two-Goal Deficit To Earn First Road Win Of Season

May 12, 2024 - Major League Soccer (MLS)
San Jose Earthquakes News Release

San Jose Earthquakes celebrate win
San Jose Earthquakes celebrate win
(San Jose Earthquakes)

COMMERCE CITY, Colo. - The San Jose Earthquakes came back from an early two-goal deficit to defeat the Colorado Rapids 3-2 on Saturday night at DICK's Sporting Goods Park in front of 15,557 fans for their first road win of the season.

Returning to Major League Soccer play after a victorious midweek tilt in the Lamar U.S. Open Cup Round of 32, the Earthquakes continued to display their fine form to avenge their 3-0 home loss in April. With the win, they expanded their unbeaten streak in all competitions to four games.

The hosts started strong and were rewarded in the 33rd minute when Rafael Navarro scored off a set piece to give Colorado the early lead. Nine minutes later, the Rapids doubled their advantage from an Omir Fernández goal. However, the Quakes would emphatically answer with a pair of goals from Amahl Pellegrino off a rebound, and subsequently, from Hernán López off a Cristian Espinoza corner kick and Vítor Costa assist before intermission.

In the 66th minute with the match knotted 2-2, the Quakes would take control when Costa notched his second assist of the night, finding Cristian Espinoza for the go-ahead and game-winning goal.

The Quakes continue their road trip against the Portland Timbers on Wednesday, May 15. Kickoff from Providence Park is set for 7:30 p.m. PT and will be broadcast globally on MLS Season Pass on Apple TV, as well as on local radio via AM 810 The Spread (English) and AM 1370 La Kaliente (Spanish).





The Earthquakes now hold a 33-26-19 overall record (102 goals for, 96 against) against the Rapids, including a 14-16-10 road record (45 goals for, 55 against).

San Jose drew 0-0 with the Rapids last time they met in the Centennial State on June 3, 2023. The last time the Quakes took all three points on the road in Colorado was June 15, 2013, in a 2-1 victory. Steven Lenhart and Sam Cronin scored for the Black and Blue.

The last time the Quakes won on the road was August 20 of last season in a 1-0 triumph over Vancouver Whitecaps FC (11 games ago dating back to 2023).

The last time San Jose came back from a 2-0 deficit to win was San Jose Earthquakes against the LA Galaxy on May 23, 2012 (3-2). The Quakes would go on to capture the Supporters' Shield that season.

New Quakes Designated Player Hernán López made his first MLS start and scored his first MLS goal tonight after appearing in the starting 11 on Tuesday in the club's 1-0 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Round of 32 win over Oakland Roots SC. The attacking midfielder joined San Jose for a club-record transfer fee last month.

Earthquakes forward Amahl Pellegrino scored his second goal in as many games to run his total to three on the campaign.

Quakes forward Cristian Espinoza scored his second goal on the season. He Fun fact for broadcast: If this result holds, that would be Cristian Espinoza's 13th career game-winning goal for San Jose, good for third all-time in club history.

With tonight's assist, Espinoza jumps to second among league leaders this campaign, trailing only Lionel Messi of Inter Miami CF.

San Jose left back Vítor Costa amassed his first and second MLS assists.

Quakes team captain and midfielder Jackson Yueill was a last-minute scratch due to illness and did not make the trip to Denver. Espinoza wore the armband for the Black and Blue tonight.

William Yarbrough returned to DICK's Sporting Goods Park for the first time since the Quakes acquired him from Colorado in the offseason. The goalkeeper played 101 games for Colorado and led the Rapids to two Audi MLS Cup Playoff berths (2020-21), including a first-place finish in the Western Conference during the 2021 season.


San Jose Earthquakes 3-2 Colorado Rapids

Saturday, May 11, 2024 - DICK's Sporting Goods Park; Commerce City, Colo.

Weather: 58° Rainy

Attendance: 15,557

Man of the Match Presented by Coors Light: Cristian Espinoza

Match Officials:

Referee: Natalie Simon

AR1: Logan Brown

AR2: Justin Howard

4th: Ismail Elfath

VAR: Geoff Gamble

AVAR: Favio Tovar

Scoring Summary:

COL (1-0) - Rafael Navarro (Djordje Mihailović) 33'

COL (2-0) - Omir Fernández (Andreas Maxso, Kevin Cabrál) 42'

SJ (2-1) - Amahl Pellegrino (unassisted) 44'

SJ (2-2) - Hernán López (Vítor Costa, Cristian Espinoza) 45+6'

SJ (3-2) - Cristian Espinoza (Vítor Costa) 66'

Misconduct Summary:

COL - Djordje Mihailović (caution) 15'

SJ - Vítor Costa (caution) 68'

SJ - Jeremy Ebobisse (caution) 70'

COLORADO RAPIDS: Zack Steffen; Keegan Rosenberry (C) (Michael Edwards 81'), Sam Vines, Andreas Maxso, Moise Bombito; Djordje Mihailović, Oliver Larraz (Darren Yapi 70'), Cole Bassett; Miguel Navarro, Omir Fernández (Connor Ronan 769), Kévin Cabral ( Calvin Harris 59').

Substitutes not used: Adam Beaudry (GK), Sebastian Anderson, Jonathan Lewis, Jasper Loffelsend, Jackson Travis.

POSS.: 61.4% ; SHOTS: 14; SOG: 6; CORNERS: 7; OFFSIDES: 5; SAVES: 1; FOULS: 12; xG: 1.9

SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES: William Yarbrough; Vítor Costa, Rodrigues, Bruno Wilson, Carlos Akapo; Carlos Gruezo, Niko Tsakiris ( Alfredo Morales 84'), Hernán López (Tanner Beason 90+1'); Amahl Pellegrino (Benji Kikanović 73') , Cristian Espinoza (C) (Paul Marie 90+1'), Jeremy Ebobisse (Preston Judd 73').

Substitutes not used: Emi Ochoa (GK), Michael Baldisimo, Ousseni Bouda, Daniel Munie, Jack Skahan.

POSS.: 38.6%; SHOTS: 12 ; SOG: 5; CORNERS: 6; OFFSIDES: 0; SAVES: 4; FOULS: 13; xG: 1.0


On coming back from two goals down to win:

"Credit to the guys themselves. They're on the field. I'm on the sideline. They themselves found a way to change the flow, change the rhythm, being down 2-0 and finding a way to respond and keep believing. They pushed and tied it up before half. The first 15, 20 minutes, I thought we created some good chances, but they're at home. They're a confident team getting results home and away. They're aggressive pressing, they're aggressive breaking the last line, and they're aggressive in set pieces. They took it to us after the first 15, 20 minutes. Things bounced our way with some of the VAR calls. It allowed us to recharge and get back into the focus of the game.

"At half, we're coming in saying, 'Good response, but that's not good enough.' We needed to be better individually and collectively, in our defensive blocks. Defend give-and-gos, defend combinations, win more duels, be more controlled and composed. Stop giving away set pieces in and around our box. We got on the same page collectively, and then from that I think we were effective offensively with the ball in transition breaking their last line,

On the team starting to jell after the early-season struggles:

"We had quite a bit of new additions to the team. They're good players and they need time to adapt to this league. They're showing more confidence and showing how they can adapt to this league. Hernán is one of them and he had a positive impact, and he's going to keep needing to adapt. We need to support them. We need to on and off the field know that with more time, this group can compete with anybody in the league."

On adapting to the high altitude of Colorado:

"We want to be aggressive. We want to win our duels but it's also reading angles. Sometimes you want to be so aggressive in defending a wall pass and you're on the wrong side of the ball in half a second. Colorado is good at home. They use the altitude to their advantage. They go at you and press. They switch balls with drags and because of the thin air, the ball is flying. They take it to you. This is a really hard place to play. ... [Our team] over the course of the first half adapted, read the game and closed the half better. We knew we needed a better second half to walk out of here with points; thankfully it was three.

On the absence of team captain Jackson Yueill due to illness:

"This is why we have depth. [Jackson] had a stomach bug and couldn't go so we had to make a quick adjustment. Niko Tsakiris stepped it up. This is what a team is all about. It's the next man up, when your number's called that you're ready for it. I like what we're seeing as far as our competition internally."

On the Quakes' history in Portland at Providence Park:

"We've never won there. It is a very challenging place to win. It's a fun place to play. It's exciting to play there. ... History is made to change. We look forward to changing it sooner than later. We're going to go to Portland with that mentality." like we can do against anybody. In the second half, the players were better in terms of their execution and the way we defended. ... Credit to the guys. I'm really proud of them. We're taking it one moment at a time. Now it's about resting and being ready to play in a challenging environment in Portland."


On preparation leading to tonight's game:

"We've been working very hard during the week. Those kind of situations in the corner attack we used to practice very often. ... When you practice every day, a different kind of situation of the game, when you have to do it in the weekend, it's very simple. I think today was a big response of the team. After all of the difficulties that we had before the game and during the game, we are really happy."

On playing amid a lot of adversity tonight:

"I think Colorado uses the altitude to their advantage. It's not easy to approach a game like that. It was cold and rainy, too. We had a lot of difficulties today. We took a plane early in the morning. To get to the hotel a few hours before the game. All those things made our day a little bit harder, but I'm proud of the response of the entire team."

On the assist to Vítor Costa:

"I tried to play that ball. Every time we see Vitor, we try to play the ball to him because he has a good header and we have confidence in him."


On winning three games in eight days:

"I think the team has worked hard for weeks to get these results. Three games in a week is very hard; it's not enough time. But our team showed strength and were motivated to win these games. Credit to everyone and the staff."

On his first assist to Hernán López:

"I'm proud to give my teammate an assist his first goal with San Jose. I'm very happy for him. It's the fruits of our labor not just for me but the whole team."

On his second assist on the game-winning goal:

"We've been working hard, the whole team, all week [in training]. With the assist to Cristian, we know each other really well now, and I'm happy his goal led to the win."

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San Jose Earthquakes celebrate win
San Jose Earthquakes celebrate win


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