Monterey Bay FC capitalized on some key MLS starters sitting for the San Jose Earthquakes and the USL Championship side nabbed a ‘Cupset’ by downing the visitors, 1-0, off the strength of a goal from Christian Volesky while goalkeeper Antony Siaha stopped four shots for the clean sheet.
Frank Yallop — the Monterey Bay FC coach and a San Jose Earthquakes legend — was delighted with his team’s performance, praising their ability to capitalize on the Earthquakes’ mistakes.
He was also full of praise for Volesky, who scored the crucial goal and was named the USL Championship’s Player of the Week earlier this week and for the second time this season.
”I feel confident. The team feels confident,” Volesky said. “To get a clean sheet, that was our goal tonight.
Monterey Bay – of the second-tier USL Championship – dump the MLS’ San Jose Earthquakes out of the U.S. Open Cup with a 1-0 win.pic.twitter.com/TFTvQEkom2— B/R Football (@brfootball) April 26, 2023
“(We) got a goal early, and we got the clean sheet. So if we win, prove a point a little bit. And we’re excited for what’s next.”
This result knocked the Earthquakes out of the US Open Cup and gave Monterey Bay FC and fellow USL teams a much-needed confidence boost as one to pull off a Cup upset.
San Jose will be left to ponder what could have been if they had played the entire starting squad the whole match. Luchi González, the San Jose Earthquakes coach, was disappointed with the result, acknowledging that his team had not played their best game. He also lamented the absence of key players, which had affected his team’s performance.
”It’s tough. That’s the beauty of Open Cup is you have nights like these,” González said. “At the end of the day, we didn’t get the draw at home. We would have loved to play at home, but this is close enough. So we felt good. We played here in preseason. We had a really competitive game against them then. I felt our preparation was very good. The players had a great attitude in the week of training, and approach to this game. And I felt we competed really well.”
The game took place at the Cardinale Stadium in Monterey, California, where the attendance was higher than a usual Tuesday night match.
Monterey Bay FC started the game strong, with the high press leading to a recovery of the ball in the 26th minute, which was slotted in the back of the net by Volesky. This goal resulted from some sloppy play from the Earthquakes’ Centerback Rodrigues. San Jose goalkeeper Daniel, who had not been in the best form since being purchased in the off-season, could not prevent the ball from going in.
The Earthquakes had been dominating the possession in the first half. However, they had failed to create any significant chances. They were missing key players, such as Jeremy Ebobisse and Cristian Espinoza, as they sat on the bench, which showed their inability to break through the opposition’s defense. With the lack of options up front, they were taking desperate shots instead of trying to work in a well-placed cross.
The situation changed in the second half when González brought on Cristian Espinoza and Jamiro Monteiro, two of their best offensive options.
Espinoza immediately made an impact, making a brilliant run that left his defender behind and providing the deadliest cross of the game. But no Quake was in the box to finish it.
The second half was more evenly contested, with both teams creating some excellent chances. The game went back and forth, with back-to-back saves from both keepers, keeping out stellar shots from the opposition. Monterey Bay had an opportunity to double the score in the 90th minute. However, Daniel made a crucial save to prevent a late goal.