The good times just keep on rolling for the San Jose Earthquakes. With their home victory against the struggling Colorado Rapids on Saturday, the Quakes won for the 6th time in their last 7 matches, giving them the league’s best record over that period. Saturday’s victory also marks 11th straight unbeaten matches at Avaya Stadium, which has become a real fortress for the Earthquakes this season.
The Rapids are the second worst team in MLS and they showed their lack of quality early on as an own goal 2 minutes into the match from Lalas Abubakar gifted the hosts the advantage. The Earthquakes doubled their lead later in the half after Valeri “Vako” Qazaishvili dribbled through the Colorado defense to score his 3rd goal in the last 3 matches. A wonderful solo goal from Shea Salinas sealed the victory for the Quakes in the 83rd minute. Colorado did get a goal back when Diego Rubio’s deflected effort found its way to the back of the net 2 minutes from time but it turned out to be more than a mere consolation.
The Earthquakes are now just 1 behind the Seattle Sounders for 2nd place in the Western Conference and goalscorer Salinas spoke of the side’s desire to continue forward.
“We just want to keep climbing, we just want to keep catching the teams in front of us. We don’t even really think about the teams behind us.”
While it is refreshing for the San Jose faithful to hear their players speak with such confidence, they must not get complacent and believe that their playoff spot is wrapped up. Although 2nd is within touching distance, the Quakes are only 6 points ahead of 8th place and no playoff soccer.
One man who will certainly not count his chickens before they hatch is Earthquakes head coach Matías Almeyda. The Argentine knows that his team still has a long road ahead them but could not hide his joy at the way they have been playing of late.
“Today you saw a team that enjoys playing football. Today you saw that the fans enjoyed watching us play football. This is the spectacle we wanted”.
Almeyda will be hoping his side can continue its winning ways when they host the Columbus Crew this coming Saturday. There currently a buzz around San Jose soccer that has been missing for years and another convincing victory might just turn that buzz into some real noise heard around the league.