The Cali Classico is always a special occasion. No matter the form or position of either club, fans can be assured this match will be played like a final.
Saturday’s edition was another great addition to the history of both these clubs.

Going into the game, both clubs needed a win to make up for dropped points as the playoff race heats up. However, a draw was perhaps the fairest of results.

It was great to see Espinoza have another great game after a few weeks of stagnation. As it has been for most of the season, Akapo and Espinoza’s connection was key to everything the Quakes did. Tsakiris playing higher up the field really helped open the field more.

Photo: San Jose Earthquakes

However, the lack of depth continued to be at the forefront against the Galaxy. Luchi didn’t have the pieces off the bench to change the game. Additionally, the mistakes made on the defensive side really showed that another center-back is needed.

Saturday’s Cali Classico was another highlight of MLS’ product. Both teams may be disappointed by only leaving with one point, but it was deserved.


For the first time in a few weeks, the attack was once more the star of the show. Luchi’s surprising decision in the midfield is perhaps foreshadowing a change for the rest of the season.

Espinoza is looking like an MVP candidate once more. The Argentine was all over the right wing, terrorizing any Galaxy defender. Any and all attack that the Quakes had came from his feet, and it was all capped off by a great goal.

When Akapo and Espinoza are really connecting, there are very few other partnerships more dangerous in MLS. As Espinoza carves up the opponent, Akapo is able to operate in that open space and pick out from deep. Skahan’s equalizer was directly from Akapo taking advantage of an Espinoza move.

Fans were surprised to see Luchi change his midfield formation with Tsakiris at the number 10 with Gruezo alongside Yueill. Given the lack of experience Tsakiris has had at the position in MLS, this was totally out of left field. The thinking was sure to have a playmaker play directly under Ebobisse and have the striker act as more of a holdup man.

Photo: Bay Area News Group

Tsakiris is the only player on the roster that can give the team what Monteiro gives. That tight dribbling in space is clogged by defenders to open up for his attackers. There were multiple moments where he was able to put pressure on the backline and get passes to Espinoza and  Skahan.

A big shoutout to Jack Skahan, who scored his first MLS goal in such a crucial game and moment. To see someone work through the US soccer system and contribute in this moment is something you only see in movies.

These past few weeks have been a tough stagnation for the Quakes, but Saturday’s was a step in the right way. Luchi will have plenty to take from this game, but they may help shape the rest of the season.  


Despite how evenly balanced the game was, it was still there for the taking of the Quakes. Defensive mistakes and a lack of game-changers off the bench really hurt them.

Outside his goal, Skahan didn’t contribute much as a starter, and his replacement, Kikanović, did even less. With Bouda introduced too late, there was no one that came on that really threatened the Galaxy, meaning they could suffocate both Ebobisse and Espinoza. Marie did his usual and brought some toughness to the game, but Thompson was the best sub with his playing further up helping.

Luchi may have found something with having Thompson as his sub that gives another dynamic to the attack. Outside of that, this team is in desperate need of a backup striker or attacking mid that can push the game. They need another threat, or defenses can just try to keep snuffing out Ebobisse and Espinoza in the second half.

Photo: MLS

Mensah did well to not give up that penalty in the dying moments of the game. However, he is regressing from his form at the start of the season. Throughout the game, there were shaky moments where he would leave the backline too exposed.

With the rest of the backline set, it’s imperative that the Quakes find a new partner for Rodrigues. The team needs another calming force back there that would play in the shadow of Rodrigues. They need a sweeper more than anything.

The issues plaguing the Quakes need to be addressed within this summer window. They can’t afford to let this season go to waste.

MLS’ best rivalry, the Cali Classico, is always a fun moment for both sets of fans. No matter what else currently bothers each team, it’s a moment to stunt on their biggest rivals. Despite a positive draw, the  Quakes leave Stanford with some glaring needs.


Player and Manager Ratings:

  • GK– Daniel- 7
  • DF– Akapo- 7
  • DF– Mensah- 5
  • DF– Rodrigues- 8
  • DF– Trauco- 6
  • MD– Gruezo- 6
  • MD– Yueill- 6
  • MD– Tsakiris- 7
  • FW– Skahan- 7
  • FW– Ebobisse- 6
  • FW– Espinoza- 8

Subs:

  • Kikanović- 6
  • Marie- 6
  • Thompson- N/A
  • Bouda- N/A

Manager

  • Luchi- 7

Photo: San Jose Earthquakes

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