The San Jose Earthquakes found themselves down in yet another Cali Clasico, and found another dose of Goonie Time magic to take points from the Galaxy.
The Galaxy scored early in the match on a Jelle Van Damme goal off a corner at 11′. Van Damme managed to elude Quakes defender Victor Bernardez on the kick for an open shot.
The Quakes tried to rally, but found themselves unable to crack the Galaxy defense for a majority of the match. San Jose put up over 10 shots, none of which required the services of Galaxy ‘keeper Clement Diop.
It appeared the Galaxy may have put the game out of reach at 75’ on a corner which set up a Dave Romney header on frame. Quakes ‘keeper David Bingham managed a spectacular diving save to keep the one goal differential. A few seconds later, Bingham set up the equalizer for Quakes captain Chris Wondolowski.
Shea Salinas, who subbed in for Cordell Cato at 65′, added his chapter to the Goonie Time legacy in stoppage time. Wondolowski managed a through-ball to Danny Hoesen off a Flo Jungwirth throw-in. Hoesen drew several defenders at the top of the box, allowing Salinas to slip unmarked into the 18 unmarked. Hoesen’s pass found its mark, and Shea’s shot was simply too much for Diop.
The Quakes sported the new-look 3-5-2, and it should be a staple going forward. The formation has given the Quakes three straight wins, including a U.S. Open Cup win over the Seattle Sounders.
While Salinas and Wondo, two Quakes players that have experienced Stanford’s Goonie Time magic before, deserve the nod for Man-of-the-Match honors, other Quakes players made a difference. Midfielder Jahmir Hyka managed four key passes and three shots. Jungwirth pitched a defensive gem: two tackles, four interceptions, three clearances, and a blocked shot.
Some Quakes showed room for improvement. Midfielder Tommy Thompson had a few opportunities to feed Wondo in the box, but opted for low-percentage shot attempts. Thompson had four shots on the night, none hit the frame, and one key pass. Defender Victor Bernardez was the culprit of Van Damme’s goal, and finished the night with zero tackles, zero interceptions, three clearances, and two aerials won.
The win puts San Jose in fourth place in the West, tied with Portland with 26 points (the Timbers own the goal differential tie-break). San Jose’s 1.44 points-per-game average is third in the West, and could herald the end of the playoff drought.
The Quakes will try for four straight on Independence Day against MLS Expansion Atlanta United. Atlanta is in fifth in the East with an impressive 5-2-0 home record.