Seeking first win, San Jose welcomes surprising Minnesota
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The San Jose Earthquakes will get a second try at a first win at home under new coach Matias Almeyda on Saturday when they host a Minnesota United FC squad that pulled off one of the most surprising results of Week 1.
Almeyda's Quakes started brightly in last Saturday's opener but saw an early one-goal lead turn into a 2-1 loss to the Montreal Impact at Avaya Stadium.
Magnus Eriksson scored his first goal since last August to give San Jose the lead after 13 minutes, but the squad trailed by halftime after Montreal's response through Ignacio Piatti and Saphir Taider.
The result saw the Quakes balancing frustration with patience under their new coach, who took over after the Quakes finished dead last in MLS last season.
"It's going to be an evolving process throughout the year," captain Chris Wondolowski told the San Jose Mercury-News. "We don't want to be peaking in three weeks. We want to be peaking in 30 weeks."
San Jose is winless in its last nine going back to last season.
Minnesota visits having already equaled its road win total from last season with a 3-2 Opening Day victory over the rebuilding Vancouver Whitecaps last Saturday.
Darwin Quintero converted a penalty just before halftime before Francisco Calvo and Romario Ibarra struck in the second half to build a two-goal lead.
The Loons lost four straight to close out 2018, finishing just two spots above the Quakes in the Western Conference standings.
But as they approach the second of five away games to open the season before their new home, Allianz Field, opens on April 13, coach Adrian Heath believes defensive additions like Osvaldo Alonso, Jan Gregus and Romain Metanire have changed his team's mentality.
"After the first goal, I know there would have been one or two people back home going, 'Oh here we go again,'" Heath said. "But no: it's not here we go again. This is not the same group as we've had before. We're stronger, mentally and physically."