San Jose Earthquakes interim boss Alex Covelo applauded his side’s resolve despite letting a lead slip against Toronto, as the club closes in on a new permanent coach with an MLS trip to LA Galaxy looming.
The Western Conference outfit are closing in on three months since they parted ways with Matias Almeyda, leaving them on the hunt for a new boss.
Former USMNT great Landon Donovan has been linked in recent days to the vacant post, but Covelo will have done his own prospects no harm after some solid performances at the helm.
“I thought we started really well at Toronto,” he stated ahead of the short trip to face the Galaxy, in reflecting on the result against their Canadian rivals, which finished all square at 2-2.
“We knew we needed to press in the midfield. But in the second half, we started very nervously, and we stopped playing with the ball.
“We knew the gameplan, where to apply the correct pressure. I think the guys that played stepped up.”
Opposite number Greg Vanney meanwhile has called upon his side to consider how they seize their opportunities in the wake of a derby loss to LAFC, suggesting that his side were close to the better team throughout, even as they ended up on the wrong end of the scoreline.
“I thought in the grand scheme of things, we got punished on not a lot of chances,” he reflected on his side’s defeat.
“Over the course of 90 minutes, I think our chances were better than theirs. But it’s a game of details and it’s a game of taking your chances when you get them.”
PLAYERS TO WATCH
LA Galaxy – Chicharito
The Mexico veteran remains a potent presence for the Galaxy, and might just be their most fearsome weapon up front. His seven goals this season leads the club across MLS.
San Jose – Jeremy Ebobisse
The Earthquakes have a lethal striker of their own in attack too, and he’s not to be sniffed at despite their managerial hunt for stability. Ebobisse has 10 goals to his name, one of five players to have hit double figures in MLS so far this season.
KEY OPTA FACTS
– San Jose has won four of its last seven visits to the Galaxy in MLS play (L3) after winning only five of its first 30 regular season visits. The Earthquakes won, 2-1, at Dignity Health Sports Park in their last visit last August, but have never won consecutive regular season away matches at the Galaxy.
– The Galaxy suffered a 3-2 defeat to LAFC in El Tráfico on Friday, the fifth time this season LA has conceded three goals in a match, losing all five. The Galaxy have a record of W8 D3 L2 in the 13 matches in which they’ve held opponents under three goals.
– Jack Skahan scored a 90th minute equalizer in Toronto on Saturday to give San Jose a 2-2 draw. The draw was just the third away point of the season for the Earthquakes (W0 D3 L6) who remain one of three teams (Colorado, Toronto) without a road win in MLS play in 2022.
– Rayan Raveloson scored one of the Galaxy’s goals against LAFC on Friday and assisted on the other. Raveloson has been involved in four goals in his last two MLS games (3 goals, 1 assist) after contributing to four goals (all assists) in his previous 28 league appearances.
– Jeremy Ebobisse loves to play the Galaxy, scoring seven goals in seven career MLS starts against them. He’s failed to score only once in his seven MLS starts against LA.