In a season that was awful from the opening kick, it seems like the Quakes have tried to one up every single embarrassing moment. Saturday’s match against FC Cincinnati may have been the most embarrassing match of the season. For, probably not the first time this season, it felt like the players had given up and everyone is now waiting for the offseason.
Coming off a good win against Vancouver, Quakes fans expected their team to put up a good fight and try to return to the Bay with three points. Instead of even settling for a draw, the Quakes were destroyed in Ohio and returned home waiting for the season to end.
For most of the first half, the Quakes attacked well and got close to scoring a few times. Ebobisse and Monteiro had good games and were some of the only bright spots. However, they conceded in the dying moments of the first half and it was over.
The negatives for the Quakes were aplenty, as the defense collapsed yet again and the midfield was way too careless. Rodrigues and Nathan had horror shows in the backline, as the Cincy attackers were able to cut them up. Every midfielder, aside from Monteiro, had a terrible game and made a litany of mistakes.
After this game, it’s clear that the Quakes need the season to end, as there is nothing left to salvage from this season. There were barely a handful of good things to take from this game and so many negatives.
There were only a handful of players who could leave Saturday’s game with their heads up. These players tried their hardest to get something from this game as their teammates let them down.
Ebobisse and Espinoza were the only dangerous players up top, as the two of them worked well to attack Cincy’s backline. Espinoza was constantly able to get the better of his defenders and sent some great crosses into the box. Ebobisse also was getting the better of the Cincy backline, but with the Quakes collapsing in the second half, he was completely nullified.
The only midfielder who played at a good level was Monteiro who was both active in defense and attack. Monteiro was creating for others, constantly finding space for his forwards and bringing the ball forward while the other mids sat back. He even was defending better than Remedi, even though he was given a yellow in the opening moments of the game.
Playing out of position at left back, a lot was asked of Beason and he was one of the only players who stepped up to the plate. Covelo chose to play Beason there to give defensive cover for Cowell who was always unlikely to help out defensively. At the same time, he was cleaning up the mistakes of both Nathan and Rodrigues, saving the Quakes from a worse scoreline.
Finally the last player who can leave Cincy with some sort of pride is Marcinkowski. The Quakes’ keeper did well to slow down Cincy’s attack as his defenders constantly made mistakes. Nothing shows this more than the disallowed goal where he made a brilliant savee for his defenders to leave a Cincy attacker wide open to score.
These were the only positives for the Quakes to take from their game in Ohio. The players who had good games need to be those that the team builds around in the coming season.
It’s hard to put into words just how bad certain players and aspects of this team were in this game. If this game was an audition for starting roles for next season, then these players failed.
The center back pairing of Nathan and Rodirgues is still in its early stages so it may be a little harsh to criticize them so hard. However, in Nathan’s case, it’s the same issues that he’s dealt with since arriving in San Jose. While Nathan’s passion is unmatched on the team, that same passion and drive forces him to be too aggressive in his tackles and pulls him out of position constantly.
Rodrigues has only played two MLS games and looked great in his first game, so it’s more appropriate to give him the benefit of the doubt. He will surely do better in the coming weeks, but perhaps it’s time for a new defensive partner.
The Cowell roller coaster continues, as he had an excellent game last week where he showcased why he’s such an exciting prospect only to follow it up with a terrible game. In this game, Cowell was too selfish and missed open players in the box to fire off shots that constantly went over the bar. Benji could have been more useful in this game given how Cincy was struggling to stop crosses.
A dumpster fire is what the Quakes midfield were in this game, as both Remedi and Yueill had awful games. Yueill struggled to dictate the pace of this game and was making too many passes that were easy for Cincy to intercept. Again, this brings up the question of whether a team can build a midfield around Yueill.
Remedi had probably his worst game in a Quakes jersey, as he made many mistakes that directly led to goals. While he has never been a good passer, he took too many risks and some of the goals directly came from an errant Remedi pass. Even defensively he struggled, as his tackles barely stopped Cincy and on more than one occasion, he just gave up and allowed his mark to roam in open space.
In a pretty good MLS gameday, the Quakes were the only team to be so soundly embarrassed. Especially coming off a good game the week before, it’s a terrible situation for anyone involved with the club.
With the season so close to being done, it’s clear that the Quakes need the offseason more than any other team. Luchi will have the toughest job in MLS to build something from this roster. If the front office is committed to building a winner, they need to take this game as a warning.
Player and Manager Ratings:
GK- Marcinkowski- 7
DF- Thompson- 4
DF- Nathan- 3
DF- Rodrigues- 4
MD- Yueill- 4
MD- Remedi- 2
MD- Monteiro- 6
FW- Cowell- 4
FW- Ebobisse- 6
Featured image: USA Today