match recap oct 23

SAN JOSE, Calif. – The San Jose Earthquakes tied Vancouver Whitecaps FC 1-1 on Saturday night at PayPal Park. The match also featured a halftime ceremony honoring members of the 2001 MLS Cup championship team. 

San Jose had a number of scoring chances in the first half but were held off the scoreboard in part due to a strong performance by Vancouver goalkeeper Maxime Crepeau.

Whitecaps FC then struck first in the 53rd minute. Brian White hit a low shot from distance that was saved by goalkeeper JT Marcinkowski, but the loose ball fell to Bruno Gaspar for the point-blank shot.

The Quakes responded just seven minutes later. Cristian Espinoza played a long cross to 21-year-old Benji Kikanovic, who volleyed the ball far post. 

Neither team were able to find a second goal and were forced to take share points.

The Quakes will now prepare for two road matches, traveling first to Oregon to face the Portland Timbers on Wednesday, Oct. 27. The match will kick off at 7 p.m. PT and will be broadcast on NBC Sports California, KNBR 1050 and 1370 KZSF.

GAME NOTES

The Earthquakes now hold a 9-12-10 record (37 pts.) during the 2021 MLS regular season and are currently in 10th place in the Western Conference.

San Jose is now 8-10-11 all-time vs. Vancouver, including a 5-1-8 record at home.

Forward Benji Kikanovic scored his fourth goal of the season and of his MLS career. He has now scored one goal in each of the last two matches and three goals in his last six appearances.

Midfielders Cristian Espinoza and Eric Remedi each tallied an assist on Kikanovic’s goal, marking their fourth and first assists on the season and their 30th and fourth assists of their MLS career, respectively. Espinoza’s 30th career assist sees him move past Landon Donovan and Eric Wynalda and into sole possession of eighth place in Quakes history.

MATCH INFORMATION

MLS Regular Season

San Jose Earthquakes 1 – 1 Vancouver Whitecaps FC

Oct. 23, 2021 – PayPal Park in San Jose, Calif.

Attendance: 15,025

Man of the Match: Benji Kikanovic

Scoring Summary:

VAN (1-0) – Bruno Gaspar (unassisted) 53’

SJ (1-1) – Benji Kikanovic (Cristian Espinoza, Eric Remedi) 60’

Misconduct Summary:

SJ – Tommy Thompson (caution) 45+1’

SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES: JT Marcinkowski; Paul Marie (Jack Skahan 82), Tanner Beason, Jackson Yueill, Tommy Thompson (Shea Salinas 69); Eric Remedi, Chofis (Chris Wondolowski 69), Cristian Espinoza (Carlos Fierro 69); Benji Kikanovic, Andy Rios (Cade Cowell 82), Jeremy Ebobisse.

Substitutes not used: Oswaldo Alanis, Siad Haji, Judson, Daniel Vega.

SHOTS: 16; SHOTS ON GOAL: 3; FOULS: 13; CORNER KICKS: 5; SAVES: 1

VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC: Maxime Crepeau; Ranko Veselinovic, Bruno Gaspar, Erik Godoy (Jake Nerwinski 85), Florian Jungwirth, Deiber Caicedo (Lucas Cavallini 63), Leonard Owusu (Michael Baldisimo 63), Ryan Gauld (Ryan Raposo 85), Russell Teibert; Cristian Dajome (Javain Brown 71), Brian White.

Substitutes not used: Thomas Hasal, Marcus Godinho, Cristian Gutierrez, Patrick Metcalfe.

SHOTS: 7; SHOTS ON GOAL: 3; FOULS: 16; CORNER KICKS: 11; SAVES: 0

SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES HEAD COACH MATIAS ALMEYDA

On tonight’s result:

“We wanted the win. The guys played a great game. They played with devotion and had many goal-scoring chances. We needed to be sharper in the end. Vancouver had a great performance from their goalkeeper. I am satisfied on one hand because the young players are growing. I will keep repeating that once the young players have 20 to 30 matches played, they will be important players in this league.”

On Jackson Yueill’s surprise role as a center back:

“There were many matches in which Eric Remedi and Jackson were center backs in the second half. This is not improvised, it’s something we have practiced. Jackson played as if he’s been a center back his whole life. I am assured in knowing there is a clean outlet in him, short and long passes that are precise, intelligent to double down in the defense. I want him to be a leader and perform this way. The goal is for him to play in Europe. Since my arrival, I have tried to turn him into a more complete player. He’s played behind the strikers, as a double pivot, holding mid, and as a center back. He’s made some contributions in our last four points.”

On the team’s urgency to qualify for playoffs:

“Since preseason, we have been working to qualify for playoffs. As the season went on, we realized there were moments when we were and weren’t competitive. There are games that show what we look for from San Jose, and it’s these types of matches. These games hurt when you don’t win them, but they offer a lesson to everyone. A team with these expectations can’t go the distance with the number of points that we have. I congratulate the players because although we are far from playoffs, they showed devotion as if they were playing a final and that is the San Jose we want. When we can maintain this consistency, the team will be better.”

SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES FORWARD BENJI KIKANOVIC

On the goal:

“I know when Cristian [Espinoza] gets the ball out wide, he’s going to whip it in super hard. I just put myself in a position where I’m in between the ball and the defender and it happened to come to me. I didn’t even really hit it that hard. I kind of just focused on it the whole time and just made sure I made good contact. Those types of balls, it’s already whipped in super hard, so you just have to redirect it. But overall we played really well I thought. We created a lot of chances. I think they only had that one chance and they put it away.”

On advice he’s received from veteran players:

“For me, I talk to all of the older guys. They give me a lot of advice. Keep on going, put my head down, go at guys, play simple when I can, and when it’s time to do my things, do my things. Everyone’s been giving me pointers, from the beginning of the season up until now. It’s always nice to have that. I think it’s helped me develop as a player and that’s ultimately what I want to do, get better each and every day. If I can do that, I’m happy.”