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 San Jose Earthquakes

Visitors Surge Ahead Late After San Jose Holds Second-Half Lead; Quakes Continue Homestand Wednesday Vs. Portland

June 16, 2024 - Major League Soccer (MLS)
San Jose Earthquakes News Release

SAN JOSE, Calif. - The San Jose Earthquakes fell 4-2 to FC Cincinnati on Saturday night at PayPal Park.

After a scoreless first half, Cincinnati struck first in the 53rd minute when midfielder Pavel Bucha picked off a pass and scored in transition. The Quakes would answer just four minutes later when midfielder Hernán López scored off a rebound in the box.

San Jose would capture the lead in the 72nd minute when Vítor Costa pinged a long ball for winger Cristian Espinoza, who hauled it in and buried it in the back of the net for this third goal of the season. However, the visitors responded with three goals in succession from Yuya Kubo in the 78th, 80th and 87th minutes to pull ahead for good.

The Quakes will now prepare for a midweek home match with the Portland Timbers on Wednesday, June 19. Kickoff from PayPal 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 AM 810 The Spread (English) and AM 1370 La Kaliente (Spanish).


The Quakes are now 1-2-0 against FC Cincinnati in MLS regular season play and 1-1-0 at home.

San Jose has had the lead at some point in 10 of 17 games in MLS play this season.

With his 57th minute goal, Hernán López stayed hot, notching either a goal or assist in four of his six MLS starts.

Winger Cristian Espinoza scored his third goal of the season, marking his 12th goal contribution of 2024 when paired with his nine assists.

Espinoza and forward Jeremy Ebobisse started tonight's match, extending their MLS-leading consecutive games played streaks to 92 and 91 games, respectively. Sporting Kansas City's Daniel Salloi had the third longest record with 69 matches until tonight, when he sat out due to injury.

San Francisco Giants legend Hunter Pence was on hand to fire the ceremonial siren before the game. The four-time Major League Baseball All-Star and two-time World Series champion is part of the 2026 FIFA World Cup Bay Area Host Committee Advisory Board and took in his first game at PayPal Park.

FC Cincinnati assistant coach Dominic Kinnear returned to the South Bay. The former San Jose defender served the club as assistant coach for the Quakes' Audi MLS Cup triumphs in 2001 and 2003, and as head coach, he led the Black and Blue to their first MLS Supporters' Shield in 2005.


San Jose Earthquakes 2-4 FC Cincinnati

Saturday, June 15, 2024 - PayPal Park; San Jose, Calif.

Weather: 63° Clear

Match Officials:

Referee: Lukasz Szpala

AR1: Chris Wattam

AR2: Mike Nickerson

4th Official: Tim Ford

VAR: Younes Marrakchi

AVAR: TJ Zablocki

Scoring Summary:

CIN (0-1) - Pavel Bucha (unassisted) 53'

SJ (1-1) - Hernán López (unassisted) 57'

SJ (2-1) - Cristian Espinoza (Vítor Costa) 72'

CIN (2-2) - Yuya Kubo (Luciano Acosta, Gerardo Valenzuela) 78'

CIN (2-3) - Yuya Kubo (Luciano Acosta, Gerardo Valenzuela) 80'

CIN (2-4) - Yuya Kubo (Luciano Acosta, Obinna Nwobodo) 87'

Misconduct Summary:

CIN - Kevin Kelsy (caution) 66'

SJ - Hernán López (caution) 90+4'

SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES: William Yarbrough; Tanner Beason, Daniel Munie, Carlos Akapo (Paul Marie 75'), Vitor Costa; Jackson Yueill (C) (Preston Judd 84'), Hernán López, Niko Tsakiris (Alfredo Morales 84'); Amahl Pellegrino (Jack Skahan 75'), Cristian Espinoza, Jeremy Ebobisse (Benji Kikanovic 90+3').

Substitutes not used: Jacob Jackson (GK), Michael Baldisimo, Tommy Thompson, Casey Walls.

POSS.: 44.7%; SHOTS: 20 ; SOG: 8; CORNERS: 10; OFFSIDES: 0; SAVES: 2; FOULS: 5; xG: 3.2

FC CINCINNATI: Roman Celentano; Nick Hagglund (Gerardo Valenzuela 75'), Matt Miazga (Kipp Keller 64'), Luca Orellano, Ian Murphy, DeAndre Yedlin; Obinna Nwobodo, Luciano Acosta (C), Pavel Bucha; Sergio Santos (Yuya Kubo 64'), Kevin Kelsy (Yamil Asad 75').

Substitutes not used: Alec Kann (GK), Landon Aghedo, Bret Halsey, Alec Kann, Malik Pinto, Alvas Powell.

POSS.: 55.3%; SHOTS: 20 ; SOG: 7; CORNERS: 3; OFFSIDES: 0; SAVES: 5; FOULS: 11; xG: 2.2


On leading in the second half before FC Cincinnati's late surge:

"We actually were on the front foot winning 2-1. We were in their half attacking them. ... We lost balance in that attack in the transition moment. We lose the ball in the box and even though we had good numbers to defend the tradition we weren't together enough. We lost duel [after] duel, falling behind, didn't cover the depth, and they're dangerous. If you give Lucho Acosta half a second, he plays a one-touch ball behind [Yaya] Kubo and that's what they're capable of. The other goal again was we had numbers behind the ball, but Lucho Acosta is driving it and we're not able to shut him down, and duel and keep him out of the box. It ricochets there to Kubo is opportunistic so that's the game. The game is won or lost in the box defensively and offensively. When it was 3-2, we got some offensive guys on the field to push the game, and the game opened up. I thought we could have actually scored and made it interesting, possibly 3-3, but it ended up going 4-2, and that's the risk you take."

On FC Cincinnati's team as a whole:

"It's not one player. They're a good collective unit. They have three center backs that know their role; they win balls in the air. I thought we did a good job creating isolation with our wingers against their center backs and getting in behind their wing backs. ... There's physicality, speed - they're a handful. With Lucho Acosta with a free role, you can see how they're really dangerous. They're a good team, and we were toe to toe with them until the game got out of our hands in the transition moments. I think the transition moments hurt us at the end of the day, and in the last 15 to 20 minutes of the game that didn't allow us to get the result."

On the Earthquakes' defense over the course of the match:

"We're a dangerous team that can score in any way. We've shown that with the underlying data and we back it up with actual goals. But we needed five goals to win this game. These transition moments where we are attacking are important. I thought we did improve that for the most part until we opened up. You can do things well for 70 minutes, 80 minutes. We saw that last game [vs. New York City FC]. We lost our organization. ... Missing two center backs is not easy; losing Bruno [Wilson] and Rodrigues in the same game. ... I thought Daniel [Munie], Tanner [Beason] had very good control of this game. They stepped it up, did well. Until it got to that moment where collectively we broke down mentally and tactically and physically. That's something that we've got to fix."

On the continued push for a playoff spot:

"Our goal for the second half of the season is to be a top-three team in the conference points-wise from this point on. We say that we can't control the past, but if we're a top-three team in points for the rest of the season, we'll get into the playoffs. It's been historically the trend and it starts with a win tonight. Everybody's stepping up. Surely we were coming into the game with that mentality. We had that in our hands at some point. It didn't happen. Cincinnati is a good team. Congrats to them. They're a very good team and they turn it around on us, and they have talent, and they have had the effectiveness."

On the team's mindset after tonight's game:

"It's going to hurt because we had the game in our hand until we didn't. It's about control. We control the next moment and we're never going to give up. I'm not going to ever give up. These guys won't give up. We're going to learn and keep trying to figure this out. That's what we can control."

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