On a night of multiple US Open Cup upsets, the San Jose Earthquakes diligently held their nerve, delivering a comfortable 2-0 win over NASL rivals the SF Deltas. Two rapid-fire goals sealed a most straightforward of victories for the Quakes in what was dubbed as the 101 Derby, the first competitive meeting between the two sides.
The Quakes struggled to fill out an eighteen-man roster due to a plethora of international call-ups and injuries, naming two goalkeepers on the bench and starting multiple younger squad members, and young star Jackson Yeuill seized his opportunity to start with a debut goal.
The midfielder found the back of the net just three minutes into his first appearance for the Quakes, volleying Danny Hoesen’s blocked free-kick into the bottom corner.
“I couldn’t be happier in that moment, it [gave me] momentum for the rest of the game,” Yeuill said. “I think that goal really made me more anxious to keep going, but after [going up 2-0] we stayed composed.”
The sixth-overall MLS SuperDraft pick earned glowing reviews from teammates and staff for his performance. Said coach Dominic Kinnear: “He had a good game. He’s a good passer of the ball and he’s a smart player. Going up to Reno and playing with them…has definitely benefitted him. These are good games for him.”
Kinnear set up in an unusual 3-5-2 formation in order “to start off aggressively and finish the game in ninety minutes”, but it turned out that they needed just six as Cordell Cato added to Yeuill’s tally three minutes later, capitalizing on a series of fortunate bounces to convert a simple tap-in on the break.
After such a productive start, the Quakes had the luxury to take their foot off the gas, which allowed the Deltas to establish a foothold in the game. Marc Dos Santos’ men could have clawed one back on multiple occasions but poor finishing cost them the chance to salvage a result. Midfielder Kyle Bekker tested Andrew Tarbell on two occasions late in the first half, from a twenty-yard volley and low driven shot, but the Quakes goalkeeper was equal to every shot sent his way.
The Quakes dropped into their usual 4-4-2 formation to close out the game in the second half and they nearly netted a third when Simon Dawkins hit the post with a curling effort.
Florian Jungwirth’s night met a premature end after a rough challenge with Bekker, which doesn’t bode well for the Quakes heading into an MLS meeting with Sporting Kansas City on Saturday, but Yeuill’s debut goal left an overall positive impression for both the short and long-term at Avaya.
“I’m glad we’ve won this Open Cup game because, in the next Open Cup game, Jackson Yeuill will be starting as well,” Kinnear said.