SAN JOSE, Calif. – The San Jose Earthquakes earned a come-from-behind 2-1 road win over the defending Supporters’ Shield winners Los Angeles Football Club on Sunday night at Banc of California Stadium. Shea Salinas and Jackson Yueill scored for San Jose, the latter coming three minutes into second-half stoppage time.
LAFC got on the board just moments before halftime through Mark-Anthony Kaye to take a 1-0 lead into the locker rooms.
The Earthquakes’ pursuit of an equalizer was fulfilled in the 80th minute when substitute Shea Salinas curled his right-footed attempt around goalkeeper Pablo Sisniega and into the side netting. San Jose continued to push on for a game-winner and found it in the 93rd minute when Cristian Espinoza sent a low cross in front of goal and Jackson Yueill cleverly flicked it around the goalkeeper.
The Quakes will now return to San Jose to host Cali Clasico rivals LA Galaxy on Saturday, Oct. 3, presented by Valley Health Plan. Kickoff from Earthquakes Stadium is set for 7:30 p.m. PT and the match will be broadcast on NBC Sports California, KNBR 1050 and 1370 KZSF.
San Jose now holds a 3-6-5 record (14 pts.) this season.
The Quakes earned their first-ever win over LAFC, and now hold a 1-5-0 record against the SoCal club in regular season play.
The Earthquakes held MLS’ scoring leader Diego Rossi to just two shots, one shot on target and zero goals. Rossi had 11 goals in 13 appearances entering Sunday’s match.
San Jose took eight shots on target, tied for second most by the club in a single game this season.
Homegrown goalkeeper JT Marcinkowski made his second start of the season and seventh of his MLS career, earning his first win. He now has a career MLS record of 1-4-2 as a starter.
Midfielder Shea Salinas scored his second goal of the season and 21st of his MLS career.
Midfielder Jackson Yueill scored his first goal of the season and fourth of his MLS career. It also marked his first career game-winning goal.
Midfielder Cristian Espinoza assisted both of San Jose’s goals. He now has six assists this season and 19 in his MLS career. Espinoza’s six assists this season rank tied for fourth in MLS. Espinoza also recorded his first game-winning assist of the season and sixth of his MLS career.
MLS Regular Season
LAFC 1 – 2 San Jose Earthquakes
Sept. 27, 2020 – Banc of California Stadium in Los Angeles, Calif.
Scoring Summary: LAFC – Mark-Anthony Kaye (Bradley Wright-Phillips) 45; SJ – Shea Salinas (Cristian Espinoza) 80; SJ – Jackson Yueill (Cristian Espinoza) 90+3.
Misconduct Summary: SJ – Andy Rios (caution) 34; SJ – Shea Salinas (caution) 76; SJ – Cristian Espinoza (caution) 83; LAFC – Francisco Ginella (caution) 90+3.
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES: JT Marcinkowski; Marcos Lopez (Shea Salinas 63), Tanner Beason, Florian Jungwirth, Nick Lima; Judson (Eric Calvillo 74), Jackson Yueill, Carlos Fierro (Cade Cowell 68), Cristian Espinoza; Andy Rios, Chris Wondolowski (Vako 63).
Substitutes not used: Luis Felipe, Said Haji, Paul Marie, Tommy Thompson, Daniel Vega.
SHOTS: 13, SHOTS ON GOAL: 8; SAVES: 2; FOULS: 13; CORNER KICKS: 1, OFFSIDES: 2.
LAFC: Pablo Sisniega; Eddie Segura, Dejan Jakovic, Diego Palacios; Latif Blessing, Jose Cifuentes (Francisco Ginella 68), Mark-Anthony Kaye (Andy Najar 84), Eduard Atuesta; Diego Rossi, Brian Rodriguez, Bradley Wright-Phillips (Danny Musovski 68).
Substitutes not used: Bryce Duke, Mohamed El-Munir, Jordan Harvey, Adrien Perez, Christian Torres, Kenneth Vermeer.
SHOTS: 13; SHOTS ON GOAL: 3; SAVES: 6; FOULS: 18; CORNER KICKS: 6, OFFSIDES: 1.
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES HEAD COACH MATIAS ALMEYDA
On tonight’s victory against LAFC:
“I think the game plan was good. We played against a powerful opponent in this league, a rival that has scored multiple goals on us every time we have played them in the past. The only thing I ask the players is that they double down against adversity. In life and in football, whoever fights is not dead. We have a team with youngsters, with many injuries, but today we were able to gain happiness; for the group, for the fans, and for the board, especially because of the opponent. And because of the uncomfortable situation in which we come from, conceding many goals [in previous games]. The players gave their soul out there, and we went back to what we were last year and in Orlando. The players gave a lot, played a lot… It’s proof that we can go for more.”
On what the game plan was for tonight:
“I told the players that not long ago we were playing good football and no player forgets how to play football if he plays. In life there are difficult moments, such as in football. We know that there is fate, that there is the possibility of changing our image, our game, and changing our attitudes. Every minute, we have not stopped working. We are spending 15 hours a day to overcome this situation. We won’t drop our arms, because personally I am used to fighting in life. The last thing that I will do is stop fighting. I am happy for this game and the players. For the fans, who haven’t felt happiness in a while. And for everyone who works for the club and allows us to work. If you watch our celebration during the game-winning goal, that’s who we are. Especially during adversity.”
On the mentally moving forward:
“Like I’ve said before, this season will continue to be difficult. We have a short-handed roster. We are depending on the youngsters so that they are more developed in future seasons. We obviously did not want to lose many games by many goals. However, one win does not change anything. The system has not changed, although it was more defensive. We try not to give up what we want to execute. It will be difficult because we have to play every game this way… Today, even through adversity, with losing so many games and conceding many goals, I think we recovered the energy that this team is known for. The unity, the wisdom to accept the moment, and to double down. Never giving up, and even if we’re on the ground, we get up. This year has been difficult. The team will not stop fighting. The celebration we had tonight, similar to the one in Orlando, shows the togetherness of this team. We do have what it takes to move forward, even considering the reality of our situation.”
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES MIDFIELDER JACKSON YUEILL
On Cristian Espinoza’s assist:
“At the beginning of the game, we talked about trust. We’ve been lacking a lot of trust in each other and ourselves, and today our one goal was to trust each other. Cristian [Espinoza] is a phenomenal player, and I had faith that he was going to beat anyone on the field tonight, and he proved it in the most important moment and was able to put in a perfect cross. I think the most important thing for everyone right now is trusting that your teammate is going to win the duel and play the right pass, and that’s what he did.”
On the team’s attitude going into tonight’s match:
“Like I said earlier, we were missing a little trust in one another and ourselves. I think in the past couple games we were losing confidence in bad moments and let the game slip away from us. Tonight, our one focus was just believe in our teammates and believe in ourselves. I think you saw that from the first whistle that we wanted to play out of the back. We didn’t care about mistakes or passing the ball wrong. I think that’s what we were missing in the other games, keeping possession when we needed to. It was super important that we got off on the right foot, and I think the aggressive mentality from everyone on the team was phenomenal tonight. Everyone put in a really hard shift. The games are so close together, and I think everyone who stepped in, started, or came in off the bench did a phenomenal job keeping the energy very high and not letting them get as many chances as they usually get in most games. I think the overall performance, mentally, was very strong for everyone.”
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES MIDFIELDER SHEA SALINAS
On how it feels to get the win after a tough stretch:
“I think, first of all, from the bench I was impressed with our fight and our energy. They are not an easy team to mark, and guys are flying around the field, getting in tackles, winning 50/50 balls, slide tackling, pressing hard, and we did not give them much space in their attacking third. I was just impressed with our guys’ effort, and then to get subbed in, you want to match that effort, bring energy to the game, and so being able to do that was good. All the guys that got subbed in brought energy, got stuck into tackles, and we were able to come out with three points, which was needed.”
On what this win means for the team moving forward:
“I think it’s a game where we can gain confidence in ourselves. All week we talked about having confidence, being able to play out of the back, and having confidence in who we are. We are the same team that everybody was talking about in Florida. We just have to believe in ourselves, and I think tonight you saw that. We were confident playing out of the back. Even when we lost the ball, we kept playing out of the back. Even when we got scored on, we kept playing. We kept getting tackles. We didn’t change our mindset. Sometimes it’s going to work like it did tonight. Sometimes it’s not, but what can’t change is our effort and our confidence in each other. So tonight, it was the confidence coming to fruition. We had confidence in ourselves, and then it came into fruition through us winning a game. Hopefully, we build on that, and we remember who we are and can keep playing that way.”