SAN JOSE, Calif. – The San Jose Earthquakes defeated FC Dallas 3-1 in their 2021 home opener at PayPal Park on Saturday afternoon. The Quakes got goals by Oswaldo Alanis, Cristian Espinoza, and Cade Cowell to jump out to a 3-0 lead before conceding a late consolation goal.
The Quakes had an early opportunity to score in the 18th minute when Espinoza was granted a penalty kick, but his attempt was saved by goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer. San Jose would later earn a second penalty in the 45th minute, which was successfully converted by Alanis.
In the 37th minute, a shot attempt was deflected by Quakes goalkeeper JT Marcinkowski and continued goalward. Midfielder Carlos Fierro sprinted back and made a miraculous goal-line clearance to keep San Jose up 1-0.
Early in the second half, San Jose doubled their lead. Cowell played an inch-perfect through ball to Espinoza, who chipped the onrushing keeper. The Earthquakes then added another goal in the 59th minute when Cowell juked two defenders inside the box and tucked his left-footed shot inside the far post.
FC Dallas would pull one back in the 79th minute, altering the score line but not the result.
The Earthquakes will now turn their attention to D.C. United next Saturday, May 1 against FC Dallas, presented by PayPal. Kickoff from PayPal Park is set for 8:00 p.m. PT and the match will be broadcast live on NBC Sports California, KNBR 1050 and 1370 KZSF.
The Earthquakes now hold a 1-1-0 record (3 pts.) during the 2021 MLS regular season.
The Quakes played at the newly named PayPal Park for the first time.
Defender Oswaldo Alanis scored his first goal of the season and third of his MLS career. He has now scored in each of the Quakes’ two home openers since joining the team.
Midfielder Cristian Espinoza scored his first goal of the season and sixth of his MLS career.
Forward Cade Cowell scored his first goal of the season and fourth of his MLS career. Cowell also tallied an assist on Espinoza’s goal, his first assist of the season and second of his MLS career.
MLS Regular Season
San Jose Earthquakes 3 – 1 FC Dallas
April 24, 2021 – PayPal Park in San Jose, Calif.
Michelob Ultra Man of the Match: Carlos Fierro
Scoring Summary: SJ – Oswaldo Alanis (penalty) 45; SJ – Cristian Espinoza (Cade Cowell) 49; SJ – Cade Cowell (unassisted) 59; DAL – Ricardo Pepi (unassisted) 79.
Misconduct Summary: DAL – Ryan Hollingshead (caution) 20, DAL – Bryant Acosta (caution) 25; DAL – Tanner Tessman (caution) 33; SJ – Eduardo Lopez (caution) 45; SJ – Carlos Fierro (caution) 53; SJ – Shea Salinas (caution) 75; SJ – Chris Wondolowski (ejection) 89; SJ – Siad Haji (caution) 90+4.
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES: JT Marcinkowski; Paul Marie (Judson 81), Oswaldo Alanis, Florian Jungwirth, Tommy Thompson (Shea Salinas 72); Carlos Fierro (Chris Wondolowski 72), Eric Remedi, Jackson Yueill, Cristian Espinoza, Chofis (Andy Rios 72); Cade Cowell (Siad Haji 84).
Substitutes not used: Tanner Beason, Eric Calvillo, Jack Skahan, Daniel Vega.
SHOTS: 15, SHOTS ON GOAL: 7; FOULS: 16; CORNER KICKS: 3.
FC DALLAS: Jimmy Maurer (Phelipe 61); Jose Martinez, Bressan, Ryan Hollingshead, Matt Hedges (Andres Ricaurte 60), John Nelson (Eddie Munjoma 74); Bryan Acosta, Tanner Tessman (Paxton Pomykal 60); Jader Obrian, Freddy Vargas, Franco Jara (Ricardo Pepi 74).
Substitutes not used: Nkosi Burgess, Edwin Cerrillo, Kalil Elmedkhar, Dante Sealy.
SHOTS: 8; SHOTS ON GOAL: 4; FOULS: 18; CORNER KICKS: 5.
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES HEAD COACH MATIAS ALMEYDA
On Carlos Fierro’s goal-line clearance and other decisive moments in the game:
“I think it was one of the moments. The best moment of the match was two minutes in where we committed two mistakes. I always tell players not to be afraid to make mistakes and have the desire to make the same play because that is the only way in which we can grow. I value the mistakes we made, but I also value the bravery in attempting the same plays.”
On the team’s offensive performance:
“I liked how the team looked but I was more impressed in the way they performed against this opponent. This opponent has a beautiful style of play. I have congratulated their coach. He gets youth players involved. You can see they are working on a project. As someone that loves soccer, it makes me happy to see that type of work being done from the outside. They are a very dynamic team. Each line has a strong formation. We knew we were facing a difficult opponent. I liked our offensive phase, and I also enjoyed our defensive phases, where everyone gave everything that they had.”
On how the team approached their second penalty attempt:
“That speaks to the team’s unity, where there are no egos. Oswaldo [Alanis] asked for it, and I like that because that demonstrates the humility in every single one of them. They are not looking to excel individually. They want to excel as a team and that is fundamental.”
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES MIDFIELDER CARLOS FIERRO
On his goal-line clearance:
“As a player, you never stop fighting to win the ball, especially when there is a threat of conceding. It was up to me to make that clearance, and I am happy for that moment and happy with the result. The team’s performance improved, and we are very pleased to walk away with a win.”
"On today’s performance in comparison to the previous match:
“It was much better, and we all saw that. The team was more creative, we attacked more on the sides, and we generated more plays in comparison to our previous match where our forwards weren’t touching the ball as much. It was totally different this time. The team created, and we put into play what we had been practicing. We are happy with how we played and for the result.”
On Cade Cowell’s development and what to expect from him in 2021:
“I think he is one of the best players on our team. He is very young. There is still much for him to learn, but as you’ve seen, he can compete with bigger players. He is going step by step in getting experience. With his speed and his desire, he has helped the team by scoring and assisting. I can see him joining a big club in Europe.”
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES GOALKEEPER JT MARCINKOWSKI
On Cade Cowell’s performance today:
“Definitely not surprised [about his performance]. I think it’s been some time coming. I think his improvements over the last two years have been leaps and bounds, and I think you saw it today. There is so much there and there is so much potential still. He’s nowhere close to how good he can be, which is great for us because he is going to keep getting better. Even these past two months, and especially this offseason, his improvements have been huge. He’s a really great kid, we’re all so happy for him, and really just looking forward to more.”
On playing in front of fans first the first time in more than a year:
“It was huge. Like we have all been saying this entire week, they’re the heartbeat of this club. Their passion, their noise, their intensity throughout the game, it’s what gives us the extra boost. It’s just a different feeling when they’re there. Last year was difficult for everybody, including the players to play without fans. The fans are what make the game so special. They’re as big as a part of it as we are, and I think we are all just looking forward to playing in front of them again and hoping to have more as the season goes on.”
On the improvements from the mistakes made early in the match:
“I think Matias, one of many great things about him, is that he wants us to risk. He wants us to try things, he wants us to play. I think that’s just what we want to do. We’re obviously going to make mistakes, but our biggest thing is just trying to limit them. For me personally, I have to be better at the start of the game, but I think that after those 5-10 minutes, [the match] definitely got a lot better. Throughout the first half and into the second half, we just showed our quality and showed where our standard needs to be. There are a lot of things to grow from, a lot of things to learn from, but it was a really big step from last week.”