The San Jose Earthquakes played their first regular season home MLS match (though at the Oakland Coliseum) last Saturday since the team got moved to Houston by the low lifes at AEG. Sadly, they lost 1-0 to the Chicago Fire, though the Earthquakes far outplayed the Fire. Chicago is a pretty good team, but they looked pretty bad on Saturday.
Blanco was especially awful. He played really well last year and earlier this year for Chicago, but he was about the worst player on the field. He tried two nifty backheels. Too bad they went directly to Earthquakes players. He also did his famous bunnyhop in the corner at San Jose’s end of the field where he grabs the ball with the inside of both feet, jumps forward flipping the ball clear of the defenders and takes off with the ball. Only this time, both Earthquakes players who were defending him easily beat him to the ball and took off while Blanco was left standing there to watch. He’s still a great player and I’m sure he’ll get better as the season goes on, thogh he definitely has to work on his fitness. He was never a threat in the open field.
The Earthquakes played very well and nearly scored several goals, with shots going off the crossbar and the post. They also defended well, giving up the only goal against the run of play when an unfortunate deflection caught the midfield out on the attack. Salinas had a great look at goal but somehow managed to lift the ball over the goal from only a few feet out. The keeper was on the ground and he tried a little too hard to lift it over him.