QOBC Vol. 3 No. 4 - March 21, 2023
Josh: Springtime in the Bay is definitely coming in like a lion, as the expression goes. And the roar of that lion is the attack of the pollen. But I’m betting the Quakes are glad to be back home and away from anywhere that gets to 27 degrees on a Saturday night.
Matt: Home is always good, especially after that brutal game in St. Louis where they had 12 on the field, not just 11. Plus a borderline rabid home crowd.
Josh: Yes - St Louis is happy to have their soccer back and the stadium looks pretty awesome. Going back a week first, I’m sure you were stoked with Cristian Espinoza’s shooting on Matchday 3 against Colorado. Their Keeper was on his game and pushed one up into the crossbar, but couldn’t do it a second time and the crossbar bumped it back into the net. On the other end of the field JT Marcinkowski starts his first 2023 match and has the Quakes’ first clean sheet of 2023!
Matt: Espinoza has continued to be the relentless driver on the offensive end for this team. I was glad the Quakes were able to play fluidly up until the box in this match while the Rapids are continuing to figure things out, and one of Espinoza’s long rangers finally went in. We still saw near misses with service into the box, but it was enough to leave Colorado with 3 points. JT looked good, and the zone defense of the Quakes was just enough to keep things scoreless.
Josh: I was happy with the score of the Colorado match, but really disappointed with the stoppage time officiating. To recap: Jack Price (CO) had Tommy Thompson by the jersey and arm around the neck and gets a yellow. Squabble ensues. Jamiro Monteiro pulls apart Paul Marie and (other angry Rapids player) but pushes on the guy’s collar bone - Monteiro gets sent off with a Red Card, so he was unavailable for St Louis. If the rule is touch the neck/head equals Red, then both players should’ve been sitting out Matchday 4. Or reduce Monteiro’s penalty to a Yellow and he can play the next game. But nope - no changes were made in the week’s Disciplinary recap.
Matt: Agreed. It was an unnecessarily messy end to the game, and Bassett on the Rapids deserved a yellow in my book for unsportsmanlike conduct. I know it wouldn’t have made a difference to the game’s outcome, but yellow accumulation is a thing. I think your call is fair: either both Monteiro and Price get reds, or no one does.
Josh: Thanks! Quakes keep Colorado scoreless on the year, and then head to the red hot soccer club of Saint Louis. Although the Great 408 has played spoiler before, it was not their turn on Saturday. Tommy started! And it looks like Gruezo made me eat my words.
Matt: No Monteiro already put the Quakes at a disadvantage, and then after Gruezo went down we saw how much he was anchoring the defense that night. In general, the Quakes are more static than I’d like on defense, and without Monteiro racing back to help - which he did many times against Colorado the week before - St. Louis moved around the Quakes’ defense and put the ball on the frame. Over and over. Some jumped on social with comments about JT, but the fact remains that if your defense isn’t even cutting the angle down for your GK, it’s basically a running PK that most goalies aren’t saving. My challenge for the Quakes: the defense needs to move to the ball faster to cut down options for the opposing attack. I’m going to also point out: 5 Quakes yellows to 1 for St. Louis? That looks like some major home field refereeing to me.
Josh: So frustrating. My challenge to the Quakes in freezing St Louis - communication. Baldisimo slide tackles Tommy Thompson trying to clear the ball off the Defender as part of the second goal. I know Tanner Beason is not used to having a consistent & strong Center Back to partner with, but he and Mensah were on top of each other, yielding the third goal.
Matt: These are fair observations. Some of it is the Boys in Blue trying to create new synergy on the go, but that’s sports for you. Vision on the pitch is huge and surely on Luchi’s list as this season becomes more tangible.
Josh: It is Women’s History Month, so we should be sure to thank Danielle Slaton for her smart and strong commentary on MLS Season Pass, as well as remind the San Jose ownership - we would love to see NWSL in San Jose, partnered with the Earthquakes. When I last checked Oakland has two professional women’s soccer teams playing, and we don’t have one yet. For our readers, if you’re not supporting https://nwsltothebay.com/ with Danielle, Brandi Chastain and crew yet - here’s your nudge.
Matt: The NWSL season kicks off next week, and NWSL Commissioner Jessica Berman’s comments confirm what the more-than-casual observer knows: women’s soccer is on the move. It’s a Women’s World Cup year, broadcast rights negotiations are coming up, franchise values are rising, VAR is coming to the NWSL this season, and an earnest effort to make the NWSL a safe place for women to work continues. All good news! And I can’t wait for the official announcement of the Boston area expansion team for 2025.
Josh: Coming up, San Jose welcomes Toronto and Houston to PayPal Park. Toronto is coming in hot off of a good effort to win in Miami. And we’re obviously hoping that the Blue & Black have the same outcome against Houston as your Revs did. What do you think? 6 points?
Matt: The Quakes gain a slight advantage this week with Toronto starters and frequent subs Forwards Akinola and Osorio, Midfielder Kaye, and Defender Laryea out for international duty. Monteiro and Trauco are out for SJ, but at least the Quakes had a Monteiro-less test drive in St. Louis. Houston sounds close to signing CB Sviatchenko to improve their dire situation, but the outcome remains to be seen. With both of these at home, I predict a tie against Toronto and a win against Houston for 4 out of a possible 6 points.
Josh: Obviously 6 points expected from me. Maybe I make my PayPal Park 2023 debut - I’ll let you know what cool stuff I find at the Team Store! Vamos SJ!
Quake-o-meter for Games 3 & 4 (Richter goes to 9, OURS goes to 10)
Final Score on the Quake-o-meter Richter Scale: 6.2 /10
Current % chance of a San Jose/New England MLS Cup Final: 40% - both teams highlighted the speed bumps between them and the Championship, but both are above the line!
Twitter and Instagram: @QuakesCoasts