Quakes remain in MLS basement after loss to Colorado

San Jose – Rafael Navarro’s goal off a penalty kick in the 10th minute was all the Colorado Rapids needed to drop San Jose 3-0 Saturday night at PayPal Park. The Quakes recorded third straight loss and their fourth in the last five matches.

“It wasn’t a good start,” head coach Luchi Gonzalez said. “We didn’t break their pressure, we wanted to build pressure on them, but they were on us.”

San Jose’s goalkeeper William Yarbrough came out of his six-yard box to defend Yarbrough who looked to be in on goal toward the left post. Yarbrough slid down to try to block the shot low, but tackled Navarro just outside of the six-yard box in the process, forcing the referee to call for the penalty.

“It was a poor start,” said Gonzalez. “They found a way and we didn’t.”

Navarro struck again in the 60th minute, tapping in a loose ball off an initial cross from Keegan Rosenberry, that was then headed by Cole Bassett which bounced off Calvin Harris and eventually found itself passing by a few Quake defenders and to the feet of Navarro who eventually tapped it into the far post.

Bassett sealed the win in the 80th minute, taking in a backheel pass from Navarro and firing it past Yarbrough to put The Rapids up 3-0.

“This was a tough one tonight,” midfielder Niko Tsakiris said. “I felt like we had good moments, and it’s just looking to build off those moments. There were times tonight we weren’t’ on our best and we got punished.”

San Jose had several moments throughout the night to pull even, or at least score. 

After the Rapids’ penalty, Cristian Espinoza had a chance on goal twice to pull even in a span of five minutes, however both were saved by Colorado goalkeeper Zack Steffen. 

Amahl Pellegrino almost had a highlight worthy shot in the 22nd minute, but his curled shot to the far post went just wide. Just a few minutes after that, Carlos Akapo’s low cross went for nothing right in front of goal as two Earthquakes players had a chance to tap in what would have been a sure goal.

Tsakiris almost had highlight worthy goal himself in the second half, but it just hit the crossbar and went over the net for a goal kick.

“It’s frustrating when you’re creating opportunities and it’s just not following your way,” said Tsakiris. “We had good rhythm, we created chances, but it just didn’t fall our way tonight.”

The goals conceded by San Jose, despite one coming off a penalty, now marks 20 goals conceded this season through the first eight matches, the worst in MLS so far, now four shy of rival Portland’s 16 goals allowed so far this season.

Their 10-goal total for the season is the third least in the Western Conference, just ahead of Seattle and Houston’s nine on the year and ahead of FC Dallas’s six, the least in the conference and second least in Major League Soccer.

The Quakes return on the road for the second installment of the Cali Clasico at the L.A. Galaxy next Saturday and the week after at Nashville before returning home to take on Los Angeles FC at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara on May 4th.

Photo by Quakes/Twitter

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