Cali Clasico: Quakes win on Terrible Earthquakes Stadium Pitch

Earthquakes Stadium Pitch
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SAN JOSE, Calif. – Woof, that was tough to watch, and not just cause the two teams have been struggling recently. San Jose Earthquakes hosted LA Galaxy at Earthquakes Stadium on Saturday night. Both teams were looking for a result to improve their form. The match ended up being a win for the home side as the Earthquakes Stadium pitch was in poor condition, if not downright dangerous.

Cali Clasico Draw: San Jose and LA Galaxy Survive Terrible Earthquakes Stadium Pitch

The Quakes were coming into this game on terrible form until their most recent match. The team was getting torn apart in their man-marking system. As fun as this team was at times last year and in the MLS is Back tournament, the talent and fitness deficit is obvious.

The Galaxy have cooled off since their four game winning streak in August. The defensive cracks have resurfaces. Opponents have figured out if they commit to shutting down Cristian Pavon, they’ll be ok. Chicharito Hernendez continued to struggle as did the team with him playing.

Despite all that, LA opened the scoring just four minutes in. Sebastian Lleget cleaned up a rebound in the box after some great passing saw Chicharito shoot the ball off the post.

San Jose nearly tied the game in the 12th minute. Nicholas DePuy was called for a penalty in the box. Chris Wondolowski looked to score his 164th MLS regular season goal, but he was denied by goalkeeper David Bingham.

The Quakes finally tied the match just before halftime through Marcos Lopez. San Jose played the ball quickly. Nick Lima crossed the ball from the touchline but it went over the heads of all in the box. Lopez ran onto the ball and beat Bingham at the far post with no pressure on the ball.

The match became messy in the second half. The Earthquakes Stadium pitch was chewed up, with discolored sections of grass, patchy areas, and divots/chucks ripped out all over the field.

Twitter was a buzz with comments about how the field looked especially poor if not dangerous. Both teams struggled to play their game given the circumstances, with players making runs and cuts as if they were walking on egg shells.

Nonetheless, San Jose took the lead through a penalty in the 82nd minute. Rolf Feltscher kicked out on Shea Salinas, taking him down inside the box. Andy Rios converted the kick from the spot. The match ended 2-1.

Three Takeaways:

Penalties: The Galaxy gave up two penalties in this game on poor fouls by defenders. This continues to plague the team when they’re not firing on all cylinders offensively.

Changes in form: San Jose has now won two in a row. LA has now lost four in a row. This writer still isn’t convinced either of these teams are good, but one has their belief and fight coming back. The other continues to lose games with similar scripts.

Earthquakes Stadium pitch: The playing surface was terrible in this game. The San Jose field has been a talking point at other times during this restarted regular season. It made playing the beautiful game difficult for both teams and was potentially dangerous.

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