VANCOUVER, B.C. - The San Jose Earthquakes defeated Vancouver Whitecaps FC 3-1 at BC Place on Saturday night. The win sees the Quakes improve to 9-2-4 in their last 15 matches and are now just three points out of second place in the Western Conference.
Just eight days removed from outshooting the LA Galaxy 32-5, the Earthquakes outshot Vancouver 32-6. The 64 shots from the two matches combined are an MLS record for back-to-back games, and San Jose was able to accomplish the feat while playing both away from home. The Quakes' 27 shots on goals across the two games is also an MLS record for consecutive road matches.
After conceding early, San Jose got goals from Vako - his fifth in the last six matches - Chris Wondolowski and Magnus Eriksson. The Earthquakes have earned comeback victories in three of their last five road matches after never accomplishing the feat more than twice in a single season entering 2019.
The Earthquakes return home to face the Colorado Rapids on Saturday, July 27 at 6:45 p.m. The match will be broadcast live on Telemundo 48, KNBR 1050 and 1370 KZSF.
San Jose now holds a 10-7-4 record this season and sit in fifth place in the Western Conference, level on points with fourth-place Minnesota and just three points out of second.
The Earthquakes are now 9-2-4 in their last 15 MLS regular season matches. The club is now 5-1-0 in their last six matches.
The Quakes improved to 3-1-1 in their last five road matches, their best five-match road stretch since 2012 (3-1-1).
San Jose earned their third comeback victory on the road this season. It marked the first time the club has earned three comeback victories on the road in a single season in club history.
The Earthquakes have won back-to-back road matches for the first time since August of 2015.
San Jose outshot Vancouver 32-6, tying the club's single-game shots record set last week at the LA Galaxy. The Quakes have outshot their last two opponents 64-11 despite playing both matches on the road, setting the MLS record for most shots in back-to-back games (previous record: 58 by NYCFC in 2018).
The Earthquakes have recorded 25+ shots in each of their last three road games. The club had never reached 25 shots in a road game prior to this season.
Vako scored his sixth goal of the season and 21st of his MLS career. He has five goals and two assists in the last six matches.
Chris Wondolowski scored his team-leading ninth goal of the season and extended his career MLS goals record to 153. It marked his third game-winning goal of the season and MLS record 43rd of his MLS career. It also marked his 71st road goal, extending his own MLS record. Wondolowski also tallied the assist on Vako's goal, giving him one assist this season and 40 for his career.
Magnus Eriksson scored his fourth goal of the season and 10th of his MLS career.
Cristian Espinoza was credited with the assist on Eriksson's goal, marking his team-leading ninth assist of the season.
MLS Regular Season
Vancouver Whitecaps FC 1 - 3 San Jose Earthquakes
July 20, 2019 - BC Place in Vancouver, B.C.
Scoring Summary: VAN - Doneil Henry (unassisted) 7; SJ - Vako (Chris Wondolowski) 16; SJ - Chris Wondolowski (unassisted) 34; SJ - Magnus Eriksson (Cristian Espinoza) 79.
Misconduct Summary: SJ - Judson (caution) 32; SJ - Nick Lima (caution) 71; VAN - Yordy Reyna (caution) 84; VAN - Theo Bair (caution) 90+1; SJ - Paul Marie (caution) 90+4.
VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC: Maxime Crepeau; Jakob Nerwinski, Erik Godoy, Doneil Henry, Ali Adnan; Hwang In-Beom, Jon Erice, Lass (Joaquin Ardaiz 62), Yordy Reyna, Russell Teibert (Felipe 70); Fredy Montero (Theo Bair 76).
SHOTS: 6; SHOTS ON TARGET: 1; SAVES: 8; FOULS: 16; CORNERS: 1;OFFSIDES: 0
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES: Daniel Vega; Nick Lima, Florian Jungwirth, Harold Cummings, Tommy Thompson; Jackson Yueill, Judson; Vako (Shea Salinas 82), Magnus Eriksson, Cristian Espinoza (Paul Marie 83); Chris Wondolowski (Danny Hoesen 74).
SHOTS: 32; SHOTS ON TARGET: 11; SAVES: 0; FOULS: 12; CORNERS: 11;OFFSIDES: 0
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES HEAD COACH MATIAS ALMEYDA
On the team's performance:
"Every time anyone is victorious, there is a possibility to celebrate, enjoy it and be happy, especially after the last season which was difficult for the team. I thought we played well in this match. For a moment, the match became difficult when we were losing 1-0. We were able to remain calm and play our game, and we started scoring goals."
On coming back from a goal behind:
"It's due to the perseverance this group has. They are working together as a family. That was the idea and objective from the beginning. We are adding that on top of our passion, the love these athletes have for what they do, respect for the rival, and the belief in themselves."
On turning the season around:
"We knew this was going to be a process. Every process requires time. First, we had to change a mentality, and then we had to install a system of play and demonstrate that everyone on the team is capable of doing it. That is why I took on this challenge when I had to options to go somewhere else. I chose this group because I studied them and knew they had a lot more to give."
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES MIDFIELDER SHEA SALINAS
On the team's past struggles in Vancouver:
"I think we've struggled in a lot of places away, but this year we have a confidence about us that we play the same at home as we do away. We came in here tonight knowing that Vancouver is a tough team and thinking that they should have more points than they do. We didn't take them lightly and we were able to come out of here with three points. It was great for us."
On the season's drastic turnaround:
"I think it was a combination of a bunch of things. I think it took us a little bit to get used to the system, and honestly buy into the system, have confidence in it. Once we were able to buy in and get everyone on the same page, we just had a team belief about us that keeps us in games and keeps us tough. We want to be a team that's very difficult to play against and I think we've done that."
On Almeyda's impact:
"He could have come in, and just totally cleaned house and change personnel - and he didn't do that. So that, as a player, that gives you confidence that you're wanted - and even after the first four games, after losing those four games, he said this is my group of guys, this team can win games, and it's been awesome to see that belief turn into reality."
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES FORWARD CHRIS WONDOLOWSKI
On mood in the locker room:
"I think that, to be honest, not to be too cliché but we felt it from day one, things were really rolling our way. We got off to a really poor start but now the confidence is building, it's kind of snowballing in there and I think that something that coach Matias [Almeyda] has told us from day one, is enjoy the special moments that football brings to you, and if you win on the road, enjoy it. It's done tomorrow, we're back to work but we always put in a hard week's work but enjoy today."
On coach believing in the team:
"I think that's huge. I think that it's momentous and that it helps us. We know each other; we know what our potential was. We didn't play up to it and weren't doing the little things last year and getting punished and rightfully so. And again, with coach Matias and his staff, he's been able to iron out a lot of those details and really give us an identity of who we want to be and how we want to play and I think you're starting to see it."
On tonight's match:
"I thought that it was pretty good all over the field. I think that we need to be a little bit more clinical in front of the goal and punish if we do get those opportunities. We got a couple pretty good looks that we weren't able to finish. It was nice to get that third one, it definitely helped but I thought overall it was a pretty good night."