For the second straight weekend, the Quakes would take on a LA rival. Unlike LAFC, the Galaxy came into the game struggling and should have given the Quakes an easier matchup.
Instead, San Jose’s biggest rivals dominated the Quakes and ended a run of good form.
Coming into Sunday’s game, the Quakes were one of the hottest teams in the league. On the other side, the Galaxy had spent the majority of the season being a dumpster fire.
There weren’t too many positives for the Quakes, outside the midfield. Marcinkowski had his best game of the season despite shipping two goals. Also, it was encouraging for Bouda to get his first MLS goal, as he will certainly get more playing time.
All credit should go to Greg Vanney and the Galaxy for finding a way to dominate this Quakes’ side. They nullified the threat of the fullbacks and exposed them. Additionally, this felt like a game where Luchi got the starting lineup wrong.
Rivalry matches carry an extra sense of importance, no matter where the individual clubs are positioned in the table. There isn’t a worse way for the Quakes’ form to end than in the hands of their biggest rivals.
What worked for the Quakes on Sunday is what has worked for them most the season, a competitive midfield and strong defense. While there are plenty of things to take from this game, it shouldn’t be seen as the end of the world.
For most of the game, the defense stood strong. Rodrigues did an excellent job at keeping Chicharito at bay and rendered him pretty useless. It’s clear that he is the Quakes’ best defender and should be entrusted in marking the toughest opponents.
If it hadn’t been for JT, this game could have easily been a blowout for the Galaxy. Despite losing his starting spot, JT has shown why he should be the undoubted number one. This game showcased just how special his reflexes are and his elite command of his box.
Every midfielder had a great game and were the only ones who truly threatened the Galaxy’s dominance. Monteiro and Yueill were constantly trying to find ways to break through the defense and hit their wingers. Gruezo had another solid game, but at times, struggled to keep up with Riqui Puig, as he ran the rest of the team ragged.
Bouda should have been given the start, as he could have better replicated the energy that Cade brings. Kikanović didn’t provide much, but Bouda drifted across the frontline and threatened the Galaxy in his brief cameo. It was capped off with his first ever MLS goal and he should be given more time over the next few weeks.
It’s far from the most ideal of results, but there is enough evidence to suggest this game was a blip in an otherwise great start to the season. It’s now up to Luchi and the team to ensure that this remains a blip.
At almost no point in this game did it feel like the control of the game would slip away from the Galaxy. Too many errors and poor performances sunk the Quakes in LA.
Until his injury, Akapo was the Quakes’ best fullback and made up for the lack of other quality options. Despite a good game last week, Marie’s faults were exploited once again, as the Galaxy targeted him throughout the game. Trauco played a little better, but had to track back so much that he couldn’t help on the attack.
Vanney had his wingers expose the Quakes whenever the fullbacks joined the attack by using speed to get in behind them. Gruezo had to fill those gaps, but that would give space to Puig to just playmaker and tear the Quakes apart. One of the center backs always had to shift over to cover the space which made it too easy for the Galaxy.
This felt like a growing pain for Luchi, as he got his starting lineup wrong, but the subs right. Benji has struggled to be productive so far and doesn’t bring the same energy that Cade does. With the speed of the Galaxy fullbacks, Bouda could have given the Quakes a better option in the attack.
Part of these pains is the relative lack of depth with this roster defensively. Thompson is forced to play at the fullback position once more and doesn’t bring much to it. Perhaps Beason should have been given a chance to bring more defensive stability, but he’s just too much of a dud offensively.
Plenty of credit should go towards the Galaxy for having a great gameplan for this game. They were able to find a way to slow down what had been a blinding fast Quakes side.
Despite last week’s result against LAFC, this was the LA team that fans were desperate to beat. Instead, the Galaxy found a way to maintain some sort of dominance against their norcal rivals. Luchi will have plenty to take from this game, particularly on how to deal with significant absences.
Player and Manager Ratings
GK– Marcinkowski- 8
DF– Marie- 4
DF– Mensah- 5
DF– Rodrigues- 7
DF– Trauco- 5
MD– Gruezo- 6
MD– Yueill- 7
MD– Monteiro- 7
FW– Kikanović- 5
FW– Ebobisse- 6
FW– Espinoza- 6
Featured Image: San Jose Earthquakes Twitter
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