SAN JOSE, Calif. – The San Jose Earthquakes had by and large been the laughing stock of the league in 2019. Progressively, they went from 2-1 losses all the way to a 5-0 loss to LAFC last week, a complete humiliation on a national stage. But, tonight they got the ship going in an upward trajectory with a 3-0 route of the Portland Timbers.
San Jose Earthquakes Route Portland 3-0
The San Jose Earthquakes got the party started in the fifteenth minute, as Christian Espinoza cut down the end-line. He sent in a hard, low cross through the goalmouth and Shea Salinas slammed home the cross after Timbers Goalkeeper, Jeff Atinella, was caught hugging the near post.
Almost the same scenario occurred, for the Earthquakes’ second goal, but Shea Salinas missed the ball this time. But Danny Hoesen was there to mop it up at the back post and made it 2-0. Nearly a minute later, Espinoza again got down the right flank, this time further inside. He ripped a shot low and hard past Atinella to make it 3-0.
The Timbers did get a penalty kick in the second half after Sebastian’s Blanco’s shot was blocked by Harold Cummings’ arm. But Diego Valeri tried to go down the middle and Daniel Vega made a kick save. Nick Lima came on as a sub and also was able to score, a wonderful strike into the top corner. However, that goal was called back on VAR because Christian Espinoza was offside in the buildup.
- The Earthquakes backline looked much better with Florian Jungwirth in the mix. Not that Guram Kashia is bad, but they could sure benefit from both Kashia and Jungwirth in the central pairing. Kashia will be out for the next few weeks with an injury. It’s going to be up to Harrold Cummings to keep play well also, forcing Almeyda to make a tough decision when Kashia comes back.
- The Quakes didn’t miss Vako one bit. Vako one of the ‘Quakes most expensive Designated Players hasn’t been great in 2019, and never seemed to make the right decisions in the attacking moves. His decision making as the main playmaker has come into question plenty of times since he moved to the team, and frankly, they looked better without him. While it’s hard to tell what will happen with him going forward, they Quakes attack looked perfectly fine without him.
- Are the Portland Timbers actually this bad? Probably not. I’d still bet that the Timbers will end up higher in the MLS Standings in 2019 than the Earthquakes. But that backline is atrocious, and until they fix that, they might concede three a game. They have a halfway decent attack, but that backline will be the death of them in 2019. Maybe they should be looking at spending on a central defender of good quality, and not Eduardo Vargas.
The San Jose Earthquakes now sit in 9th in the Western Conference, with 3 points. Their next match is against the Houston Dynamo. The Portland Timbers are in last in the West with 0 points, and their next match is against FC Dallas.
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