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San Jose muscles through the 3-in-8-day match week

QOBC Vol. 3 No. 9 - June 9, 2023

photo: Kate Glenn


Josh: I’m still reeling from the Ted Lasso finale, but I suppose I can refocus on American Soccer and our San Jose Earthquakes. The Quakes sure know how to keep fans hooked and watching during an eight-day busy schedule!


Matt: There were some that said the finale was boring, but even more said it was perfect. And then someone chimed in that perfect was boring. Let us say the Quakes are not boring…and rejoice!


Josh: That’s perfect. I started the week back at PayPal Park. It was loud and the crowd did seem a little lighter than the last time I was there, but not by much. Being down on the sideline, this game is FAST. Benji stepped up and had some great ball movement, and broke the 2023 ice with his header/shoulder/TannerBeason goal! The biggest challenge was Dallas compressing the field - the back line had our strikers pushed up past the circle. My amazing wife, who was just as loud as I was from that sideline, said “It felt like when they have the ball, they have more players!” and she’s right - field control was a real challenge for our Quakes. We’ve seen the SJ defense pull the ball/be trapped back into the corner in order to clear it, and that’s way harder to do than find the forward pass or just clear it out quickly. And then ultimately, a pretty great corner kick in stoppage time and San Jose walks away with a draw. As was noted on the MLS Wrap Up show: so far, our Quakes have lost 10 points in stoppage time, and they’re only 7 points from first in the West.


Matt: I certainly defer to your perspective and takeaways from the game - though the picture quality and camera angles in today’s broadcasts are amazing, you catch so much more nuance and in-game activity in person. The Quakes-Dallas matchup was a pretty even one, so while Dallas was more efficient in their shots, with 4 of 8 on target to San Jose’s 2 of 8 on target, I was pleased to see that the Quakes created more corner kick chances than Dallas. Espinoza, with that great service into the box making that goal possible, continues to be the playmaker for the Quakes. And I love it. But that late Dallas goal was dispiriting, but the result of two things: luck, which you can’t do that much about, and losing the aerial challenge, which you can. Winning in the air is a real thing and one that the Revs have struggled with this season.


Josh: San Jose shouldn’t, right? Rodriguez, Kikanovic, Beason, Ebobisse should all be in the box, leaping above on both sides of the pitch. But in this case, the Toros had fresher legs and better timing.


Mid-week, our Boys in Blue & Black took a quick trip up north to Top-of-the-Standings, but recovering from injuries, Seattle Sounders. The sweet combination of header to King Jebo tap-in, a strong defensive presence, and a rusty Ruidiaz, means the Quakes stand alone in 5th place, back to a 0 Goal Differential, and are energized through the hump day match up. And Daniel, whew, truly earned Team of the Matchday, alongside 2nd nod for Coach Luchi. Thoughts?


Matt: Another great example of San Jose stepping up in the Emerald City. Both teams were playing strategically, San Jose definitely trying to maximize matchups and moments. San Jose is continuing to work on both earning their set pieces and executing, and it worked out for them. There were stretches when Daniel probably felt like he was in a shooting gallery practice and made some great saves. The Boys in Blue ran away with 3 points, despite the fact that by all rights Ruidiaz should have tied it up for the Sounders in the 79’. Chalk one up for the Garden City!


Josh: The next day, Happy Pride Month, rabbit rabbit, and Bay Football Club is announced for the 2024 NWSL Season with a bold circle B and the excitement of many Bay Area soccer fans. I’m still sensitive about the name, but maybe because I moved away from the Washington Football Team.


Matt: I saw that and was sad for you. And another FC. I wondered if the script B, in addition to incorporating the Golden Gate Bridge, a nod and attempted attraction to San Jose peeps? Their other logos were definitely drawing on the SF Giants, but I’m sure they’re trying to cast as wide a net as possible in the early days of this team.


Josh: Good point. San Jose does use that script style to reflect the “street” energy of the club, reflecting San Jose’s working-class history and Latin American influence and fanbase. But also, and I talked with our friend Favian at Tectonic Takes about it, there’s a lot of The Bay, especially in San Jose, where not being San Francisco is important. We’ll have to see how the rest of the news and the growing team shakes out. But c’mon “Football Club”?


Matt: I liked someone on Twitter’s suggestion: The Bay Area Fog. Would that be BAFFC?


Josh: Nice, but Karl already has a name. There is fog artwork in the marketing package, and the third team color is Fog, so you’re not far off. I think I threw out Bay Area Innovation when we talked about this last year.


Matt: Okay, if we’re talking developments in Northern California, how about the Bay Area Zillows?


Josh: Haha, and the “We are going up!” cheer would match that perfectly. It’s challenging for an area that works together, but includes and represents so many communities, and has a growing soccer presence, including our friends in Oakland and Sacramento. Hopefully BFC decides that home is at PayPal Park, cuz it’s convenient, but I’m mostly just excited they’re real and they’re here!


Matt: I’d like to be optimistic, but until we see otherwise, I’m betting that stadium plans are San Francisco based. You can hold your breath, but I can’t right now with all this Canadian wildfire smoke. Looking ahead to Colorado, this was a matchup where the teams were fairly even, except for ONE stat. With the two shots that went off of the crossbar (Kikanovic in the 37, and then Ebibisse’s header in the 62’, the Quakes had ZERO shots on target to Colorado’s five. Ugh.


Josh: According to Coach Luchi, deflections and goal keeper disruptions don’t count against on-target, but that feels like a stretch to me. I got excited when, 10 minutes into the second half, Bombito from the Rapids is given a second yellow, which means the Quakes are up a player for the rest of the match - almost 45 full minutes of 11 on 10. If our Saturday’s Heroes are to stake a claim as a top-tier team, they figure out how to leverage that extra player during an entire half of a soccer match. A toe tap by Rodriguez in the box sets up a PK for the short-handed opponent, but Daniel stepped up yet again and saved the clean sheet. That makes 13 saves in two games earning Man of the Match for a second game, and I’d consider him player of the week for the San Jose side. Big question mark for me - why only two substitutions, especially at the end of a three match week?


Matt: Yes, Daniel read the PK from Ronan all the way, making a great diving save to his left. After that Rapids mishap, Colorado fans were probably thrilled to walk away with a point.


Josh: Coming up - two home games, matching up against a rising Philadelphia Union and welcoming the Timbers down from the PNW. Any tips your Revs would have to try to protect PayPal Park from the snakes?


Matt: Remember when I said a few months ago that Philadelphia would show us the Quakes’s strengths and weaknesses? Here it comes. The Union are SO FAST and conditioned that they are a tough team to play anywhere. The fact that San Jose is hosting is a tiny leveler, but not by much. And this isn’t to put down the Quakes; let’s not forget that Philadelphia was one sacrificial play by the LAFC GK Crepeau away from winning the whole thing last season. Portland will be a nice change of pace - they are winless in their last four, and their last road win was April 29th against the sturdy St. Louis City.


Josh: Last year, the Quakes split the series with Portland, but historically it has not been pretty (6-18-9). Hopefully the strength we’ve seen from the team at home will bring home at least 4 points over the next two weekends. Let’s start the second half of the season with some tremors! Vamos SJ!


Quake-o-meter for Games 14, 15, 16 (Richter goes to 9, OURS goes to 10)

Category

Matt

Josh

Average

Offense

4

6

5

Midfield

5

5

5

Defense

6.5

6

6.25

GK

8

7.5

7.75

Strategy/Coaching

6.5

6

6.25

Team Composure

8

7

7.5

Final Score on the Quake-o-meter Richter Scale: 5.25/10 - Would love to see our team start earning Ws and then ratings of Bs, but so far, not enough.


Current % chance of a San Jose/New England MLS Cup Final: 35% - Revs are winless in 7, Quakes are 5th place by a goal differential, but it could happen.


Twitter and Instagram: @QuakesCoasts



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