The San Jose Earthquakes (0-3-2; 2 pts.) are heading to Texas for the first time this season to face Houston Dynamo FC at PNC Stadium on Saturday, April 9 at 5:30 p.m. PT. The match will be broadcast live on the NBC Sports App, KNBR 1050 (English), and 1370 KZSF (Spanish).
The Quakes are coming off a 2-2 home draw against Austin FC last weekend at PayPal Park. After trailing 2-0, San Jose came back to tie the game with goals from Jeremy Ebobisse and Cade Cowell in the second half. With both goals scored on set-pieces, defender Francisco Calvo credits the team’s effort but also shared that the team continues to work on other scoring opportunities beyond just set-piece attempts.
“We score from set pieces because we train them. We train them a lot, we take a lot of time on that,” explained Calvo in a press conference on Wednesday. “I’m not saying that we don’t take time on regular play, but it’s part of the game. Everybody is going to get confidence game by game and we are going to try to score more goals during the game and try to put this team where it needs to be.”
Saturday’s match also saw playing time for some of the youngsters on the first team. Eighteen-year-old Cowell started and scored a goal, while sixteen-year-old Niko Tsakiris entered the match in the 62nd minute, playing the cross that earned the Quakes their penalty kick and first goal.
Rookie midfielder Ousseni Bouda was also influential in the Quakes’ comeback draw, earning the foul that led to the penalty kick. Bouda reflected on what he was told by head coach Matias Almeyda before jumping on the pitch.
“Matias [Almeyda] just told me to go in the game and express myself, take the ball and be dangerous, make sure I track my man and that stuff,” shared Bouda on Wednesday. “I definitely came into the game with a mentality to help and make a big influence and change the game. I wish we won the game, but I think coming back from 2-0, it shows we have what it takes to always fight. This team has a team spirit, and we have quality players on the field and on the bench, who can come in and have an impact on the game.”
Houston Dynamo FC (2-1-2; 8 pts.) is currently in the seventh place in the Western Conference. After a slow start to the season, in which they did not score in their first two matches (0-1-1), Houston is 2-0-1 in their last three games, including a 3-1 win over Inter Miami CF last weekend. Colombian forward Darwin Quintero has scored three of Houston’s six goals so far this season.