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FEATURE: Quakes return to regular season play after earning seven points in tournament

The San Jose Earthquakes return to regular season play on Wednesday, August 26 as they face the MLS is Back Tournament champions Portland Timbers. This will be the first of six matches the club will play in a three week span, including fixtures against the LA Galaxy (August 29), LAFC (September 2), Colorado Rapids (September 5), Seattle Sounders FC (September 10), and LA Galaxy (Sept. 13).

While we await our match against Portland, let's take a look back at how the Quakes earned seven crucial points out of a possible nine in the MLS is Back tournament to put themselves in 6th place in the Western Conference.


Earthquakes 0, Sounders FC 0

In their first match of the MLS is Back Tournament, the San Jose Earthquakes earned a point in a scoreless draw against the reigning MLS Cup champions Seattle Sounders FC on Friday evening at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Fla. The match, which counts towards the regular-season standings, was the Quakes’ first since March 7.

Earthquakes goalkeeper Daniel Vega made six saves to earn his first shutout of the season. San Jose finished with 16 shots, nine corner kicks and more than 62% possession.


 

Earthquakes 4, Whitecaps FC 3

In their second match of the MLS is Back Tournament, the San Jose Earthquakes erased a 3-1 deficit with three goals in the final 20 minutes to win 4-3 over Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Wednesday evening at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Fla. The victory sees San Jose move into first place in Group B with an undefeated 1-0-1 record (4 pts.) through two games.

San Jose conceded twice in the first 22 minutes of the match, including an own goal, before forward Andy Rios scored in first-half stoppage time to halve the deficit. Vancouver then extended their lead in the 59th minute, scoring three goals on a total of two shots on target.

Head coach Matias Almeyda made four substitutions simultaneously in the 63rd minute, sparking three unanswered goals over the final 20 minutes plus stoppage. Chris Wondolowski and Oswaldo Alanis scored a pair of goals less than 10 minutes apart, before Shea Salinas’ game-winner eight minutes into stoppage time.

San Jose held 68% possession, completed more than twice the number of passes as their opponent, and set a new MLS record with 22 corner kicks.


 

Earthquakes 2, Chicago Fire 0

In their third and final Group Stage match of the MLS is Back Tournament, the San Jose Earthquakes defeated Chicago Fire FC 2-0 to win Group B with an undefeated 2-0-1 record (7 pts.). The Quakes became the fifth team to clinch a berth in the Knockout Stage and the first to win their group so far. The Earthquakes are now 2-1-2 in the regular season, tied for their best start through five matches since 2012 (2016).

Following a scoreless first half, San Jose broke the deadlock through Cristian Espinoza. Midfielder Jackson Yueill played a through ball to Espinoza, who evaded his defender and blasted his left-footed shot past goalkeeper Kenneth Kronholm.

Head coach Matias Almeyda made his final three substitutions simultaneously in the 82nd minute, bringing on three attacking players while holding a 1-0 lead. Two of his substitutes, Carlos Fierro and Chris Wondolowski, connected to double San Jose’s advantage one minute later. Fierro whipped in a left-footed cross from the right flank and Wondolowski headed the ball past Kronholm.

Goalkeeper Daniel Vega earned his second shutout of the tournament. He’s one of just three keepers with multiple shutouts thus far in the competition, joining Columbus Crew SC’s Eloy Room and Real Salt Lake’s Zac MacMath.

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