Quakes Pick 3 Up in Thrilling Final El Clasico, Put 3 Down Hosting Colorado
QUAKES ON BOTH COAST, Vol. 1 No. 11
Matt: So Josh, this was only the second Clasico I’ve watched, and it was intense! What was the aura like out in San Jose?
Josh: The aura was absolutely Blue and Black! So exciting to finish the Cali season conquering the Galaxy in Carson! The LAG Keeper was having the game of his life with two double-stops in the first half and I thought SJ was done. Thankfully, the Quakes kept knocking and our team up front did what they were recruited to do!
Matt: The Quakes did a great job keeping the pressure turned up. I didn’t realize it during the game itself, but apparently your boys in blue didn’t allow the front 3 LAG attackers to complete a SINGLE pass to each other. (Thanks, Quakes subreddit, and kudos to whomever was tracking it that closely!) SJ was able to score by Remedi keying Abecasis’s assist, allowing Jebo to get his first goal of the season (we hope) for San Jose! On the emotional side for you...Wondo came in in the 92’, his last Clasico?
Josh: Well, we SJ loyalists know that the only thing sweeter than winning a regular season Clasíco is eliminating the Galaxy from the playoffs, so let’s say there will be more minutes with Wondo on the pitch against LA. This game was a huge step in the right direction - points while upper Western Conference teams had a rough weekend. The ball movement, purposeful header from Ebobisse, and if SJ can get Chofis running, you know the team is moving the energy the right way! I mean, three names in MLS Team of the week? What a high for an important part of the season!
Matt: That was huge. Did you notice there were more San Jose players (and coach) of the week than my favorite team from the East?
Josh: I didn’t - and it feels like it would be rude to celebrate here in front of you at this point.
Matt: Go for it. No worries.
Josh: WHOOP!!! <insert high-quality running man moves here>
Matt: Definitely better than Philadelphia’s DOOP, I like it! Another positive aspect of that game: I finally got my first sustained look at Marcos Lopez, and he played well against LAG. As part of the strong defensive Quakes unit that day, he helped take away the Galaxy offensive options. If you force the offense to think instead of react, you’re automatically slowing things down. There was one lapse: JT got beat at the post in a terrible goal. He was probably the happiest on the team when the game was over! So…...how ‘bout them Rapids?
Josh: Woof. Can we stay excited for a minute to celebrate Cade Cowell’s All-Star appearance? He played a bunch of minutes and looked good! And I think every club noticed the Fan-voted All Stars aka Seattle Sounders and will be loading down the voting website in 2022.
Matt: Yes, let’s talk Cade “Kraken” Cowell. A solid 45 minutes in the ASG, and played well! I think every constructive minute of play he gets this season is huge, and afterward he will have time to process the season and figure out how to move forward with a productive off-season. Part of that is the ASG experience, which you can’t put a price on! Let’s try again...how ‘bout them Rapids?
Josh: Well, I’m not going to say that Lopez going to play for Peru is the reason, but it did feel like we couldn’t find our rhythm against the Rapids. We also got literally knocked off that momentum during that scary collision, which pulled Ebobisse off and pushed Cowell on before we had a chance to build on the flow from the previous game. Salinas and squad got the ball into the box many times, but Cowell’s new-ness was on display because he didn’t read the keeper and put it away.
Matt: Well, he wasn’t the only one. The whole team seemed pretty disconnected. I don’t know if it was the two weeks in between games or the shock of Ebobisse going off so early shaking up the strategy, but whatever it was, it wasn’t pretty. SJ had zero...yes, ZERO...corner kicks. Seriously? Add 2 shots on target to Colorado’s 5, and you get the picture. Even though most of the other stats were fairly even -- though Colorado had 5 more fouls -- you could feel it from Boston as I watched the game (through my fingers) slip away in the final minutes.
Josh: The box score is hard to read through crossed fingers - no way anyone pulls off a win with those stats. Not only is every remaining game a necessary win, in line with Coach Almeyda’s presser, but this one was a real opportunity with two of their key players off on USMNT service. I saw Marcinkowski respond to the late goal like you asked - positive, getting the team back in the game, repeating “Keep it going” after the ball snuck past. The immediate postgame recap on social was disappointment that Fierro didn’t finish that stoppage time goal.
Matt: I agree that JT has taken someone’s advice to heart and become a voice of positivity and energy on the field, and it’s a good look. The other team is always taking the pulse of the opposing GK to see if they’re gaining an edge. And JT’s energy provided another example of SJ not having the heart in the fight: when JT saved a shot in the 38’ and was ready to start the counterattack, his expression and lack of options made it look like he was the sole Quake ready to go. What was happening? Well, I guess Nathan eventually had to lose in Quakes blue.
Josh: That was a tough record for Nathan to hold up - but he is still playing smart, safe tackles and fiery celebrations. Definitely happy for Jackson Yeuill’s call up - and that he should be back from his return to USMNT play to help lead the Away-Home-Away journey coming up next week. To confidently get back in the Top 7, we’ll need to be writing about a totally realistic 3-0 after next week, so here’s hoping for it!
Matt: After Colorado, I’m ready to look forward. At Dallas, hosting RSL, and at Austin. A lot of teams melt in the humid heat of Dallas to begin with, and if Pepi is on his game, Dallas will be tough. I think RSL is unpredictable, and I’d like to think SJ will beat Austin, but again...the climate of Austin is a LITTLE different than San Jose, and those are tough conditions to play in if you’re not used to it. My prediction - less than 4 points is a set back, 6 or more points is progress. I hope the Quakes will use the Colorado loss as another stepping stone to adjust and improve. Soon. Like this week.
Josh: I think the realism balance is why people tune in to this column. But 9 points this week could put us on the top of the 2nd tier! With 10-ish games left in the season, setbacks hit hard - and getting into the Playoffs is the real goal. Eyes on the prize! Vamos SJ!
Rating on the Quake-o-meter Scale for Games 21-22 (Richter goes to 9, OURS goes to 10)
Final Score on the Quake-o-meter Richter Scale: 5.75/10
Current % chance of a San Jose/New England MLS Cup Final: 0%. If the Quakes play for the rest of the season like they did against COL, this number is not going to change...
Twitter: @massmatt_matt @joshuaglenn