DC United and Earthquakes score resounding wins after coaches fired
A club manager’s mid-season dismissal is a signal that something needs to change – and fast. The summer transfer window is too far to wait and the team needs a change of philosophy.
Such was the case for DC United and the San Jose Earthquakes this week. Both clubs responded with impressive home wins, with DC United ousting New England Revolutio 3-2 after the somewhat surprising dismissal of Hernan Losada. The Earthquakes made an incredible comeback against the Seattle Sounders after ending Draft Matias Almeyda earlier this week.
DC United’s latest victory finally ended a four-game losing streak. Caretaker coach Chad Ashton, the club’s longtime assistant coach, has pledged to inject some fun into the team going forward. He slightly modified the 5-3-2 formation set up by Losada, playing Julian Gressel in a more advanced role.
The club may have found a new star in striker Taxiarchis Fountas. Fountas, a newcomer for 2022, scored with an excellent volley in the 26th minute and then added another just before half-time. Fountas made his second appearance of the season.
DCU’s decision to part ways with Losada came after a productive offseason in which the club added a DP to Michael Estrada and sold Kevin Paredes to Wolfsburg. However, Losada had publicly stated that the club needed to invest more and add a third DP. The league’s poor standings led general manager Lucy Rushton to comment, “We’ve got a really good group of players, and I think we haven’t gotten the best out of them.”
On the other coast, the San Jose Earthquakes showed all the signs of a loss to the Seattle Sounders. Then Cristian Espinoza took the initiative and led the Quakes to one of the best comebacks in MLS this year.
The 4-3 win with a three-goal comeback is San Jose’s first win of the season.
Espinoza scored in the 64th minute to take the Quakes to a 3-2 deficit. Jackson Yueill struck again a minute later, setting the stage for the Quakes to chase a winner. At the start of stoppage time, the Sounders fouled in the box from a corner and allowed Espinoza to bring the winner in from the penalty spot.
Interim coach Alex Covelo, the Quakes’ former MLS NEXT Pro team manager, stepped in and made some changes, playing Jackson Yueill in a slightly more advanced role in a 4-1-4-1 formation. Almeyda opted for a 4-2-3-1 setup with Yuiell and Jan Gregus in central midfield.
Matias Almeyda lasted just over three seasons in San Jose, and those years were tumultuous. His much-maligned man-marking defensive system persisted, despite poor defensive form throughout his tenure. The Quakes signed Almeyda in a bid to recover from the club’s worst MLS finish in its history.
The comeback displayed by the Earthquakes brought back memories of a successful period in the club’s history.
“” It was amazing. I can’t describe it,” Covelo said. “I’ve been here since 2017 and it’s amazing the amount of energy the fans bring to the club. Always. That’s why I learned a phrase when I got here, a friend of mine said to me: Goonies Never Say Die. So here we are.”