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GBU Report: Earthquakes Defeat Whitecaps

The San Jose Earthquakes 2-1 victory over the Vancouver Whitecaps Friday night at BC Place could start the Earthquakes’ run to the post-season. 

Earthquakes Defeat Whitecaps

San Jose won their first road game of the season in Vancouver. Goals from forward Quincy Amarkiwa and midfielder Simon Dawkins secured the three points, and put the Quakes one point behind Portland for sixth overall.

The Good

The most significant takeaway from the Earthquakes’ win is getting three points on the road. The Quakes came to Vancouver with a 0-5-6 road record, and sitting in eighth place in the Western Conference. The win not only boosted the Quakes to seventh in the standings with a game in hand to catch up with the sixth place Portland Timbers (just one point separate the two teams), but it could galvanize the team to more road wins and a possible playoff berth. The Quakes’ last road win was a 2-1 victory at D.C. United on August 22, 2015.

Midfielder Anibal Godoy played like a Panamanian possessed. Godoy led the Quakes in shots (3), shots on goal (2), key passes (3), aerials won (2), tackles (3), interceptions (5), crosses (4), and total touches (67). Godoy also completed 90.7% of his passes, had two clearances, and notched an assist on forward Quincy Amarkiwa‘s first-half goal. He was clearly the man-of-the-match. If Godoy continues his stellar play, the Quakes continue earning points.

Midfielder Simon Dawkins and forward Quincy Amarikwa responded to the pressure. The arrival of forward Henok Goitom increased the pressure for Amarikwa to produce goals. Prior to Friday’s match, Amarikwa had two goals in 18 appearances, which was one of the reasons why the Quakes were ranked last in the West in total goals scored (23). Quincy was able to get his head on a Godoy corner at 14′ to net his third of the season, and possibly secure his spot in the starting XI for another game.

Dawkins had another DP-quality game. The midfielder netted himself a couple of first-half key passes, and scored a goal. Dawkins has been hit-and-miss in his appearances this season for San Jose. Coming into Friday’s match, Dawkins had two goals, two assists, and averaged 1.2 key passes per game. Friday’s performance could be a signal that Dawkins is finally rounding into DP form.

The Quakes now have nine points in their previous five games. While still below the playoff line, the Quakes are quietly positioning themselves for a playoff push.

The Bad

Midfielder Fatai Alashe may have lost his starting position to midfielder Darwin Ceren. Alashe picked up his seventh yellow card of the season, and is one away from a mandatory one game suspension. With the arrival of Darwin Ceren from Orlando City SC coupled with the threat of suspension, Head Coach Dom Kinnear will probably elect to start Ceren over Fatai in the coming weeks.

The Quakes were one minute away from a second straight clean sheet, but the Whitecaps found a way to put one of their 17 shots into the net via a Nicolas Mezquida goal off a corner at 94′.

The Ugly

The injury bug continues to be a threat. Defender Jordan Stewart, defender Cordell Cato, and midfielder Alberto Quintero all required medical attention during Friday’s match. The Quakes have had a terrible history of injuries this season, and Friday’s match was a grim reminder that no player is safe from injury.

Vancouver now owns a -7 goal differential, and a 1.2 points-per-game average. Just as Friday’s match may have set up San Jose’s post-season run, it may also augur a regular season collapse for the Whitecaps.


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