Julio Lara

Defensive lapses cost Quakes in first loss of new season

quakes-postgame-loss-usatsi.jpg
USATSI

Defensive lapses cost Quakes in first loss of new season

BOX SCORE

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' season gets off on right foot with win over Minnesota

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USATSI

Quakes' season gets off on right foot with win over Minnesota

BOX SCORE

An offseason full of movement and optimism for the San Jose Earthquakes just got its first full dose of reality. 

And much to the joy of Quakes fans, it’s a reality of the winning kind. 

It took San Jose 20 minutes to get going but they may have given the rest of the Western Conference something to think about with a 3-2 win over Minnesota United FC in a game where the Quakes looked dangerous. 

MAN OF THE MATCH

Take your pick between Danny Hoesen — who scored a brace for San Jose — or Valeri Qazaishvili — who played his best match as an Earthquake since signing as a Designated Player in June of last season. The duo combined for all three of San Jose’s goals. 

Hoesen scored in minutes 27 and 59. He also had a couple point-blank opportunities that he just missed. 

Vako scored in minute 28 — more on him below. 

TURNING POINT

The aforementioned Vako goal in minute 28 exemplified why San Jose might be little more of a force to be reckon with than experts are giving them credit for. 

It began with some high pressure by Chris Wondolowski, who won the ball down the right side and put a cross into the box in Hoesen’s direction. The forward whiffed on his attempt but — in a lesson of why you always make a run to the back post, boys and girls -- Vako was there to clean things up and make it 2-0 in a matter of seconds. 

INJURY UPDATE

Yefferson Quintana, a newcomer from Uruguay who’s in San Jose via loan, went down in the 54th minute with what appeared to be leg discomfort. 

WHAT'S NEXT

The Quakes hit the road for a March 17 game against the reigning U.S. Open Cup champions, Sporting KC. 

They’ll return to the San Jose on March 24 for a friendly against Landon Donovan and Club Leon of Mexico.

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.