Quakes top Real Sociedad 2-1 in Friendly Match
After a lopsided opening 15 minutes that made it look like the Quakes were going to get run out of their own stadium, San Jose came from behind to notch a 2-1 win over La Liga side Real Sociedad in a friendly match on Wednesday night. Chris Wondolowski provided both goals with Shea Salinas and Cordell Cato providing the assists.
The opening minutes of the match were dominated by the Spanish side that had recently finished ninth in La Liga, with the Quakes barely able to get a touch on the ball. Left back Alberto de la Bella opened the scoring in the 10th minute, smashing a shot past goalkeeper Bryan Meredith.
“I didn’t really like the first 15 minutes because they wouldn’t let us have the ball,” manager Dom Kinnear quipped. “But I think once we got caught up to the speed of the game — because they were playing pretty good and making it difficult for us — we got better.”
The Quakes were able to settle into the rhythm of the game and generate a few chances for themselves, then getting the equalizer just before half time. Shea Salinas broke down two defenders from the wing, stayed patient as he got to the end line, and squared to Wondolowski for an easy finish.
Cordell Cato put in their first minutes of the year following a preseason injury. In the 79th minute, the winger made two defenders look silly before finding Wondo on the edge of the area, and the Quakes’ captain used his pocket of space to turn and shoot brilliantly in the the corner of the goal.
— San Jose Earthquakes (@SJEarthquakes) May 19, 2016
Both teams made made full use of their battery of substitutes, using the friendly to experiment and avoid fitness concerns. The Quakes play the LA Galaxy in the second Cali Clásico of the season on Sunday.
For me it’s a very low key night. I knew the opponent was good, they finished ninth in La Liga — that’s pretty good,” Kinnear said. The manager said he told his players to Enjoy the game, it’s a good opponent, and it’s always good to play against different opposition. Just make sure you try.”
“All in all I’m really happy with the result, it gives a good feeling when you walk off the field”
Meredith — 5.3
Tarbell — 5.8
The Quakes backup keepers both had decent outings, which is encouraging given starter David Bingham has a chance to make the USMNT Copa America squad. The rookie Tarbell made two good saves (including one with his face), but the second was spilled to the center of the box and could easily have been turned in. However, Kinnear was happy with his performance, saying, “He didn’t look nervous, he looked very confident.”
Sarkodie — 4.7
The right back had a fairly poor showing, as he was sloppy in possession and too easily beaten by the Real Sociedad left flank.
Bernardez — 5.4
Wynne — 5.5
Bernardez was strong as always in the first half, even as the Quakes struggled to control the space between the lines. Wynne came on his place, and aside from a misjudgement that came to nothing, he picked up where the Honduran had left off.
Silva — 5.1
Francis — 5.5
Silva picked up a head injury in a collision with the goalkeeper just before halftime, which may be the most negative event of this game for the Quakes. Francis came on at the half and went to left back, pushing Jordan Stewart inside.
Stewart — 5.5
A very solid outing for his first action since last season, playing at both left back and center back.
“Jordan to get 70 plus minutes was real important”, Kinnear said. “I thought he looked very comfortable”
Pérez García — 5.5
MPG was one of the few Quakes to look comfortable on the ball early in the game, but it was still an up and down match for him, with some misplayed passes and issues tracking back defensively.
Alashe — 5.6
Anibal Godoy was instrumental in getting the Quakes turned around after chasing shadows in the opening minutes, as he was calm on the ball and let the team keep possession. Alashe came on the half, playing both in the midfield and at center back after Stewart was taken off.
Thompson — 5.6
This game was a mixed bag for Thompson. He was sometimes clever and incisive with his passing and movement, and sometimes he was caught keeping the ball at this feet for too long.
Barrett — 5.5
While he is not a replacement for Quincy Amarikwa by any stretch, he did have some moments of good hold up play and linkage with Wondolowski. However, he did miss a sitter in the second half.
Wondolowski — 8.4, POTM
This is the kind of match that shows what a great player Wondo is despite not having world-class technical ability. In the first half, he dropped deeper into the midfield to pressure the Real Sociedad holding midfielders, which forced more mistakes and allowed the Quakes to gain a foothold in the game. He did what he does best and was right where he needed to be for the finish when Salinas looked up for someone to square to in the box. Finally, his second goal was expertly placed off a turn-and-shoot move with just a yard or two of space.