VANCOUVER, B.C. - The San Jose Earthquakes fell to Vancouver Whitecaps FC 5-0 Wednesday night at BC Place in the Knockout Round of the Audi 2017 MLS Cup Playoffs. With the loss, the Quakes were eliminated from playoff contention.
Heading into halftime down a goal, the Quakes conceded four in the second frame as they committed numbers forward in search of an equalizer.
The Earthquakes conclude 2017 with a 16-16-7 record across MLS regular season, postseason and Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup play. The club reached the Semifinals of the U.S. Open Cup for the first time since 2004 and the MLS Cup Playoffs for the first time since 2012.
The season also saw Quakes players breaking individual records. Earthquakes forward Chris Wondolowski broke Landon Donovan's record for most road goals with 64, moved into a tie for second in MLS history for all-time goals with 134 and became the first player to score at least 10 goals in eight consecutive seasons. Midfielder Shea Salinas surpassed 15,000 career minutes in MLS and defender Victor Bernardez moved into fifth in Earthquakes history for minutes played with the club with 14,213.
MLS Regular Season
Vancouver Whitecaps FC 5 - 0 San Jose Earthquakes
Oct. 25, 2017 - BC Place in Vancouver, B.C. Attendance: 21,083
Scoring Summary: VAN - Fredy Montero (Kendall Waston, Cristian Techera) 33; VAN - Cristian Techera (unassisted) 57; VAN - Kendall Waston (Tim Parker) 64; VAN - Nicolas Mezquida (Christian Bolaños, Brek Shea) 78; VAN - Nicolas Mezquida (Brek Shea) 80.
Misconduct Summary: SJ - Darwin Ceren (caution) 76; SJ - Anibal Godoy (caution) 85.
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES: Andrew Tarbell; Shea Salinas, Florian Jungwirth, Victor Bernardez, Kofi Sarkodie (Quincy Amarikwa 74); Anibal Godoy, Darwin Ceren; Tommy Thompson (Marco Ureña 62), Chris Wondolowski, Vako (Jackson Yueill 86); Danny Hoesen.
SHOTS: 10, SHOTS ON GOAL: 5; SAVES: 3; FOULS: 13; CORNER KICKS: 6, OFFSIDES: 3.
VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC: Stefan Marinovic; Kendall Waston, Jakob Nerwinski, Marcel de Jong, Tim Parker, Aly Ghazal, Yordy Reyna (Nicolas Mezquida 68), Christian Bolaños, Fredy Montero, Tony Tchani (Andrew Jacobshon 86), Cristian Techera (Brek Shea 75).
SHOTS: 17; SHOTS ON GOAL: 8; SAVES: 5; FOULS: 11; CORNER KICKS: 5; OFFSIDES: 1.
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES HEAD COACH CHRIS LEITCH
On the game:
"It was a tough one. Obviously, it didn't go the way that we would have hoped. It's tough. The first three goals are all on set pieces and obviously the second two are us trying to push pretty darn aggressively to get back in the game. It happens at times."
On set pieces:
"Goals change games. We figured we would have the ball in this game and I thought that we did have the ball in this game. Vancouver is really good at a couple aspects of the game, and one of them is set pieces. They do a lot of stuff in their offense revolving around executing set pieces so that was obviously, in my opinion, a differentiating factor in tonight. The first three goals were a direct result of that."
On counter attacks:
"I don't think they hurt us on the counter except when we were down 3-0 and going for it. We had two less guys back there and they had space and openings to get at us, but I thought in the first half they didn't hurt us on the counter. We talked about that and in my opinion, did a decent job at taking out that component of the game. We talked about set pieces being a huge key as well, and that was the element that was really our Achilles heel tonight."
On the 2017 season:
"There are a lot of good moments with this team. I think this team grew as the year went on. We beat some darn good teams that are in this league, and we really hit our stride especially coming down the stretch. We were able to handle some pressure-filled games and situations when everything was on the line and mattered to get to the place where we were tonight. A lot of positives, but obviously some negatives too."
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES MIDFIELDER SHEA SALINAS
On the second half:
"I think they beat us where they're strong, which is set pieces. Three set-piece goals and then the last two were just flying guys forward and they catch us on the counter, which is their other strength. I think tonight is a difficult night to swallow. We knew they were good on set pieces and that's exactly where they beat us. It's tough to take. It's tough to end your season like that."
On the team's successes in 2017:
"Right now, it's very hard to look at positives, especially when you lose 5-0, but in the next few days it's something we're all going to have to do - sit down and look at what went right and what went wrong. This year we showed a lot of heart, a lot of fight. We lost some pretty ugly games, but we won and showed a lot of grit in a lot of games as well. Those Open Cup games, that loss in Kansas City, that showed a lot of character. A lot of last-minute goals, that Minnesota game at the very end was something that showed character. So those are things we have to build off of and next year going into the season, we have to use those and remind ourselves of what it takes to win games and remind ourselves how we lost games as well."