Sunday night’s 1-1 draw between the San Jose Earthquakes and the Portland Timbers was not pretty. After the tension of last week’s meeting and all the fallout that ensued, I was expecting an interesting game.
First, I need to get one thing out of the way. If you read my post following the last game, you may have wondered why I did not mention anything about the Alan Gordon debacle. Truth be told, I somehow managed to not hear about it until the next day. Needless to say I was very disappointed by the news that he had directed a homophobic slur toward Portland’s Will Johnson. The topic has no doubt already been beaten to death by the media, so I will content myself with saying that while I was upset by the occurrence, I was glad that he came out immediately after the match to apologize. Some players wait a few days to do so, or fail to say anything at all. It is refreshing to see a player who is humble enough to admit he was in the wrong, without any public prompting or pressure.
In addition to all the less-than-friendly feelings between the two sides, the club recently put the 1906 Ultras (the Quakes’ biggest, most intense fan group) on probation due to events that transpired between San Jose and Portland fans following last weeks match. As such, Section 109 was ever so slightly more subdued than usual. On top of all this, there was a heightened security presence throughout the entire stadium due to the tragic events of this past week at the Boston Marathon. The atmosphere throughout the stadium seemed slightly off, as if no one was quite sure what to expect.
The Quakes came out and had some good chances, but were unable to convert any for most of the game. They went down 0-1 in the 58′ minute when DP Diego Valeri scored off a deflected Ryan Johnson shot. It looked like the game was going to end with the same scoreline as last week when the newest Goonie of the bunch–and hero in the game against the New York Red Bulls–rookie Adam Jahn scored in the 92′ off a multi-touch play that had started all the way in the back with a restart from keeper Jon Busch.
The other highlight of the night was seeing Steven Beitashour and Marvin Chavez make their first appearances of 2013 after having been out with injuries. Even that was somewhat marred by the fact that Gordon was not out there with them. It seemed to me that Steven Lenhart especially was feeling the loss of his fellow Bash Brother. He took the brunt of the physicality from the Timbers, and appeared even more fiery than usual.
While snatching a point at the end almost felt like a win for the fans, San Jose will be disappointed not to have gotten the full 3 points at home–especially as they have not beaten Portland since the Timbers entered the league in 2011. The Earthquakes will hope for a better result as they travel to LA to take on Chivas USA next weekend.
Image courtesy of SJEarthquakes.com (John Todd/ISIPhotos)