San Jose Earthquakes vs. Seattle Sounders, September 29, 2021

MEDIA RELEASE:
Sept. 29, 2021

MATCH RECAP: Earthquakes 1, Seattle Sounders FC 3
Quakes’ winning streak snapped at two
SAN JOSE, Calif. – The San Jose Earthquakes fell to Seattle Sounders FC 3-1 on Wednesday night at PayPal Park. The defeat snaps San Jose’s two-game winning streak.
Sounders FC took the lead in the 25th minute. Cristian Roldan played a pass to Raul Ruidiaz at the top of the box. He cut from his right foot onto his left foot and took a low shot out of the reach of goalkeeper JT Marcinkowski.
Ruidiaz doubled Seattle’s advantage in the 42nd minute, converting a penalty kick earned by Roldan moments earlier. Seattle then added a third goal in the 49th minute, with Roldan finishing off a lateral pass from Jimmy Medranda.
San Jose pulled one back just two minutes later when a cross by Marcos Lopez was redirected goalward by defender Shane O’Neill for an own goal.
The Earthquakes will now travel to Canada to face Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Saturday, Oct. 2. Saturday’s match will kick off from BC Place at 7:00 p.m. PT and will be aired on NBC Sports California Plus, KNBR 1050 and 1370 KZSF.

GAME NOTES
The Earthquakes now hold an 8-10-9 record (33 pts.) during the 2021 MLS regular season and are currently in 10th place in the Western Conference, just four points below the playoff line.
San Jose is now 11-15-8 all-time vs. Seattle, including a 5-5-5 record at home.
Rookie forward Benji Kikanovic made his third-straight start, playing 90 minutes.
Midfielder Jack Skahan made his first appearance since July 24 vs. Houston Dynamo FC.

MATCH INFORMATION
MLS Regular SeasonSan Jose Earthquakes 1 – 3 Seattle Sounders FCSept. 29, 2021 – PayPal Park in San Jose, Calif.Attendance: 11,361

Scoring Summary:SEA (1-0) – Raul Ruidiaz (Cristian Roldan) 25’SEA (2-0) – Raul Ruidiaz (penalty) 42’SEA (3-0) – Cristian Roldan (Jimmy Medranda, Fredy Montero) 49’SJ (3-1) – Shane O’Neil (own goal) 51′

Misconduct Summary:SJ – Judson (caution) 27’SEA – Raul Ruidiaz (caution) 38’SEA – Alex Roldan (caution) 83′

SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES: JT Marcinkowski; Marcos Lopez, Nathan, Oswaldo Alanis (Cade Cowell 46), Judson (Luciano Abecasis 55); Shea Salinas (Andy Rios 54), Eric Remedi, Jackson Yueill, Carlos Fierro (Chris Wondolowski 54), Chofis (Jack Skahan 69); Benji Kikanovic.
Substitutes not used: Jacob Akanyirige, Paul Marie, Tommy Thompson, Daniel Vega.

SHOTS: 9; SHOTS ON GOAL: 3; FOULS: 13; CORNER KICKS: 10; SAVES: 2

SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC: Stefan Frei; Xavier Arreaga (Nouhou 46), Shane O’Neill, Yeimar Gomez Andrade; Cristian Roldan (Alex Roldan 82), Kelyn Rowe, Danny Leyva, Josh Atencio (Joao Paulo 46), Jimmy Medranda (Abdoulaye Cissoko 71); Raul Ruidiaz (Leo Chu 46), Fredy Montero (Alex Roldan 81).
Substitutes not used: Will Bruin, Stefan Cleveland, Ethan Dobbelaere.

SHOTS: 9; SHOTS ON GOAL: 5; FOULS: 12; CORNER KICKS: 2; SAVES: 3

SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES HEAD COACH MATIAS ALMEYDA
On the game plan for tonight’s match:“It was a different game plan because Seattle played differently. It was different because we had players that were out. It was different because back then we had few players available, and we had Florian Jungwirth in the middle of the field. But as I always say, each game and every moment is different.”
On Sounders FC containing San Jose’s offense:“I think we made mistakes on the way through. The game plan was different, and we intended to take away their game, how they play in between the lines. Once we recovered the ball, we wanted to play through the outside, not through the middle. That’s why we had Benji Kikanovic as a striker, Chofis was playing free, and we had Shea Salinas and Carlos Fierro playing on the outside. From that point of view, we should have avoided passes through the middle and in between our lines. That would have allowed us to have a free man in the back. Knowing the power that Seattle has, we couldn’t counteract their individual and collective parts. Their goals resulted from our turnovers, and a team like Seattle puts them away.”
On Seattle’s goals:“I think they came from the virtue of the opponent, but we also made mistakes on defense. The first mistake was allowing them to receive the ball in dangerous parts of the field. We hurt ourselves the most when we have the ball and give it away instead of passing it to a teammate. They took advantage of our mistakes. I’ve said all week that players like Raul Ruidíaz don’t forgive. Players like Cristian Roldan have a lot of mobility and will move into a position to score. We discussed things that could have been avoided but we have to give credit to the virtue of these players.”

SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES FORWARD CHRIS WONDOLOWSKI
On what went wrong in the game plan:“I think that we compounded our mistakes and I mean that by saying Seattle is such a tough opponent and you need to be able to move them side to side with possession. You need to be able to wear them down and also be able to try to expand them and so that you can take out pockets in their organization and we weren’t able to do that. They pressed very high. They did a great job of sending their wing backs up on us and we were missing passes that we normally make and when we miss those passes, it kind of compounds and then we were on our back foot. We were defending a little bit deeper and then we’re not able to trigger our press in the right area of the field and then again when you’re not able to do that, we’re a step late. When we’re not doing it at the right place or at the right time, we’re a step late, against Seattle when given that time can tear you apart.”
On why the team appeared indecisive in attack:“Yeah, when we’re unable to keep a steady possession then we are unable to send our wing backs and send our outside backs forward unless we have that secure possession and when we don’t have those guys coming forward, we end up isolating ourselves way too much. Leaving ourselves one on one or in a lot of cases especially against Seattle 1v2. They do a great job especially with their back three. That’s one of their best traits is they’re able to push out and those three center backs do such a great job whether they’re following a number 10 or a number 9 into the space both behind or in front.  I think that’s what they do best, closing down that space and so when we’re unable to keep that possession, secure that possession, it really hurts us and it puts us in some precarious positions.”
On how this result affects the team’s confidence:“It hurts in the sense that it’s at home. We feel extremely confident that when we are at home that we need to pick up points and it doesn’t matter the opponent. That being said, you look at the other results, today it didn’t do us too much damage, but that being said it would’ve been a perfect day to move up the table. So, we’re still outside looking in, but we have a huge one against Vancouver on Saturday and if and when we pick up three points there, we can really start to get a move in. The faith hasn’t wavered one bit in the locker room and we still feel confident. We feel that we can do a lot of great things in these seven games and really start clicking.”

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Contact:
Jake Pisani – 408-556-7774 – jpisani@sjearthquakes.com
Pedro Ortiz – 408-556-3415 – portiz@sjearthquakes.com

San Jose Earthquakes vs. Los Angeles Football Club (LAFC) September 25, 2021

MEDIA RELEASE:
Sept. 25, 2021

MATCH RECAP: Earthquakes 2, LAFC 0Reigning MLS Player of the Week Chofis tallies one goal and one assist
SAN JOSE, Calif. – The San Jose Earthquakes defeated Los Angeles Football Club 2-0 on Saturday night at PayPal Park. The Quakes are now 5-2-4 in their last 11 matches and are just three points below the playoff line in the Western Conference. San Jose also extended their winning streak vs. LAFC to four matches.
The Quakes jumped out to an early lead in the third minute. Chofis, the reigning MLS Player of the Week, played a through ball past multiple defenders to Benji Kikanovic, who dribbled around the goalkeeper before passing the ball into the empty net.
San Jose then doubled their lead in the 47th minute. Marcos Lopez played a pass across the front of goal and Chofis first timed his shot past goalkeeper Tomas Romero. Chofis has now tallied six goals and an assist in the last three matches.
Quakes goalkeeper JT Marcinkowski made three saves in the shutout. It marked his fourth shutout of the season and second shutout victory.
The Earthquakes will remain in San Jose to host Seattle Sounders FC on Wednesday, Sept. 29, presented by Intermedia. Wednesday marks the Quakes’ annual College Night and will kick off from PayPal Park at 7:30 p.m. PT. The match will be broadcast on NBC Sports Bay Area Plus, KNBR 1050 and KZSF 1370.


GAME NOTES
The Earthquakes now hold an 8-9-9 record (33 pts.) during the 2021 MLS regular season and are currently in 10th place in the Western Conference, just three points below the playoff line.
The Quakes extended their winning streak against LAFC to four. San Jose is now 4-5-0 all-time vs. LAFC, including a 3-2-0 record at home.
San Jose earned their second shutout victory of the season and first since July 31 (1-0 vs. SEA). Tonight’s win was also the first at PayPal Park since Aug. 8 against LAFC (W 2-1). It marked the Quakes’ first shutout victory by multiple goals since Oct. 28, 2020 vs. RSL (2-0).
Midfielder Chofis scored his team-leading 11th goal of the season and 11th of his MLS career. He has now scored six goals in the last three matches and is the league’s leading scorer during the month of September (6). He has also scored in consecutive matches vs. LAFC. Additionally, Chofis tallied an assist on Kikanovic’s goal, marking his third assist of the season and first game-winning assist.
Chofis became the first Earthquakes player to score in three straight matches since Vako in July 2019.
Rookie forward Benji Kikanovic scored his second goal of the season and of his MLS career. He has now tallied one goal and one assist in the last two matches.
Defender Marcos Lopez tallied an assist on Chofis’ goal, marking his first assist of the season and fourth of his MLS career.
Goalkeeper JT Marcinkowski secured his fourth shutout of the season and ninth of his MLS career.
Midfielder Shea Salinas entered the match as a substitute in the 82nd minute, marking his first appearance since Sept. 4 against the Colorado Rapids.

MATCH INFORMATION
MLS Regular SeasonSan Jose Earthquakes 2 – 0 Los Angeles Football ClubSept. 25, 2021 – PayPal Park in San Jose, Calif.Attendance: 16,927Man of the Match: Chofis

Scoring Summary:SJ (1-0) – Benji Kikanovic (Chofis) 3’SJ (2-0) – Chofis (Marcos Lopez) 47′

Misconduct Summary:SJ – Nathan (caution) 31’SJ – Cristian Espinoza (caution) 34’LAFC – Danny Crisostomo (caution) 39’SJ – Luciano Abecasis (caution) 64’LAFC – Jose Cifuentes (caution) 75’SJ – Marcos Lopez (caution) 86’LAFC – Raheem Edwards (caution) 90+5′

SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES: JT Marcinkowski; Marcos Lopez (Cade Cowell 88), Nathan, Oswaldo Alanis, Luciano Abecasis; Eric Remedi, Judson; Chofis (Shea Salinas 82), Jackson Yueill, Cristian Espinoza (Tommy Thompson 76); Benji Kikanovic (Chris Wondolowski 88).
Substitutes not used: Carlos Fierro, Paul Marie, Andy Rios, Jack Skahan, Daniel Vega.

SHOTS: 7; SHOTS ON GOAL: 2; FOULS: 17; CORNER KICKS: 0; SAVES: 3

LAFC: Tomas Romero, Mamadou Fall, Diego Palacios (Raheem Edwards 59), Sebastien Ibeagha (Marco Farfan 58), Moon-Hwan Kim (Latif Blessing 59), Jesus Murillo, Francisco Ginella, Jose Cifuentes, Daniel Crisostomo, Danny Musovski (Bryce Duke 59), Cristian Arango.
Substitutes not used: Jamal Blackmon, Jordan Harvey, Pablo Sisniega.

SHOTS: 13; SHOTS ON GOAL: 3; FOULS: 21; CORNER KICKS: 3; SAVES: 0

SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES HEAD COACH MATIAS ALMEYDA
On his tactics in tonight’s match:“I think we played a really intelligent game. We planned for this type of game against the formation that the opponent has been using. The players understood and responded well to the formation change we made.”
On Benji Kikanovic’s contributions and his growth:“I think Benji is one of the young players that is learning day-by-day. He has perfectly understood the identity we want the players to have at San Jose. He is a player with pace, he is good in the aerial game and has great technique. He really works a lot for the team. He was able to put away the chance that came from a great pass from Chofis. He also worked hard in the defensive phase. I am really pleased when the young players perform well. It makes me happy for them and for the club.”
On his conversations with the players about playoffs:“For us, as long as the math is there, we will try to be competitive, and we will compete until the end. They know the mentality I try to transmit to them. Sometimes we see that reflected, other times we are missing a bit, but we are generally happy with it.”

SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES MIDFIELDER JACKSON YUEILL
On the team’s formation and how it impacted the match:“These last 10 games here, we know that we need to get wins, and wins at home in particular and part of that is being able to control the ball and how we press. Having Eric [Remedi], Judson and myself in the midfield really helps the team a lot. It’s important to try and fit everyone in there, and fit Chofis in there in his natural position as the number 10 and get him the ball as much as possible. I think it was a little bit of what LAFC showed and trying to work against them and finding the right spots to get Chofis on the ball and finding the right passes in behind. As you saw on the first goal, he was able to do that. The plan was to get him on the ball in central locations and try to work around him and try to eliminate LAFC’s quality as well. That was the reasoning for that, and I think it worked out well today.”
On the team’s form in the upcoming stretch run:“I think there are still a lot of games left. It’s still really close and these two games were important for us. We’ve narrowed down to the last third of the season. We learned from our first year to last year of when to push and when to hit our stride. We hit a really good stride last year going into the playoffs and that helped us a lot. I think the team is in a really good spot. Collectively, as a group, how we’re interacting, the motivation and dialogue in the locker room is really positive and great and it showed tonight that the guys have a desire to win. Even though it’s going to be close up until the end, the guys have the desire to push for the playoffs and try to get up in the table as high as we can and play as best as we can.”

SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES FORWARD BENJI KIKANOVIC
On the goal and his run:“I knew it right as Chofis got the ball. All three of the defenders looked at him and I was like, ‘I’m going to run in behind them.’ I know Chofis is good enough to play me the ball on time and play me a good-weighted ball and I just went. He played it on time, and I took a touch past the goalkeeper and just put it away. It was a great ball by Chofis and there’s not much to it.”
On his previous comments about wanting to be more involved:“I thought I did better than last game. I think each game, as long I’m improving, it’s good for me and good for the team. Obviously, it wasn’t the best, but it is what it is and we got the win and we’re just going to keep on going. I think the more that I play and as I get more minutes under my belt, I should be alright. But I think tonight was much better than last game. It’s an improvement but it’s not good enough.”

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Contact:
Jake Pisani – 408-556-7774 – jpisani@sjearthquakes.com
Pedro Ortiz – 408-556-3415 – portiz@sjearthquakes.com