Source: Joshua Glenn
Matt: Hi Josh! Are you still riding the high of watching the Quakes come back to tie it with 35 second left in stoppage time?
Josh: What an exciting afternoon! I've started to recover my voice, and can't wait to talk about the game.
Matt: Well, I'm impressed you made it out into that freezing 55 degree weather. I wish I had been there with you.
Josh: The scarf is both for team spirit, and it’s functional - and we will make it to PayPal Park together one day.
Matt: I was discouraged when the score hit 3-1, and a voice in my head told me to turn it off at that point, but I'm glad I stuck through it with the Goonies!
Josh: You and all the people who were worried about traffic and parking. There were plenty of fans that were sure 3-1 was going to be the final score and went to line up in the exit lanes. But Gregus and Calvo had other plans.
Matt: The capacity of PayPal Park is 18,000 and the announced attendance was 12,888. What was the atmosphere like in the park?
Josh: It was so much fun to be back at PayPal Park. The Seismic Union and the Ultras were at full volume, and people were excited to be there - a lot of them in their Creator Kits. Sure, many were there just to celebrate North America's largest outdoor bar, but by the end of the game, most people were focused on the right thing.
Matt: It's been a while since you've been to a game. What were some things that were great about going to the stadium? What were some of the things that you can see in person that you just can't get from the telecast?
Josh: Food trucks?
Matt: *lengthy laughter….*
Josh: Yeah, it is a great environment. I think you forget what it’s like to watch a game without constant commentary on what happened “the last time this player touched the ball against…” It's great to just be in the moment and watch the plays unfold, even from the upper level. I haven't found a bad seat at PayPal Park yet. When the play was on our side of the field it was, like, right there.
Matt: I'm not sure if you could see from your seats that Almeyda wasn't wearing his purple sweater, but I bet you saw a lot of other things I missed.
Josh: I did sit opposite the bench so we got to see Alameda getting out of his seat and coaching actively on the field, which the TVs at home don't show you. You get to see what happens away from the ball instead of waiting for the replay where somebody is sitting on the ground flailing their arms. Also, you get to see how rough some of those players are – arms wrapped around each other, tackles, and pushes in order to jockey for position…it’s a lot different than what you see on a broadcast.
Matt: What was your take on Calvo (who obviously scored the tying goal), Gregus, and all the other adjustments and new players compared to the 2021 season?
Josh: I did not expect to see Gregus be so involved and coordinating activity on the field, and Calvo is everywhere. These two ended up with two of the assists and goals, as well as taking turns hanging back while SJ was applying pressure in the Columbus half of the field. I’m sure Monteiro wishes he would be able to be out on the pitch developing chemistry against Philly next weekend, but that questionable red card means he'll be watching from the locker room.
Matt: Even if you know the plan for a new player, like add aerial attack, distribute the ball, or be the defensive wall, for example, it can still take a while for that to develop, for that player to be fully successful in the role. Let's hope we see more of that! So if I'm understanding you correctly, the team has improved its ability to move the ball through the midfield?
Josh: Yeah, I went with a work friend and it was his first Quakes game, as well as US soccer game. I warned him “So far this season, the team has struggled in the middle and New York was able to take advantage of the transition.” What we got to see Saturday is the team applying pressure in the right ways and they held strong in transition backward and around the midfield. All the goals came from set-pieces, partly because getting the ball downfield on the offensive transition was still a challenge.
Matt: What was your take on the defense on Saturday?
Josh: I think this year, the team knows that the loss of Nathan requires other players to step up and lead with energy on the field. Last year when he was away for a red card or yellow card accumulation, it felt like the Quakes just missed him. On Saturday, we saw the team fill in where he was missing.
Matt: Go Quakes! Energy and pressure was key for San Jose’s ultimate moral victory, taking two points away from the Crew and stealing one for themselves right out of the ether. Columbus is a great team, but with that comes the need to remain composed when the other team refuses to agree to lose.
Josh: I know it's early in the season, but I agree. Seeing the Quakes recover two goals to tie against a team like Columbus, and when they're down a player, gives me a lot of hope for the rest of this long season. The next two games are on the road and will continue to challenge this squad.
Matt: Philadelphia always plays well. Their fitness is excellent and they have a strong academy system that keeps their roster fully stocked. What do you think are the keys for the Quakes to achieve success in Philadelphia?
Josh: I haven't scouted Philly’s strengths myself, but I think we know that it's going to involve better play downfield, maintaining the strength in transition, and it sounds like El Profe is not afraid to try some new formations and keep the team running on fresh legs.
Matt: San Jose may feel like they're looking in the mirror in terms of their energy – Philadelphia never, ever, ever, ever, gives up. Another key for Saturday’s game will be San Jose's ability to play a clean game in terms of fouls called and yellow cards. Philadelphia is very quick to restart and can punish a team’s mistakes in an instant.
Josh: I hope that San Jose doesn't need banging bass drums to gather the energy that they did in stoppage time on Saturday. Although we know it's classic San Jose to come back from down 2 goals in 6 minutes, I think we’d all rather see some activity from Chofis, Cowell, and Ebobisse up front early on and be able to breathe easier for the 90 minutes. Vamos San Jose!
Rating on the Quake-o-meter Scale for Game 2 (Richter goes to 9, OURS goes to 10)
Final Score on the Quake-o-meter Richter Scale: 6.6/10
Current % chance of a San Jose/New England MLS Cup Final: 20% - Draws don’t get you to the playoffs, but they do better than 0 pts...