San Jose Earthquakes lose to Portland at home

Christian Martinez,
Staff Writer

The San Jose Earthquakes are off to a rocky start in 2018.

San Jose lost to the Portland Timbers 1-0 on Saturday at Avaya Stadium. This loss brings the Earthquakes to a 1-2-5 this season, with their only win being the season opener against the Minnesota United FC.

This was the first meeting of the season between the two teams. San Jose made some small changes in formation this week with Shea Salinas playing center-back instead of Yeferson Quintana and Florian Jungwirth moving to left back. The rest of the starting eleven remained unchanged from the match last week against the Columbus Crew.

The match started off quickly with Portland setting the rhythm of the match instantly. For the first twenty five minutes San Jose was on the defensive as the Timbers kept pressing the ball forward and attacking. The Quakes tried to break this rhythm up by holding the ball to try and create an opening to attack or by strategically creating a foul in the midfield area of the pitch.

The first half ended scoreless but the second half of the match picked up where the first ended with the Timbers immediately putting pressure on the Earthquakes. San Jose answered the pressure with a few early chances for themselves in the 54th minute of the match.

San Jose substituted Chris Wondolowski out of the match in the 71st minute of the match when Christopher Wehan took his place. This was Wehan’s Major League Soccer debut.

The Timbers scored the only goal of the match in the 88th minute of the match to secure the win. After the Earthquakes committed a foul just outside the center of the 18-yard box, it was the Timbers captain Diego Valeri who scored. Valeri curled a free kick around the wall the Earthquakes players formed and into the top right corner of the goal just out of goalkeeper Andrew Tarbell’s reach.

“It took a lot for us to get into the game, we weren’t able to compete at first and ultimately it was a free kick that got the goal against us,” said San Jose midfielder Anibal Godoy. “Now we just have to keep moving forward and keep working.”

The game was low scoring and physical, highlighted by a slew of yellow cards and penalties.

“Yes it was a physical game, they have players like [Fanendo] Adi who protect the ball really well,” Godoy said. “We have to control the game like that, because today it cost us.”

San Jose will go on the road for their next two matches against Minnesota United FC on Saturday then against the Vancouver Whitecaps on May 16.