Home SPORTS Almeyda says Quakes ‘must win’ every game to make playoffs

Almeyda says Quakes ‘must win’ every game to make playoffs

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90min

Once an established MLS superpower, the San Jose Earthquakes again face the very real prospect of missing out on the playoffs this season.

The California side did make the post-season in 2020, but only by finishing eighth in an extended field. That represents one of just four playoff campaigns in their last 13 seasons and two in their last eight. Unacceptable for a club that won two MLS Cups and a Supporters’ Shield shortly after the turn of the millenium, while lifting the latter again as recently as 2012.

Even so, the Quakes are often named among the most entertaining sides in MLS thanks to the all-action style of play implemented by head coach Matias Almeyda. The Argentine’s approach is predicated on man-marking across the pitch and quick transitions and although it can be devastatingly effective, it also carries the likelihood of complete collapse if players lose their individual battles or have an off-day.

At present, San Jose sit 10th in the Western Conference, four points adrift of the playoff line. The Quakes’ latest disappointment – a 1-0 defeat at home to the Colorado Rapids – came just when they looked like putting some consistency together, ending a run of 10 games without defeat with their three wins during that time coming in their last six outings.

Almeyda wasn’t helped by having to withdraw striker Jeremy Ebobisse in the sixth minute after a clash of heads with Rapids defender Lalas Abubakar – also substituted – with young replacement Cade Cowell struggling to hold up the ball and connect with his teammates. Indeed, Cowell himself was brought off in the 78th minute.

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