Instant Replay: Quakes hit bottom in latest home loss


Instant Replay: Quakes hit bottom in latest home loss


It feels like the playoff window for the San Jose Earthquakes has been closing at an excruciating slow pace the last couple of matches.

But on Saturday, following a 2-1 loss at Avaya Stadium, Sporting Kansas City may have just emphatically slammed it shut.

Needing a win to put pressure on sixth place Kansas City, the Quakes surrendered an 81st minute corner kick goal to Kevin Ellis and the visitors held on during the final stretch for the win.

"It's killer, to be honest with you," said San Jose head coach Dominic Kinnear. "With (Kansas City) now being nine points ahead ... we have to put together a run of wins that we haven't done this year." 

That is true. The Earthquakes have only won back-to-back games once this season -- and that came in games one and two.

With the loss, San Jose stays in ninth place in the Western Conference -- now seven points behind the red playoff line with five games left on their regular season schedule. 

The Quakes, who desperately needed a win to keep hope alive, haven’t won a match since Aug. 12 at Vancouver and haven’t won at home since July 16.

Dominic Dwyer opened the scoring about a minute after Quincy Amarikwa was carried off the field with a knee injury. Dwyer scored on a header in the seventh minute.

San Jose pulled that goal back when substitute Henok Goitom laid off a cheeky back heel to Simon Dawkins who tapped the ball over the goal line for the equalizer in the 42nd minute following a flicked header by Victor Bernardez.

But that would be all the offense San Jose could muster despite being the aggressors in the second half and throughout the match. The Quakes outshot Kansas City 16-6 and benefitted from eight more corner kicks. 

"It's going to take a monumental effort," Kinnear said about San Jose's remaining playoff chances. "It's a pretty crushing result tonight." 

The loss drops San Jose to 7-9-13; tied for fewest wins in the Western Conference. 

Hot seat: A couple of weeks removed from the firing of general manager John Doyle, Kinnear was asked if he's feeling the pressure as his Quakes are on the verge of missing the playoffs for a second consecutive season under his command. "It's in the front of my mind," he said. "I'm trying to win games ... I'm not happy. If you think I just take it lightly, then you have no idea who I am. It's in the very front of my mind."

Attendance: Reported attendance at Avaya Stadium was 18,000. However, missing from the crowd were the San Jose Ultras -- the Earthquakes' main supporter group.

Up next: With the season in the balance, the Quakes have a middle-of-the-week match against the Montreal Impact on Wednesday in Canada. 

Defensive lapses cost Quakes in first loss of new season


Defensive lapses cost Quakes in first loss of new season


Is Saturday's road effort a sign of things to come or a new team trying to gel?

After a 2017 campaign where the San Jose Earthquakes struggled on the road -- especially defensively -- the 2018 season did not start much better in a 3-2 loss to Sporting Kansas City. 

"Of course, I am disappointed to be leaving here without points," said Quakes head coach Mikael Stahre, "but especially because in the first half and then in the first 15 minutes of the second we played really well."

The teams went into the half tied but Sporting Kansas scored twice in the second half, both times taking advantage of San Jose's gift of enough space for KC to take advantage of.

Chris Wondolowski scored for the Quakes -- putting him 10 goals away from Landon Donovan in the MLS all-time race and all alone in second place on that list. 

"I wish we could have won," Wondolowski said. "but credit to our team and Magnus [Eriksson] for putting that ball in there. To finish it was pretty cool, but hopefully we will get a couple more wins."

After conceeding a penalty halfway through the second half, Valeri Qazaishvili equalized in minute 34, following up his own header attempt and cashing in for his second goal of the seaon. 

But that would be all San Jose could muster for the majority of the second half.

Graham Zusi scored in the 56th minute on a beauty of a shot. 

Felipe Gutierrez will be awarded with the game-winner after a left-footed bullet beat Andrew Tarbell.  

San Jose (1-1-0) is winless in its last four against Sporting.

"We came here with ambition to win the game, or second best to leave with a point," Stahre said. "We fought until the end and it was really important for us to score the second goal, but I felt at halftime that we could have won the game. Then we conceded the second goal and we lost the momentum. They are a good team, but I think we can take some positive things with us."

Earthquakes media services contributed to this report.

Quakes choose young FIU defender with their first pick in 2018 MLS SuperDraft

Quakes choose young FIU defender with their first pick in 2018 MLS SuperDraft

The San Jose Earthquakes are hoping they've caught lighting in a bottle twice. 

Last season, Nick Lima emerged as one of the game's best young defenders. And on Day 1 of the 2018 MLS SuperDraft, San Jose went to the fullback well with the selection of Paul Marie from Florida International University with the 12th pick in the first round. 

"Paul has the profile we were looking for from the very beginning heading into the combine and the draft," said Earthquakes general manager Jesse Fioranelli via press release. "We were looking for a fullback. We see in him an offensive-minded outside back that has technical qualities and the ability to read the game."

Experts pegged Marie, 22, as a late-first, early-second-round selection. But a pair of solid days during the MLS Combine boosted the Frenchman's stock -- especially on San Jose's board. According to Fioranelli, Marie was No. 4 on their draft board -- having him there at No. 12 must have felt like a steal for Fioranelli and staff. 

"We especially liked that he has character and in the interview that we had with him, he convinced us," Fioranelli said. "The entire coaching staff are really excited about having him part of the club."

San Jose not only lucked out that their fourth-best footballer was there at 12, but with American parents, he does not take up an international slot for San Jose -- the team is still three players over their allotment.

In an interview after his selection with Jason Davis of Sirius XM radio, Marie told San Jose fans what they can expect from the defender. 

"They can expect Paul Marie to give it all for San Jose," he said. 

The Quakes were in need of defensive depth going in to Day 1 of the SuperDraft. In Marie, they have a fullback who can stretch the pitch from the right side and be a backup to Lima.