SANTA CLARA, Calif. – The San Jose Earthquakes are unbeaten in their last seven home matches, having not lost at Buck Shaw Stadium since the very first match of the season.
Yet it didn’t feel like that streak was worthy of significant celebration Saturday in the wake of a 1-1 tie with Colorado.
Last year, the Quakes won 10 of 17 regular-season home matches – nine of 15 when talking exclusively about their primary home of Buck Shaw Stadium. So far this season, San Jose are 3-1-4 at the friendly confines, which means they’d have to go 7-0-2 the rest of the way to match 2012’s productivity.
Colorado coach Osacr Pareja might as well have been speaking for both locker rooms when he told reporters, “The boys deserved more. …If we have that killer instinct, I thought we would have come out with three points.”
That would be far preferable for the Quakes than debating whether the club’s streak is a half-full or half-empty stretch of the season.
“On one hand, we can say, ‘OK, we’re not getting beat,’” said center back Jason Hernandez, who returned from a seven-match absence due to injury. “That’s a positive. But we like to think we should be winning these matches. It’s good not to be losing matches, but at the same time, we expect a lot from ourselves. And we expect to win games. That’s the attitude we’re always going to have.”
San Jose sits second among MLS clubs with six ties on the season, one back of league-leading Portland (4-1-7). One side effect of that factoid is that it helps keep to a minimum the finger-pointing that one might see during a long losing streak.
“It’s a little disappointing to us not to get three points, but it’s also important to stay positive as a team and take the positives and move forward,” forward Alan Gordon said. “We’re going to get nothing out of getting down on ourselves. It’s not what we’re about. We’re going to stay positive, stay together and we’re going to move forward. We fought well tonight. We’ve just got to get the result.”
Coach Frank Yallop could take heart in the fact that he had his widest array of players available to him of any match so far this season, including a starting XI that was pretty much the best the Quakes have to offer.
“It’s not from lack of effort,” Yallop said. “It’s a problem if it is, but it isn’t. I like our effort right now, our drive. We’ve just got to play with a little more confidence, a little more guile around the goal. I wouldn’t say everybody’s available, but it feels a lot better, what we’ve got on the field. I feel confident that [if] those guys can stay healthy, we will score more goals than the opposition here.”
For the Quakes, that can’t start happening soon enough.