ST. LOUIS, Mo. – The San Jose Earthquakes fell to St. Louis CITY SC 3-0 on Saturday evening at CITYPARK in St. Louis, Mo. It marked the first-ever match between the two teams and snapped San Jose’s winning streak at two.
San Jose entered the match without midfielder Jamiro Monteiro due to a red-card suspension, and lost another central midfielder when Carlos Gruezo exited the match with an injury in the 29th minute. St. Louis capitalized just five minutes later on a goal by Nicholas Gioacchini and added a second in first-half stoppage time.
After making two additional subs at halftime, the Quakes created a few dangerous chances at the start of the second half but couldn’t capitalize. St. Louis solidified their victory with a third goal in the 68th minute.
The Earthquakes will now return to San Jose to host Toronto FC on Saturday, March 25. The match will kick off from PayPal Park at 7:30 p.m. PT and will be streamed globally on MLS Season Pass (Apple TV), as well as on local radio via 810 AM The Spread (English) and 1370 KZSF (Spanish).
The Earthquakes currently hold a 2-2-0 record (6 pts.) in the 2023 MLS regular season.
San Jose is now 0-1-0 all-time vs. St. Louis CITY SC, including a 0-1-0 record on the road.
Tommy Thompson made his first start of the season and first start in the midfield since Oct. 28, 2018.
San Jose’s two defeats this season have come against the top-two teams in MLS, who have a combined record of 7-0-1 (STL & ATL).
2023 MLS Regular Season
St. Louis CITY SC 3 – 0 San Jose Earthquakes
Saturday, March 18, 2023 – CITYPARK in St. Louis, Mo.
STL (1-0) – Nicholas Gioacchini (unassisted) 34’
STL (2-0) – João Klauss (unassisted) 45+3’
STL (3-0) – Tomas Ostrák (unassisted) 68’
SJ – Rodrigues (caution) 14’
SJ – Miguel Trauco (caution) 40’
SJ – Benji Kikanović (caution) 46’
SJ – Cade Cowell (caution) 64’
SJ – Michael Baldisimo (caution) 66’
STL – Eduard Loewen (caution) 90+4’
ST. LOUIS CITY SC: Roman Bürki (C); Jake Nerwinski, John Nelson, Kyle Hiebert, Lucas Bartlett; Jared Stroud (Miguel Perez 65’), Eduard Loewen, Indiana Vassilev (Aziel Jackson 86’), Rasmus Alm (Tomas Ostrák 57’); João Klauss (Sam Adeniran 65’), Nicholas Gioacchini (Celio Pompeu 87’).
Substitutes not used: Ben Lundt (GK), Selmir Pidro, Josh Yaro.
SHOTS: 20; SHOTS ON GOAL: 8; FOULS: 16; CORNER KICKS: 8; SAVES: 2
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES: JT Marcinkowski; Miguel Trauco (Paul Marie 46’), Rodrigues (Tanner Beason 58’), Jonathan Mensah, Carlos Akapo; Carlos Gruezo (Michael Baldisimo 29’), Tommy Thompson (Benji Kikanović 46’), Jackson Yueill (C); Cade Cowell (Ousseni Bouda 83’), Jeremy Ebobisse, Cristian Espinoza.
Substitutes not used: Oskar Ågren, Daniel Munie, Emi Ochoa (GK), Jack Skahan.
SHOTS: 13; SHOTS ON GOAL: 2; FOULS: 8; CORNER KICKS: 5; SAVES: 5
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES HEAD COACH LUCHI GONZALEZ
On Carlos Gruezo’s injury:
“It’s unfortunate for him and for the team. He’s really important to us in what he does in terms of ball recovery and intensity, in leading us, and energy. We’re analyzing that. Hopefully it’s nothing too serious. He’s supposed to join the [Ecuador] national team, so we’re going to have to see how this works moving forward. That’s not ideal when you play a team like St. Louis.”
On tonight’s match:
“To their credit, St. Louis CITY SC was in full throttle, they were very aggressive. I thought we matched that very early. In fact, I thought we created some of the better chances early in the game. We started well. We lost some momentum, probably when Carlos left the game, but we have to show we’re a team. This is a collective game, and it’s important we show our depth. It didn’t go our way, and we weren’t able to maintain our intensity and get the objective done for the game. But we have to learn from that, and we want to compete better than tonight. We had good moments to compete. I thought even in the second half we could have made it 2-1. That can change the game early in the second half, but we were unfortunate to put those away and then they increased their energy. They got their third [goal] and put the game away. Again, we’re disappointed, we know we can do better, and we’re going to learn from it. We’ll have some guys missing next week against Toronto, but we have to show again what kind of squad and depth and mentality we have to respond at home against Toronto.”
On facing player injuries and turning their focus to next Saturday:
“We’ve had some challenges with injuries and depth in the last few weeks. Losing Niko [Tsakiris] and Judson in the midfield a few weeks ago doesn’t help. Hopefully they can be back soon. Losing Nathan in preseason, a center back, did give us the opportunity to bring in a player like Jonathan Mensah, who has been really positive for the group on and off the field. We lost Daniel the other day to a meniscus injury, and he will be back in 4-6 weeks. And then tonight with Gruezo going down, Rodrigues going down, we lost some physicality, some bite, some speed, some power. These are things that are part of the game. Every team is going to have these challenges. Of course, I want all our players healthy so we can be full force, but we have to show, even when we’re missing guys, that we have a way of playing, that we have a team mentality, we have depth, we have pride, and how we want to compete. That’s the opportunity we have now to respond and show that depth, show that identity, and when it doesn’t go our way, how do we make it better even with challenges, adversity, and injuries. Doing it at home next week is our opportunity to show that.”
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES MIDFIELDER TOMMY THOMPSON
On playing as a midfielder and on Gruezo’s injury:
“I felt good. I have been playing there a lot in practice and in preseason, so it’s allowed me to get comfortable in this system. I like this system a lot. I can get plugged in and a couple of different spots in the field, so I’m just happy to contribute to this team in any way that I can. Any first half injury is going to play a role. It’s disappointing to see that happen. I haven’t heard exactly what happened or what the status is right now, but it was disappointing. I hope [Gruezo] is alright. But at the end of the day, we got guys ready on the bench to come in. We’re going to need our depth for these next two games, especially with guys leaving for national team duties as well.”
On his thoughts about the atmosphere at CITYPARK:
“These are the atmospheres you want to play in front of. We were excited entering the game. I thought we started off strong and we were ready to go. But of course, letting up multiple goals before halftime is going to put you in a difficult spot. But it was a great atmosphere here in St. Louis. These are the nights that you want as a pro soccer player. I wish it would have gone differently, but it was a great atmosphere.”
On tonight’s takeaways and looking onward to the upcoming games:
“It wasn’t our night tonight. That was clear. It’s disappointing to have multiple injuries happen in the game, especially ones that take place in the first half. That’s the disappointment, but at the end of the day, we have to lift our heads up. I think we’ve started this season strong. We had a good showing in Atlanta for the majority of that game, and then two wins at home is huge. Coming to St. Louis and the environment that they’ve build here is always going to be a challenge. We’re disappointed, we’re going to reflect on it, but then we’re going to come back at home with the same attitude that we brought against Vancouver and Colorado. These next two home games are big, and it’s a great opportunity for us to respond and bounce back.”