Match Recap

MATCH RECAP: Earthquakes 3, LAFC 1


SANTA CLARA, Calif. The San Jose Earthquakes defeated Los Angeles FC 3-1 on Saturday afternoon at Levi’s Stadium in front of 43,774 fans.Rodrigues opened the scoring for the hosts in the fifith minute with a header from a corner kick courtesy of a Cristian Espinoza service. Though LAFC threatened to close the half, they could not secure the equalizer before intermission.

In the second half, San Jose doubled the advantage in the 55th minute when Espinoza fed Amahl Pellegrino, who promptly netted for his second goal of the season. Four minutes later, another Espinoza corner kick found its way to the back of the net. The visitors pulled one back in the 69th minute through Cristian Olivera, but for the second straight season, San Jose emerged victorious at Levi’s Stadium.

The Quakes will now prepare to host Oakland Roots SC in the 2024 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Round of 32 at PayPal Park on Tuesday, May 7. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. PT and will be streamed live on,, and


San Francisco 49ers All-Pro linebacker Fred Warner was flanked by Mexican National Team legend Oswaldo Sánchez and boxing world title contender Ruben Villa as he fired the siren before the match.

The Quakes are 7-8-1 against LAFC in MLS play overall with a 6-2-0 record at home, including six straight victories across PayPal Park and Levi’s Stadium.

Cristian Espinoza had two assists, marking his third multi-assist game of the season. He now has four goals and 11 assists against LAFC all-time.

Designated Player Hernán López made his debut for San Jose after halftime.

With the goal, Rodrigues has now scored or assisted in his third consecutive match.

San Jose Earthquakes 3 - 1 Los Angeles FC

Saturday, May 4, 2024 – Levi‘s Stadium; Santa Clara, Calif.

Weather: 55° Mostly Cloudy

Attendance: 43,774

Man of the Match Presented by Coors Light: Cristian Espinoza

Match Officials:

Referee: Victor Rivas

AR1: Cory Richardson

AR2: Jeffrey Greeson

4th: Elijio Arreguin

VAR: Jose Carlos Rivero

AVAR: Tom Supple

Scoring Summary:

SJ (1-0) – Rodrigues (Cristian Espinoza) 5’

SJ (2-0) – Amahl Pellegrino (Cristian Espinoza) 55’
SJ (3-0) – Denis Bouanga (own goal) 59’

LAFC (3-1) – Cristian Olivera (Kei Kamara) 69’

Misconduct Summary:

SJ – Jack Skahan (caution) 10’

LAFC – Maxime Chanot (caution) 25’

LAFC – Sergi Palencia (caution) 61’

SJ – Vítor Costa (caution) 75’

SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES: William Yarbrough; Bruno Wilson, Rodrigues (Tanner Beason 90’), Carlos Akapo, Vítor Costa (Paul Marie 89’); Caros Gruezo, Jackson Yueill (C), Jack Skahan (Hernán López 46’); Amahl Pellegrino (Benji Kikanović 69’), Cristian Espinoza, Jeremy Ebobisse (Preston Judd 78’).

Substitutes not used: Emi Ochoa (GK), Alfredo Morales, Daniel Munie, Niko Tsakiris.

SHOTS: 15; SHOTS ON GOAL: 3; CORNERS: 4; SAVES: 6; FOULS: 14; xG: 2.0

LOS ANGELES FC: Hugo Lloris; Jesus Murillo, Sergi Palencia, Ryan Hollingshead (Omar Campos 67’), Maxime Chanot; Ilie Sanchez (C), Timothy Tillman; Mateusz Bogusz (Kei Kamara 67’), Eduard Atuesta; Cristian Olivera, Denis Bouanga.

Substitutes not used: Abraham Romero (GK); Tomas Angel, Erik Duenas, Aaron Long, Luis Mueller, Nathan Ordaz, Eddie Segura.

SHOTS: 18; SHOTS ON GOAL: 7; CORNERS: 7; SAVES: 1; FOULS: 14; xG: 1.9


On the win being embraced by a hungry fan base as evidenced by the sizable crowd at Levi’s Stadium:

“This is a soccer-crazy region. We have three major cities and have all the supporting communities. ... This is one of the top cities in the country for the game. To see them come out tonight in big number and support the team, on the 50th anniversary, Hernán's [debut] game, it gave us a lot of momentum and it makes a difference and give us the extra energy to honor that and give it back to them.”

On Cristian Espinoza’s two assists:

"I know he's a leading assister not only on the team, but in the league, and has been consistent over the seasons. He's lethal and relentless, he trains like that and it is great to reward him and his teammates. I'm really happy to have two set pieces scored tonight and not concede and give up zero defensively.”

On William Yarbrough’s performance in goal:

“It was a great night for him. I thought he was dominant in crosses and shot-blocking. We've had our challenges in goal ... It is why we brought in William for this type of experience.”

On the decision when to bring on new Designated Player Hernán López as a substitute for midfielder Jack Skahan:

“It was not a plan to sub at half but it was always the idea that Hernán could have a role in this game, especially since he felt ready for it and he was cleared for it. I thought Jack had a really good first half. … He was dangerous. … He picked up an early yellow [card] that was unnecessary. He knows better. There was some aggressive play. That we love by him, with intensity that almost teetered the line of another foul or yellow so we didn’t want to risk it and we thought it was an opportune moment to get Hernán in the game.”


On winning at Levi’s with the large crowd behind the team:

“It was a really great experience to play a huge game like this on a huge stadium, envoy was amazing, People came to have a party and I think the team showed that each game lives [its] own lives. We haven’t been so good this season, but derby games are always different so it was a great response and it was cool to play in this game and it was an important three points.”

On scoring the go-ahead goal off a feed from Cristian Espinoza:

“I know Cristian has one of the best right [feet] in the league. I like to go behind the defender to attack that space and when I saw he got the ball, I just hoped he would swing it to me, and he did it. It was a fantastic ball and made my job easy. To get the right touch and go past the goalkeeper. It went in and it was a good feeling. I hope we can keep doing what we’ve doing the last two games and build on this.”

On overall thoughts from the game and matching up with LAFC:

“We had a good training week and worked on a lot of how to attack this game and I feel we were really tight in defense. When we had the ball we attacked the space and made big problems for them. We could’ve scored more goals, and we had a good goalkeeper today, so we could’ve conceded more goals too. It was an important win for the team.”

On using this win as momentum after the early-season struggles:

“Soccer is an easy thing when you have confidence. To get a huge win like this with a good performance, too, makes things more easy because you start to believe in what you’re doing in the training weeks. So we just have to continue and don’t think we beat LAFC and everything is good now and things will go by itself. That’s not how it is. We have to continue to work hard in the training [every] week. Of course now we have another cup game [on Tuesday], but try to have this momentum and keep going.”


On his connections with the team, namely Cristian Espinoza, Luchi Gonzalez and others:

“It felt really good being able to get on the field and being able to get situated with my teammates. I felt good. … I have a lot of mutual friends with Cristian. We didn’t know each other beforehand, but I got his [phone] number when I knew that playing for San Jose was an option. I spoke to him and just like Luchi was a reason that I came, just like [general manager] Chris Leitch was a reason that I came, so was Cristian and the way that he took me under his wing to bring me into this area.”

On his preparation for today after being cleared to play earlier than expected:

“Obviously I didn’t know that I was going to play. Once I found out I was ready and focused. I’ve been ready to make that move here. It was something that made me a little nervous. I’m not going to lie, but I took it in stride. I was prepared for it and excited to get out there and show what I’ve got.”

On making an impact on both sides of the ball during his 45 minutes:

“I’m clearly an offensive player, but I strive to be a complete player. I have to be additive on both sides of the field. I know that my offense is my calling card, but defensively I have to dig in sometimes, and that’s what I did in the second half.”