Quakes on Loan: Trio makes presence felt in Sacramento


SAN JOSE, Calif. - Everything the Earthquakes touch these days is turning to gold. 

A trio of players, JJ Koval, Tommy Thompson and Mark Sherrod, helped the team's USL affiliate Sacramento Republic FC to a come-from-behind 3-1 win over the Tulsa Roughnecks FC at a sold-out Bonney Field in Sacramento on Saturday -- the day after the Quakes beat the LA Galaxy 1-0 at a sold-out Avaya Stadium. 

Quakes on Loan: Trio makes presence felt in Sacramento -

All three players were loaned to Sacramento before returning to Quakes practice this week. The Quakes have won four in a row, all by shutout. 

Thompson, a Sacramento area native, scored the winner just before halftime, marking his first goal as a professional. Sherrod added an insurance goal off a Thompson assist on a quick counter attack in the 84th minute. Koval gave a very strong 90-minute performance in the midfield. 

"It was good to get out there," Sherrod said. "I'm glad that they had us for a game or two, so it was really nice. They're a good group of people, so it was fun." 

The dynamic Thompson described his goal as coming off a "good team build-up." Nemanja Vukovic had a good switch on the play. Thompson laid the ball off, got it back and passed to Emrah Klimenta, who dribbled down the line and whipped in a good ball. 

"I flicked it on back post," Thompson recalled. "I think the best part was that it was right in front of their cheering section, so it was a special feeling." 

Thompson said it was good to be playing back near his hometown, and that getting a goal was just "the cherry on top" of a strong performance by the Sacramento squad. 

Sherrod, who was subbed in for Justin Braun entering the second half, said his goal came off a Tulsa corner kick that got cleared out. 

"It was basically a fast break," Sherrod said, "and I just kept running, put my head down and kept running, and Tommy just laid it off to me like he always does. I just did my part and tried to put it on frame and luckily it went in." 

Sherrod was pleased to get some playing time. 

"You can do as much running out in practice as you can, but nothing matches game fitness and stuff like that," Sherrod said. "So it was good to get out there. I was fortunate enough that we have team up there, and they let me play for them. It was good." 

Thompson thought his two Quakes teammates played integral parts in the victory. 

"Mark came on at half and did a great job of holding the ball and getting the insurance goal at the end, and I thought JJ all game held it down in the midfield," Thompson said. "He was a huge defensive presence, and that was what we needed that game." 

Sacramento coach and technical director Paul Buckle sure appreciated the help as the Republic earned three important points. 

"I think if we hadn’t have got that strength of Koval in the middle, the energy of Thompson on the right and also the presence of Mark Sherrod up top, it might have been a different game," Buckle said on the Republic website.