Matt: Hi Josh, fall is officially here in New England. The temperature doesn’t go above 63 for the next week! This is a great time for soccer -- crisp fall air replaces oppressive humidity and teams can really go into third and even fourth gear. How’s the air out on the left coast?
Josh: We had a week of Fall, and now we are in false Bay Area winter, which means rain! Fire Season is officially over, thankfully, and shortly we’ll be back to our normal dry and cool - great weather for hoodies and soccer scarves!
Matt: It’s been a tough week for those Quakes. I give you the stage with no word count restriction. What’s your take on the LAFC game?
Josh: After the two losses, it was hard to see a San Jose squad who looked so out of their element. Even though they had beaten LAFC three weeks prior, it looked like two different divisions out on the field. One could argue that missing Remedi in the middle really impacted the pace - I might make that argument. They had a striker-heavy starting line, but couldn’t seem to coordinate - maybe it was a wrong call by the coaches to start with so much up front? A disappointing start to the week for sure.
Matt: Good point. Two I completely agree with - Remedi changes the game. While he has gotten a ton of yellows, the amount of fouls he has taken this season show what an obstacle he can be for the opposing defense. While it seemed to me like he was fouling out of necessity at the beginning of the season until spirit animal Nathan arrived, I think it created a reputation that made him more careful in the second half. Also, I think they were trying to ease JeBo in, and time will tell when he’s actually back to 100%. To Austin!
Josh: This team showed up at home against El Verde the way they need to play every game - and now they’ve shown us that they can play at this intensity. Good passes, good hustle, good set ups and teamwork. They spent the first half testing Austin’s defense and second half showing what they learned. Tanner Beason earned his starting fullback spot with a great (lucky?) block at the goal line. Maybe Andy Rios is a better first half player than 60’ sub?
Matt: I have to admit, this felt like a trap game to me. Austin had pride to play for and nothing to lose, but the Quakes came through and dominated when it counted. I love the Wondo goal for you and the Kikanovic goal for me! I think you can see the plan to have Beason there full time in 2022, and seeing JeBo at the 9 was definitely a good sign. Though Benji is a righty (can’t all be perfect, I guess), he’s definitely comfortable on the left wing, and it worked. Now go north!
Josh: Another three week reunion, this time against the Whitecaps. I didn’t go to PayPal Park to get my replica “First Star” championship ring - sorry, fans. Happy 20th Anniversary to the SJ team who brought home the trophy! Today’s team played well, including Jackson Yeuill having a good run as Center Fullback. The front team did okay, but weren’t in sync enough to finish. Earlier in the season, it felt like Jeremy Ebobisse found his place and pace in the team, but while he was out, Benji Kikanovic filled that space, and now it feels like they don’t know how to be up front together - hopefully yet - but some great play overall. Vancouver also did well, and they didn’t have to face Nathan and Lopez in the back line. Extra disappointing because the rest of the teams in the playoff race also fared poorly, but the long shot just got longer.
Matt: So bummed you couldn’t make it. People may not know this, but you’re kind of the perfect fan. 100% support, non-stop energy, eternally optimistic. If a team could fill the stadium with clones of you, the opposing teams wouldn’t stand a chance. I think putting Yeuill at centerback was a brilliant move, and another game with Rios in the early stage rather than as a late sub was smart. I always miss Nathan, and the team missed his blend of energy and tactics. But don’t forget about the moments of Benji and JeBo chemistry in evidence early on, almost getting them an early goal. And to your earlier point about Remedi - he was the one who fed Espinoza the ball to assist the BK goal. And Wondo almost added another one to his total - heartbreaker.
Josh: Aw shucks - I’d like to think it would be positive and loud, if PayPal Park was filled with a bunch of my clones. So many close calls in the last 6 yards make the draw hard, especially when the Quakes need to be in high spirits going to Portland! I saw someone on social called it the “annual Portland eliminator”, but I’m hopeful still! Three games, three points each would be +9, including three past RSL… maybe SJ fans need to turn around and cheer for Vancouver to stop Minnesota and LAFC in their tracks… people wish on stars with less light than this possibility.
Matt: Indeed. Brilliant. Thorough and completely brilliant. I have no words.
Josh: I’m happy for you and the rest of the Revs fans as you breathe easy with your Supporters’ Shield.
Matt: Yes! Some in the Boston media are becoming aware that a nice piece of silverware is making its way to Foxborough.
Josh: But some teams like San Jose will keep their fans on edge into November. Hopefully we’ll get fired up Wednesday night and the next week will be a great finish to Wondo’s last regular season! V-A-M-O-S SJ!!
Rating on the Quake-o-meter Scale for Game 30 (Richter goes to 9, OURS goes to 10)
Final Score on the Quake-o-meter Richter Scale: 5.9/10
Current % chance of a San Jose/New England MLS Cup Final: Statistically impossible, but this was a fun game to play! Go get it, Revs!
Twitter: @massmatt_matt @joshuaglenn