Match Report: Colorado Rapids 5-0 San Jose Earthquakes
A third win in four games was achieved in ruthless fashion on Wednesday night, as the Colorado Rapids added to the woes of a dreadful San Jose Earthquakes with a 5-0 drubbing at DICK’S Sporting Goods Park, writes Richard Fleming.
Over the past seven seasons, games have been extremely tight between these teams, but there was nothing close about this one. Indeed, the Rapids scored five goals against San Jose for the very first time, while enjoying their greatest margin of victory in what was a 70th regular season meeting of the two.
Head coach Robin Fraser said: "Proud of the way that the team worked tonight. San Jose can make it very difficult for you to play and they certainly gave us some challenges early on.
"I was proud of the fact that the group continued to work and try to find solutions. In the end, obviously, we were able to break through and create a number of good chances.”
Goals flowed from Cole Bassett, Jonathan Lewis, Nicolas Mezquida, Andre Shinyashiki, as well as a Tommy Thompson own goal, handing the Rapids their first home win since March 7, and a third clean sheet in as many victories.
Even the match officials took pity on the Quakes, refusing to allow any additional time at the end of the contest, the result of which lifted the Rapids to fifth in the Western Conference, and now just two points off leaders Seattle Sounders.
Bassett continued his hot streak with a goal and an assist. He now has four goals and four assists from nine appearances in 2020. That is more than in his previous 26 outings in MLS. The homegrown midfielder has three goals and two assists in his most recent four games.
Fraser said of Bassett: "A goal and an assist tonight and a number of goals over the last number of games - the statistics are great, but it’s more about watching him develop.
"His game intelligence continues to grow. He’s a player who understands how to find the space that he needs to execute the play that he needs to execute.
"This is not an easy thing for young players to understand and Cole’s progress has obviously been really really good over the last year or so.”
Bassett's was the first goal, after Kellyn Acosta had one scrubbed off due to the tightest of offside decisions against Jack Price. Referee Drew Fischer went to video review and felt the offside was clear and obvious, though replays the rest of us had were inconclusive.
Bassett was found by the boot of Price from a freekick in the 35th minute, with the 19-year-old rising to head past Daniel Vega in the San Jose goal. Vega had earlier sensationally denied a Shinyashiki header, instinctively palming the ball onto the woodwork, but his night was about to get much tougher.
The Rapids had just the one goal advantage at the interval, before Lewis latched onto an exquisite through ball from Acosta and tucked it beyond the helpless Vega five minutes after the break.
William Yarbrough bravely blocked a close-range Danny Hoesen toe-poke, before the trickle became a flood.
First, Shinyashiki’s good work in getting to the goal-line was rewarded in the 70th minute as his low cross was turned in by Thompson, who had little choice but to try to get some contact on the ball, with Bassett lurking at the back post.
Nine minutes later, a first goal of 2020 for Mezquida, and a first assist for the Rapids for Auston Trusty, who had worked wonders to create space down the right wing and find his Uruguayan teammate.
With six minutes remaining, Bassett turned provider, dropping a shoulder and unselfishly releasing Shinyashiki, who calmly stroked the ball into the far corner to complete a convincing victory.
San Jose’s man-marking system was exposed time and again by the Rapids. Price and Acosta often found themselves in yards of space in the midfield. And, having felt out the opposition in the first half, the Rapids came out and picked the Quakes apart in the second 45.
The California club has now leaked 28 goals in their eight games since returning from the tournament in Orlando, and head coach Matias Almeyda cut a rather sorry figure at the final whistle.
For their part, the Rapids had a job to do, and they did so without too much fuss. They were even able to rest a few players in the latter stages, such as Price, Keegan Rosenberry, and Braian Galvan, who was making his first start in MLS. The only downside from the night’s work is that Acosta picked up a yellow card and will miss this Sunday’s home game against Sporting Kansas City (7pm).
Colorado Rapids: William Yarbrough; Keegan Rosenberry (Jeremy Kelly 60’), Lalas Abubakar, Auston Trusty, Sam Vines; Cole Bassett, Jack Price (Collen Warner 75’), Kellyn Acosta (Nicolas Mezquida 60’); Braian Galvan (Drew Moor 68’), Andre Shinyashiki, Jonathan Lewis (Nicolas Benezet 68’).
Subs not used: Clint Irwin, Danny Wilson, Deklan Wynne, Steven Beitashour.
San Jose Earthquakes: Daniel Vega; Tommy Thompson, Florian Jungwirth, Tanner Beason, Marcos Lopez (Shea Salinas 63’); Judson; Cristian Espinoza (Paul Marie 70’), Jackson Yueill, Cade Cowell (Chris Wondolowski HT), Carlos Fierro (Vako 63’); Andy Rios (Danny Hoesen 63’).
Subs not used: JT Marcinkowski, Nick Lima, Eric Calvillo, Luis Felipe.