The San Jose Earthquakes defeated Seattle Sounders FC 4-3 at PayPal Park on Saturday night in the team’s first MLS match under interim head coach Alex Covelo. The Quakes erased a 3-1 deficit to earn the dramatic victory, which was won with a penalty kick in second-half stoppage time. Cristian Espinoza, tonight’s Man of the Match, tallied three goals and an assist. San Jose has now come from two goals down to earn a draw or victory in three of their first four home matches this season.

Seattle took an early lead on a Nicolas Lodeiro penalty kick in the 10th minute before doubling their advantage six minutes later.

San Jose halved the deficit just moments before halftime on a left-footed volley by Cristian Espinoza, his second goal of the year.

The Earthquakes entered the second half pushing for an equalizer, but it was Seattle who struck next, regaining their two-goal lead through Jordan Morris.

The Quakes then scored two goals just 45 seconds apart, the first by Espinoza and the second by Jackson Yueill, to pull level. Both goals were assisted by midfielder Jamiro Monteiro and marked the fastest consecutive goals in club history.

San Jose completed the comeback when video review awarded the team a penalty kick in stoppage time, and Espinoza stepped up to convert. It marked his first MLS hat-trick and first career multi-goal game.

The Earthquakes will now prepare to travel to New York to face the defending MLS Cup champions New York City FC on Sunday, May 1. Kickoff from Yankee Stadium is scheduled for 10 a.m. PT and the match will be broadcast on NBC Sports California, KNBR 1050, and 1370 KZSF.

GAME NOTES

The Earthquakes currently hold a 1-4-3 record (6 pts.) during the 2022 MLS regular season.

The Quakes now hold an 12-15-8 overall record against Seattle Sounders FC, including a 6-5-5 record at home.

Tonight’s victory marked the first for San Jose over Seattle at PayPal Park (1-4-4).

San Jose handed Seattle their first-ever defeat when they led by 2+ goals. Seattle entered the match 128-0-1 in 129 prior matches when leading by two goals at any point (regular season + postseason). Seattle had won 123 such matches in a row dating back to June 2009.

The Quakes are now 2-0-0 under interim head coach Alex Covelo in all competitions, outscoring opponents 9-3.

Midfielder Cristian Espinoza scored his second, third, and fourth goals of the season, and his 10th, 11th, and 12th goals of his MLS career. His hat-trick marked the first multi-goal game of his MLS career. Espinoza also tallied his third assist of the season and the 33rd assist of his MLS career. Espinoza’s third goal was the game-winner, his sixth career game-winning goal.

Midfielder Jamiro Monteiro tallied two assists, marking his first and second assists of the season and 22nd and 23rd assists of his MLS career. It marked his third career multi-assist game, and first since July 3, 2019 (w/ PHI).

Midfielder Jackson Yueill scored his first goal of the season and eighth goal of his MLS career.

MATCH INFORMATION

2022 MLS Regular Season

San Jose Earthquakes 4 – 3 Seattle Sounders FC

Saturday, April 23, 2022 – PayPal Park in San Jose, Calif.

Attendance: 12,467

Man of the Match: Cristian Espinoza

Scoring Summary:

SEA (1-0) – Nicolas Lodeiro (penalty) 14’

SEA (2-0) – Cristian Roldan (Nicolas Lodeiro) 20’

SJ (2-1) – Cristian Espinoza (unassisted) 45+2

SEA (3-1) – Jordan Morris (Nicolas Lodeiro, Raul Ruidiaz) 57’

SJ (3-2) – Cristian Espinoza (Jamiro Monteiro) 64’

SJ (3-3) – Jackson Yueill (Jamiro Monteiro, Cristian Espinoza) 65’

SJ (4-3) – Cristian Espinoza (penalty) 90+4’

Misconduct Summary:

SJ – Nathan (caution) 11’

SJ – Eric Remedi (caution) 67’

SJ – Francisco Calvo (caution) 67’

SEA – Obed Vargas (caution) 83’

SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES INTERIM HEAD COACH ALEX COVELO

On the match, the excitement, and who he thought stood out:

“First of all, I think we need to congratulate the guys. They gave a great effort. It wasn’t easy to be down 3-1 and get back into the game. In relation to the game and the counterattacks, I agree. I think we should control the offensive part of the game a little more. Defensively, sometimes we were a little too exposed. But it’s a matter of work. We need to keep working.”

On Cristian Espinoza’s performance:

“I think Cristian is a great professional player and he is a great human being. He always has been professional and today he worked even more and he had his reward. No one can complain about his effort every game. Sometimes it doesn’t work and sometimes you have the reward, and he had it, so congratulate to him. The same goes with all the guys. They have been amazing, their behavior. I’m so happy for them.”

On the energy by the fans provided:

“It was unbelievable. I can’t describe it. I have been here since 2017 and it’s amazing how much energy the fans provide to the club. Always. That’s why I learned one sentence when I first came here, a friend of mine told me: Goonies Never Say Die. So, here we are.”

SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES MIDFIELDER CRISTIAN ESPINOZA

On scoring three goals and the game-winning goal tonight:

“It’s a very happy feeling because I like to score goals. I think that the best thing that can happen to a player is that unique feeling, and I was able to feel that three different times today. Hopefully I can continue to help the team with goals or assists.”

On the moments leading up to the penalty:

“You feel some pressure knowing that if you score, you’ll win the game, and if you miss, we tie. But you have to stay focused without thinking about the crowd noise and stay focused on the execution and where you want to aim your kick. Those are moments that you dream of as a kid thinking that one day, you’ll get to take a penalty kick in the last minute of a game. That happened today and I’m very happy.”