SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Adam Jahn went from a Supplemental Draft pick to an essential part of the San Jose Earthquakes attack on Sunday night.
The rookie out of Stanford scored his first professional goal in his second MLS appearance, then set up reigning MVP Chris Wondolowski for a 92nd-minute penalty kick that gave the Quakes a stunning 2-1 comeback victory against the New York Red Bulls.
Jahn looked to have salvaged a tie when he got a reaching boot to Sam Cronin’s whipped cross in the 83rd minute, but he went one better in the 90th when he nodded down a San Jose corner kick into the raised left arm of New York defender Roy Miller.
That put Wondolowski on the spot, and his first attempt was saved by diving New York goalkeeper Luis Robles – but referee Ricardo Salazar spotted Miller unaccountably entering the penalty area well before the kick and gave the Quakes another opportunity.
Wondolowski, who tied Roy Lassiter’s single-season MLS scoring record last year with 27 goals, did not miss again, tucking a well-placed ball inside the right post for the game-winner.
New York went up early through Eric Alexander, an off-season acquisition who came in on the right wing as the Red Bulls moved to a 4-4-2 formation. Thierry Henry’s left-wing cross originally sought Tim Cahill, but after San Jose defender Jason Hernandez put a head to it, the ball floated to the back post. The unmarked Alexander cantered in and volleyed home from just inside the six-yard box.
But it turned out to be merely another disappointment for the Red Bulls, who coughed up a 3-1 halftime lead last week in Portland, the capper coming via own-goal. Head coach Mike Petke thus remains winless in regular-season play.
San Jose could have broken on top twice in the first 10 minutes if not for the work of New York defender Jámison Olave. Olave headed clear a snap header from Rafael Baca in the first minute, then came up big in eighth when Brandon Barklage kept Mike Fucito onside and the Quakes forward ran onto Víctor Bernárdez’s leading pass. Fucito tried to square a pass for onrushing captain Ramiro Corrales, but Olave turned it aside with a sliding tackle.
Alexander struck soon after that to signal a shift in the game, as New York bossed the remainder of the half. Olave scored in the 28th from a messy set piece but was well offsides while doing it. Fabián Espíndola fired a 31st-minute header wide of the back post.
Without much in the way of bench firepower, the Quakes made what tactical adjustments they could, pressuring everything possible. The plan nearly struck gold in the 50th minute when Barklage delivered an ill-advised throw in Robles, whose heavy first touch allowed Fucito to create a loose ball on the Red Bulls’ doorstep. Robles just beat Fucito to recover and avert disaster.
But where San Jose’s attack faltered in the final half-hour last week during a 2-0 loss to Real Salt Lake, the Quakes’ substitutes – Jahn, Cordell Cato and Sam Garza – proved difference-makers this time around.
The Quakes were unchanged despite losing to Real Salt Lake in their season opener. Forward Fucito, who suffered a slight hamstring strain in that contest, was deemed fit enough to once again partner Wondolowski.
The Quakes go on the road to Columbus on March 16. New York will make their home debut the same day against D.C. United.
MLSsoccer.com Men of the Match
|Rank||Player||What We Saw|
|1||Adam Jahn||How's that for a new Goonie? Stanford product was the difference off the bench, scoring equalizer and drawing the winning PK.|
|2||Dax McCarty||Contained San Jose's midfield for nearly 70 minutes and disrupted any ability for Quakes to get anything going.|
|3||Shea Salinas||Until that frantic ending, speedy left winger was pretty much the only thing keeping San Jose moving forward.|