Sept. 25, 2021
MATCH RECAP: Earthquakes 2, LAFC 0Reigning MLS Player of the Week Chofis tallies one goal and one assist
SAN JOSE, Calif. – The San Jose Earthquakes defeated Los Angeles Football Club 2-0 on Saturday night at PayPal Park. The Quakes are now 5-2-4 in their last 11 matches and are just three points below the playoff line in the Western Conference. San Jose also extended their winning streak vs. LAFC to four matches.
The Quakes jumped out to an early lead in the third minute. Chofis, the reigning MLS Player of the Week, played a through ball past multiple defenders to Benji Kikanovic, who dribbled around the goalkeeper before passing the ball into the empty net.
San Jose then doubled their lead in the 47th minute. Marcos Lopez played a pass across the front of goal and Chofis first timed his shot past goalkeeper Tomas Romero. Chofis has now tallied six goals and an assist in the last three matches.
Quakes goalkeeper JT Marcinkowski made three saves in the shutout. It marked his fourth shutout of the season and second shutout victory.
The Earthquakes will remain in San Jose to host Seattle Sounders FC on Wednesday, Sept. 29, presented by Intermedia. Wednesday marks the Quakes’ annual College Night and will kick off from PayPal Park at 7:30 p.m. PT. The match will be broadcast on NBC Sports Bay Area Plus, KNBR 1050 and KZSF 1370.
The Earthquakes now hold an 8-9-9 record (33 pts.) during the 2021 MLS regular season and are currently in 10th place in the Western Conference, just three points below the playoff line.
The Quakes extended their winning streak against LAFC to four. San Jose is now 4-5-0 all-time vs. LAFC, including a 3-2-0 record at home.
San Jose earned their second shutout victory of the season and first since July 31 (1-0 vs. SEA). Tonight’s win was also the first at PayPal Park since Aug. 8 against LAFC (W 2-1). It marked the Quakes’ first shutout victory by multiple goals since Oct. 28, 2020 vs. RSL (2-0).
Midfielder Chofis scored his team-leading 11th goal of the season and 11th of his MLS career. He has now scored six goals in the last three matches and is the league’s leading scorer during the month of September (6). He has also scored in consecutive matches vs. LAFC. Additionally, Chofis tallied an assist on Kikanovic’s goal, marking his third assist of the season and first game-winning assist.
Chofis became the first Earthquakes player to score in three straight matches since Vako in July 2019.
Rookie forward Benji Kikanovic scored his second goal of the season and of his MLS career. He has now tallied one goal and one assist in the last two matches.
Defender Marcos Lopez tallied an assist on Chofis’ goal, marking his first assist of the season and fourth of his MLS career.
Goalkeeper JT Marcinkowski secured his fourth shutout of the season and ninth of his MLS career.
Midfielder Shea Salinas entered the match as a substitute in the 82nd minute, marking his first appearance since Sept. 4 against the Colorado Rapids.
MLS Regular SeasonSan Jose Earthquakes 2 – 0 Los Angeles Football ClubSept. 25, 2021 – PayPal Park in San Jose, Calif.Attendance: 16,927Man of the Match: Chofis
Scoring Summary:SJ (1-0) – Benji Kikanovic (Chofis) 3’SJ (2-0) – Chofis (Marcos Lopez) 47′
Misconduct Summary:SJ – Nathan (caution) 31’SJ – Cristian Espinoza (caution) 34’LAFC – Danny Crisostomo (caution) 39’SJ – Luciano Abecasis (caution) 64’LAFC – Jose Cifuentes (caution) 75’SJ – Marcos Lopez (caution) 86’LAFC – Raheem Edwards (caution) 90+5′
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES: JT Marcinkowski; Marcos Lopez (Cade Cowell 88), Nathan, Oswaldo Alanis, Luciano Abecasis; Eric Remedi, Judson; Chofis (Shea Salinas 82), Jackson Yueill, Cristian Espinoza (Tommy Thompson 76); Benji Kikanovic (Chris Wondolowski 88).
Substitutes not used: Carlos Fierro, Paul Marie, Andy Rios, Jack Skahan, Daniel Vega.
SHOTS: 7; SHOTS ON GOAL: 2; FOULS: 17; CORNER KICKS: 0; SAVES: 3
LAFC: Tomas Romero, Mamadou Fall, Diego Palacios (Raheem Edwards 59), Sebastien Ibeagha (Marco Farfan 58), Moon-Hwan Kim (Latif Blessing 59), Jesus Murillo, Francisco Ginella, Jose Cifuentes, Daniel Crisostomo, Danny Musovski (Bryce Duke 59), Cristian Arango.
Substitutes not used: Jamal Blackmon, Jordan Harvey, Pablo Sisniega.
SHOTS: 13; SHOTS ON GOAL: 3; FOULS: 21; CORNER KICKS: 3; SAVES: 0
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES HEAD COACH MATIAS ALMEYDA
On his tactics in tonight’s match:“I think we played a really intelligent game. We planned for this type of game against the formation that the opponent has been using. The players understood and responded well to the formation change we made.”
On Benji Kikanovic’s contributions and his growth:“I think Benji is one of the young players that is learning day-by-day. He has perfectly understood the identity we want the players to have at San Jose. He is a player with pace, he is good in the aerial game and has great technique. He really works a lot for the team. He was able to put away the chance that came from a great pass from Chofis. He also worked hard in the defensive phase. I am really pleased when the young players perform well. It makes me happy for them and for the club.”
On his conversations with the players about playoffs:“For us, as long as the math is there, we will try to be competitive, and we will compete until the end. They know the mentality I try to transmit to them. Sometimes we see that reflected, other times we are missing a bit, but we are generally happy with it.”
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES MIDFIELDER JACKSON YUEILL
On the team’s formation and how it impacted the match:“These last 10 games here, we know that we need to get wins, and wins at home in particular and part of that is being able to control the ball and how we press. Having Eric [Remedi], Judson and myself in the midfield really helps the team a lot. It’s important to try and fit everyone in there, and fit Chofis in there in his natural position as the number 10 and get him the ball as much as possible. I think it was a little bit of what LAFC showed and trying to work against them and finding the right spots to get Chofis on the ball and finding the right passes in behind. As you saw on the first goal, he was able to do that. The plan was to get him on the ball in central locations and try to work around him and try to eliminate LAFC’s quality as well. That was the reasoning for that, and I think it worked out well today.”
On the team’s form in the upcoming stretch run:“I think there are still a lot of games left. It’s still really close and these two games were important for us. We’ve narrowed down to the last third of the season. We learned from our first year to last year of when to push and when to hit our stride. We hit a really good stride last year going into the playoffs and that helped us a lot. I think the team is in a really good spot. Collectively, as a group, how we’re interacting, the motivation and dialogue in the locker room is really positive and great and it showed tonight that the guys have a desire to win. Even though it’s going to be close up until the end, the guys have the desire to push for the playoffs and try to get up in the table as high as we can and play as best as we can.”
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES FORWARD BENJI KIKANOVIC
On the goal and his run:“I knew it right as Chofis got the ball. All three of the defenders looked at him and I was like, ‘I’m going to run in behind them.’ I know Chofis is good enough to play me the ball on time and play me a good-weighted ball and I just went. He played it on time, and I took a touch past the goalkeeper and just put it away. It was a great ball by Chofis and there’s not much to it.”
On his previous comments about wanting to be more involved:“I thought I did better than last game. I think each game, as long I’m improving, it’s good for me and good for the team. Obviously, it wasn’t the best, but it is what it is and we got the win and we’re just going to keep on going. I think the more that I play and as I get more minutes under my belt, I should be alright. But I think tonight was much better than last game. It’s an improvement but it’s not good enough.”
Jake Pisani – 408-556-7774 – email@example.com
Pedro Ortiz – 408-556-3415 – firstname.lastname@example.org
San Jose Earthquakes vs. Los Angeles FC (LAFC), August 8, 2021
Aug. 8, 2021
MATCH RECAP: Earthquakes 2, Los Angeles FC 1Quakes extend unbeaten streak to seven, Ebobisse makes Quakes debut
SAN JOSE, Calif. – The San Jose Earthquakes defeated LAFC 2-1 on Sunday afternoon at PayPal Park. The victory sees the Earthquakes extend their unbeaten streak to seven (2-0-5), the longest active streak in Major League Soccer. Forward Jeremy Ebobisse, acquired via trade with Portland on Thursday, made his Earthquakes debut.
San Jose took the lead in the 11th minute. Cristian Espinoza sent a free kick towards the near post and Nathan got just enough on the ball to redirect it past goalkeeper Tomas Romero. The Quakes added a second 17 minutes later when Espinoza dribbled past his defender and laid off a pass to Chofis, who scored with a low shot from close range.
LAFC would halve the lead minutes before halftime when a Carlos Vela free kick caromed off Quakes midfielder Jackson Yueill for an own goal.
Earthquakes goalkeeper JT Marcinkowski made six total saves in the victory. He has allowed no more than a single goal in all of the Quakes’ last six matches.
The Earthquakes will remain in San Jose to host Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Friday, Aug. 13, presented by CEFCU. The match kicks off from PayPal Park at 7:30 p.m. PT and will be broadcast live on NBC Sports Bay Area, KNBR 1050 and 1370 KZSF.
The Earthquakes now hold a 5-7-6 record (21 pts.) during the 2021 MLS regular season and are currently in 10th place in the Western Conference.
The Quakes extended their unbeaten streak to seven matches (2-0-5). It marks the club’s first unbeaten stretch of 7+ matches in a single season since the final seven matches of 2013 (5-0-2).
The Quakes extended their winning streak against LAFC to three. San Jose is now 3-5-0 all-time vs. LAFC, including a 2-2-0 record at home.
Defender Nathan scored his second goal of the season and the second of his MLS career. He has now scored two goals in his first seven appearances with the Quakes.
Midfielder Chofis scored his fifth goal of the season and the fifth of his MLS career, making him the team’s goal leader. He has now scored in each of the last two matches. Today’s goal marked the first game-winning goal of his MLS career.
Midfielder Cristian Espinoza tallied assists on Nathan and Chofis’ goals, marking his fifth and sixth assists of the season and 27th and 28th of his MLS career. It marks the first time an Earthquakes player tallied two or more assists in a single match since April 24, 2021 (Cade Cowell; two vs. D.C. United). Espinoza has now tallied six assists, including two game-winning assists, in six regular season appearances vs. LAFC.
Midfielder Jackson Yueill made his 100th MLS appearance, starting and playing 90 minutes.
Forward Jeremy Ebobisse made his Earthquakes debut, entering the match as a substitute in the 36th minute.
MLS Regular SeasonSan Jose Earthquakes 2 – 1 Los Angeles Football ClubAug. 8, 2021 – PayPal Park in San Jose, Calif.Attendance: 18,000 (sellout)Michelob Man of the Match: Cristian Espinoza
Scoring Summary: SJ – Nathan (Cristian Espinoza) 11; SJ – Chofis (Cristian Espinoza) 28; LAFC – Jackson Yueill (own goal) 39.
Misconduct Summary: LAFC – Jesus Murillo (caution) 10; SJ – Cade Cowell (caution) 38; SJ – Jeremy Ebobisse (caution) 76; LAFC – Diego Rossi (caution) 78.
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES: JT Marcinkowski; Luciano Abecasis (Jeremy Ebobisse 36), Oswaldo Alanis, Nathan, Tanner Beason; Shea Salinas (Carlos Fierro 70), Judson, Jackson Yueill (Chris Wondolowski 83), Cristian Espinoza, Chofis (Eric Remedi 70); Cade Cowell (Paul Marie 46).
Substitutes not used: Siad Haji, Andy Rios, Jack Skahan, Daniel Vega.
SHOTS: 15; SHOTS ON GOAL: 4; FOULS: 12; CORNER KICKS: 6; SAVES: 6
LAFC: Tomas Romero, Diego Palacios, Tristan Blackmon, Moonhwan Kim, Jesus Murillo (Mamadou Fall 46); Francisco Ginella (Danny Musovski 74), Jose Cifuentes (Latif Blessing 63), Eduard Atuesta; Carlos Vela, Brian Rodriguez (Diego Rossi 46), Cristian Arango (Raheem Edwards 68).
Substitutes not used: Daniel Crisostomo, Marco Farfan, Sebastien Ibeagha, Pablo Sisniega.
SHOTS: 16; SHOTS ON GOAL: 6; FOULS: 14; CORNER KICKS: 3; SAVES: 2
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES HEAD COACH MATIAS ALMEYDA
On the team’s improvement:“I do think that we have improved a lot. We have modified some things. We have to keep on improving in order to grow. Keeping in mind the teams we are up against and the way we are playing, I think there has been a lot of growth. We have to stay on this path and that is the most important thing.”
On the debut of Jeremy Ebobisse:“I think it was sped up because I had to make a quick change. I think he Is a player that will give San Jose a lot. Whenever a player wins on their debut, that is important. He and his teammates gave their maximum effort.”
On Nathan’s impact on the Quakes:“I think he is an excellent reinforcement. Game after game, he has been adapting very well. He is a great professional and teammate. Nathan and his teammates keep growing game after game.”
On Chofis’ form and recent performances:“I am looking at Chofis’ form from a day-to-day perspective. He is very professional. He is focused on growing and improving, I don’t think he’s even realized his potential. He is performing well. He still has room to improve and he is in search of reaching that level I think he can get to. He went a year and half without playing and the season he is having says a lot about him.”
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES MIDFIELDER CRISTIAN ESPINOZA
On the tactical changes during today’s match:”I think the team did well because we had been training with different tactical options during the week. We were ready so that each one of us knew what to do in case there would be a tactical change during the game.”
On his thoughts on Jeremy Ebobisse since his arrival:“He’s great player, complete, very technical and powerful. As he continues to train more and more, he will continue to adapt better to Matias’ style of play, although I think he did well today. Hopefully we can help him in the best way possible in the attack.”
On what the team needs to do to earn more wins and extend the unbeaten streak:“I think it’s fundamental that we continue to keep the order that we’ve had in these last few matches. The last three or four matches were against really good teams, the best in the league in my opinion. We’ve done well. We’ve been able to take the victory in two of them, so I think it’s about keeping order and continue to be a team that gets better physically. We know there are a lot of things that we need to improve on, both defensively and offensively. We’re on the right path to accomplish our goal.”
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES FORWARD JEREMY EBOBISSE
On debuting at PayPal Park:“It’s better to play for them than against. I’ve had some tough experiences playing here at PayPal Park. It was always a battle, and you can feel the energy that they fed to the team and the team would run with it and put us under a ton of pressure. To have them on our back this time was reenergizing, and it was great to get a big win against LAFC in front of them and I think there’s many more to come.”
On adjusting to the pace of the match:“I think it was up to getting up to speed on the tactics as quickly as possible, understanding who was coming out and who was sliding into which position and making sure my entry into the game didn’t cause any setbacks from a tactical perspective. From there, it was about enjoying the game and coming out with energy and feeling natural. I think for my first game, I did that pretty well and I was pleased with the connection with the wingers and the way they read my touches on the ball and they were able to find the spaces that I would eventually put the ball in. Then obviously in a striker you look for goals and I understand that’s something I’ll be looking to contribute even more in my next performances. I think we got into good spaces as a team. The pressure put LAFC under a lot of difficulty. Our counter-attacks and the way we built up put them in tough spots as well. We have threats from every position on the field and it’s about utilizing that and complimenting each other moving forward.”
On his transition into San Jose:“It was a really warm welcome from everyone, starting with the fans and getting into the locker room with players, coaches. Everyone in the team environment has been super open and have been trying to make it as easy as possible for me to feel settled in. Once we get onto the field, we all speak the same language, the language of the sport and we start to see different connections popping up. It’s just really exciting and refreshing to be in this environment. There’s more for me to give from a personality standpoint and then from a footballing standpoint. The first couple of days, with the hectic nature of packing up, taking a flight and getting acquainted with a new system, meeting everyone and getting to know different names and different tendencies, I think it’s been a relatively smooth transition.”
Jake Pisani – 408-556-7774 – email@example.com
Pedro Ortiz – 408-556-3415 – firstname.lastname@example.org