SAN JOSE, Calif. – Jose Villarreal scored his first career US Open Cup goal and the LA Galaxy kept their perfect record against their archrivals with a 1-0 victory against the San Jose Earthquakes at Avaya Stadium on Wednesday.
The Galaxy, who have reached the tournament’s quarterfinals for the first time since 2011, are now 5-0 in USOC play against San Jose. LA will face Real Salt Lake in the quarterfinals in three weeks’ time.
It was a measure of revenge for the visitors, who were thumped 3-1 in league play before a sellout Stanford Stadium crowd on Sunday. And it marked LA’s first win away from StubHub Center in any competition since Aug. 20, when they beat Colorado 4-3 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
The Galaxy put San Jose’s second-unit backline under pressure from the outset, and went on top in the sixth minute. Midfielder Kenney Walker launched a lead pass from his side of the center circle while Villarreal streaked behind the Quakes’ JJ Koval – who has moved up the depth chart at center back with last week’s trade of Ty Harden – to deftly bring down the ball with his right foot. Villarreal struck with his left foot off the bounce, slotting to the near post past San Jose goalkeeper Bryan Meredith.
Quakes forward Mark Sherrod briefly appeared to have tied things up in the 30th minute, heading Jean-Baptiste Pierazzi’s 40-yard free kick off LA goalkeeper Brian Rowe and into the net before being whistled offside.
San Jose midfielder Leandro Barrera curled a 22-yard shot just outside the far post in the 35th minute.
Two minutes after that, Villarreal did well to hold off Koval in a physical battle for another long pass, but pushed his 16-yard effort over the crossbar.
San Jose opened more brightly in the second half, earning four corners and their first official shot on goal in the opening 10 minutes after intermission.
Sherrod nearly got a point-blank touch to Barrera’s teasing 58th-minute cross after it floated over Rowe at the near post. Barrera ran on to Cordell Cato’s cross-field delivery 10 minutes later, but his wide-open effort from 15 yards slid inches wide
Alan Gordon looked to have doubled LA’s lead in the 82nd minute, but Meredith was judged to have grabbed the ball before it fully crossed the goal line.
The Quakes had two penalty shouts on Leonardo ignored in the 83rd minute and never got any closer to an equalizer despite going to a 3-5-2 formation in the final 11 minutes of regulation.
LA Galaxy 1, San Jose Earthquakes 0
Wednesday, July 1, 2015 – 7:30 p.m. PT
2015 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup – Round of 16
Avaya Stadium – San Jose, California
LA – Jose Villarreal (Assisted by Kenney Walker) 5’
LA – Raul Mendiola (caution) 84'
SJ – Michael Fucito (caution) 87'
LA – Brian Rowe (caution) 90'
LA Galaxy: Brian Rowe; Oscar Sorto (Dan Gargan 60’), Leonardo, Tommy Meyer, A.J. DeLaGarza; Raul Mendiola, Kenney Walker (Juninho, 71’), Rafael Garcia, Ignacio Maganto; Alan Gordon ©, Jose Villarreal (Sebastian Lletget 84’).
Substitutions not used: Andrew Wolverton, Todd Dunivant, Stefan Ishizaki.
TOTAL SHOTS: 7; SHOTS ON GOAL: 4; FOULS: 6; OFFSIDE: 1; CORNER KICKS: 0; SAVES: 3.
San Jose Earthquakes: Bryan Meredith; Paulo Renato (Fatai Alashe 79’), JJ Koval, Shaun Francis, Cordell Cato; Sanna Nyassi, Jean-Baptiste Pierazzi, Khari Stephenson (Mike Fucito 45’), Leandro Barrera; Tommy Thompson, Mark Sherrod (Adam Jahn 60’).
Substitutions not used: David Bingham, Victor Bernardez, Shea Salinas, Jordan Stewart.
TOTAL SHOTS: 15; SHOTS ON GOAL: 3; FOULS: 12; OFFSIDE: 3; CORNER KICKS: 10; SAVES: 3.
Referee: Allen Chapman
Referee’s Assistants: Antony Vasoli and Kathryn Nesbitt
4th Official: Joseph Dickerson