A pattern of resiliency following a loss continues for the 2016 San Jose Earthquakes. Only a couple of days after falling to the Seattle Sounders, the Quakes bounced back and defeated the Houston Dynamo 3-1 — carried by Alberto Quintero’s first Major League Soccer brace.
The win on Wednesday keeps San Jose unbeaten at Avaya Stadium in 2016, as well as unbeaten following a loss.
“Very happy because I think the team is playing really well, especially coming off of a loss,” Quintero said of his team’s resiliency. “And like I’ve said since I got here, I think we’ll qualify for the playoffs if we take points at home. That’s the important thing. We took a loss, we knew we would be at home with our fans and the head coach put in a team, especially in the midfield that likes to play to touch a lot with the ball. I think the team showed that — the will to get three points after a loss. It’s important to stay near the top of the table.”
Wednesday was arguably San Jose’s best offensive performance of the season. Not only did they score a season-high three goals, but they looked dangerous for the majority of the evening.
San Jose made its presence felt very early. In the 3rd minute, a cheeky lob by Simon Dawkins found a streaking Chris Wondolowski out wide on the right flank. Wondolowski pressed forward and whipped a low cross into Quintero, who made a sharp run to the near post and was able to, just barely, redirect the ball into the Houston net for the 1-0 lead.
“For me, it doesn’t matter what’s going on, if you get a goal early like that, it’s great,” said San Jose head coach Dominic Kinnear said. “We played pretty good after that. We were looking pretty sharp. I thought we held together pretty good.”
San Jose remained in control of the match but were a bit disappointed going into halftime when Houston equalized during first half stoppage time on a set piece.
“We asked for them to stay concentrated at all times,” Kinnear said of the team conversation at halftime. “Not to fall asleep and to be ready for a real hard game. Just to be a little more simple with our passing.”
The Quakes responded to their coach’s plea. Five minutes into the second half, San Jose pulled off a truly exquisite combination play with Matias Perez Garcia connecting with Anibal Godoy who then pulled off a great Panamanian give-and-go with Quintero to reward Godoy with his first goal of the season.
“You can’t play like that all the time,” Kinnear said. “It was a pretty goal. It’s something we said at halftime. Let’s pass and move because sometimes it helps us out. I think in the second half, we came out with some pretty good stuff – had a good response,” Kinnear said.
San Jose put the game away 20 minutes later with Wondolowski battling off a trio of Houston defenders near the penalty spot and laid the ball off to Quintero who made the best of the chance for his brace.
“I read his movement well,” Quintero said about linking up with Wondolowski. “We combined well up front. We’re a united team and it shows on the field, off the field, in practice. And I think that will carry us to success.”
MAN OF THE MATCH:
Without a doubt, Quintero gets the nod for his two-goal performance. Truth be told, the midfielder was dangerous entire night and he also had a hand in the goal that but San Jose up for good after linking up beautifully with Godoy and Perez. Not to be overlooked though, was the play of Dawkins, who had a third straight solid performance.
“It was nice to see Alberto get rewarded,” Kinnear said. “He put in a large amount of work out there.”
The San Jose attack made noise the entire evening and were rewarded in the 50th minute on one of the prettiest goals you’ll see in Major League Soccer this season. The combination play between three Quakes footballers was the difference in the match and really set the tone offensively for San Jose the rest of the night.
Reporter attendance at Avaya Stadium Wednesday night was 18,000.
San Jose center back Andres Imperiale was a late scratch. Kinnear said postgame the issue is with the Argentinian’s ankle.
San Jose: Marvell Wynne (73’, yellow). Houston: Alex (21’, yellow), Tyler Deric (79’, red).
San Jose welcomes Spain’s La Liga member Real Sociedad in a friendly on May 18. Game time is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
The Quakes will make their second Los Angeles trip of the year to take on the Galaxy. L.A. when MLS play resumes on May 22. The Galaxy beat San Jose 3-1 in the previous meeting. Game time is scheduled for 4 p.m.
Over in Sacramento, the San Jose Earthquakes’ Premier Development League affiliate, Burlingame Dragons FC, fell 3-1 in U.S. Open Cup play. It’s the second consecutive year the Dragons fall in that tournament.
Despite the loss, Burlingame is off to a 2-0-0 start in PDL play, outscoring their opponent 5-0 in the process. Forward Jamael Cox was named the PDL Player of the Week for his efforts — marking the second time a Dragons footballer has won the honor.
Staying local with the U.S. Open, San Francisco City FC (PDL) lost 3-0 to CD Aguiluchos USA.