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Earthquakes Dominate LAFC | Can Season Be Revived After All?

One of the biggest games of the year for the San Jose Earthquakes is the game at Levi's Stadium, and the stage was set to have another memorable match against LAFC. Last year, San Jose was on a solid run to start the season, and they were able to defeat LAFC 2-1 and it was apparent that they were looking to repeat history heading back to Santa Clara this year. After hours of morning rain, the sun popped out at the perfect time to set the stage for a perfect game day setting.


Prior to kick-off, I was able to spend a little bit of time with players from both sides on the pitch. Earthquakes signing Hernán López was cleared to play the day before the game and was on the pitch early taking in the pre-game atmosphere. He was all smiles early on, and it gave all the signals that he would make his debut for San Jose.

Images from Jose Rocha / Rocha Multimedia and Rocha Report

Head Coach Luchi Gonzalez mentioned early this week that he wanted to get Hernán into the mix as soon as possible, and luckily the Earthquakes were able to get things cleared up in order for it to be a possibility. With the Earthquakes needing a spark it was all but certain that this game was going to be a key moment in the season, and they were ready to get things going. The buzz in the air was electric, as the fans were able to make their it to their seats with promotional flags awaiting them and it was setting the tone for what was to come.


After the pre-game walk-ins, Levi's Stadium was filled with fans waving white and red Earthquakes flags showcasing their support in a sight to see. The Earthquakes were able to control the ball early to set up a corner kick from Cristian Espinoza which Rodrigues was able to connect with and head the ball right past LAFC goalkeeper Hugo Lloris for an early strike right at the 5’ minute mark for a one goal lead over Los Angeles Football Club. Levi’s Stadium erupted, and there was strive for even more, and the Earthquakes played as such. The defensive backs along with San Jose goalkeeper William Yarbrough really kept the advancing attacks from the LAFC attackers to minimal opportunities throughout majority of the game. This allowed more frustration to creep in, and were were seeing it play out on the pitch as well.


Earthquakes players celebrating after Rodrigues goal.
Images from Jose Rocha / Rocha Multimedia and Rocha Report

The game saw a lot of moments where things got chippy between the two clubs. There was a lot of tackles called for fouls, and even a few yellow cards. The teams know what this game sets up as anytime Los Angeles comes into the Bay Area, really in any sport, it’s always a game of bragging rights. Although the game was being played hard we did see a good amount of pressure being put on by San Jose throughout the whole game.


As the teams went into half, the subs were still warming up, and as I was setting up on the opposite side I heard the moment where Hernán López was told to get ready. The moment the teams got set back up is when the substitute was apparent. He was making his debut with the team.

Images from Jose Rocha / Rocha Multimedia and Rocha Report

Once the teams were back from the halftime break is when we saw both teams really turn it up. Hernán López definitely was making his presence early, as he seemed to take full control in the mid field and got on the ball a handful of times. Considering that he hadn’t practiced with the team many times, he seemed to have gel right with the team and showcased some of his flashy skills. There was a moment LAFC came right into position, shortly after the restarting whistle, and almost had a header that could have went in, but was barely off target.


Minutes after that Carlos Akapo deflected a incoming pass towards Cristian Espinoza in which he slowed down to strike it across field through to Pellegrino in which he was able to draw the LAFC keeper out of the box and get the ball passed him for an wide open solo goal to give the Earthquakes a 2-0 lead and to give Espinoza his second assist of the game.


Images from Jose Rocha / Rocha Multimedia and Rocha Report

In a short four minutes later Cristian Espinoza, from the corner, crossed the ball into position where both Rodrigues and LAFC’s Denis Bouanga were on touch of the ball and it caused the goal to deflect into the net. The ball was ruled an own goal by Denis Bouanga, but that didn’t faze the Earthquakes because they still were celebrating with their fans with a scenery of red and white flags flaring everywhere with the screams of excitement, and rightfully so as the Quakes were up 3-0 against LAFC.




The Quakes were able to finish off the game strong, although giving up a late LAFC goal from Cristian Olivera, and hold off until the final whistle to secure the win. For the Earthquakes it was clear that they needed this type of game and for the most part it was a dominate performance from them. The Quakes continued to play how they started, and it was without letting the foot off the gas. With all the buzz around the Santa Clara game, they showed out for the fans. This team has been fighting hard in the games up to this point, but you can see the sense of relief for things finally going their way after their recent draw against Nashville, and then now finally getting another win this time vs. Los Angeles Football Club.


After the game, the players were all in good spirits celebrating with their families in the lounges near the Levi's Stadium Earthquakes locker room. You could see that there was a sense of coming together, and a determination to continue it. The major question at this point is could this ame be the turning point of the season early on?


Additional Links:

Rocha Multimedia: www.rochamultimedia.com




More Images from LAFC @ San Jose (Levi's Stadium on May 4th, 2024)


Images from Jose Rocha / Rocha Multimedia and Rocha Report
Images from Jose Rocha / Rocha Multimedia and Rocha Report
Images from Jose Rocha / Rocha Multimedia and Rocha Report
Images from Jose Rocha / Rocha Multimedia and Rocha Report
Images from Jose Rocha / Rocha Multimedia and Rocha Report
Images from Jose Rocha / Rocha Multimedia and Rocha Report
Images from Jose Rocha / Rocha Multimedia and Rocha Report
Images from Jose Rocha / Rocha Multimedia and Rocha Report
Images from Jose Rocha / Rocha Multimedia and Rocha Report
Images from Jose Rocha / Rocha Multimedia and Rocha Report
Images from Jose Rocha / Rocha Multimedia and Rocha Report

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