Earthquakes down Whitecaps for Vancouver’s third-straight loss

SAN JOSE, Calif. — The San Jose Earthquakes handed an undermanned Vancouver Whitecaps squad a 3-0 loss in California Wednesday.

Cristian Espinoza, Andres Rios and Paul Marie scored for the Quakes (5-6-5), who notched their third win in a row.

The Whitecaps (5-11-0) were forced to play with nine men for the final 15 minutes of the game after both Andy Rose and Erik Godoy were sent off with red cards.

The Whitecaps (5-11-0) played a promising first half, keeping the pressure up and peppering San Jose ‘keeper J.T. Marcinkowski with five on-target shots.

The California native stopped a total of five shots for the Earthquakes Wednesday, while Evan Bush made five saves for Vancouver.

Ultimately, the Whitecaps failed to bring the same momentum to the second frame and suffered their third loss in a row.

San Jose struck early in the second with Espinoza holding off midfielder Leonard Owusu at the top of the penalty box before taking a long shot that beat Bush to the far corner to make it 1-0 in the 50th minute.

The goal was only the second of the season for Argentine designated player and his first since July 19.

Vancouver’s situation grew more problematic in the 53rd when Rose took down Fierro and was shown the yellow card for a second time. He’d earlier been called for clipping Espinoza on a tackle.

The ‘Caps midfielder was sent off, leaving the squad with 10 men.

San Jose widened its lead in the 66th minute when Fierro sent a gorgeous pass into the box, connecting with Rios who slid a shot in past a stretched out Bush.

The bad news got worse in the 75th minute when Godoy was shown a red after some shoving left Quakes midfielder Jackson Yueill on the field. The play went to video review but was upheld.

Both Godoy and Rose will be suspended when the Whitecaps host Real Salt Lake at their temporary home in Portland on Saturday.

Marie sealed the Quakes’ win in injury time, burying a tidy pass from teammate Tommy Thompson.

Bush made his debut for the ‘Caps Wednesday, becoming the fourth ‘keeper to start for the club this season.

Vancouver acquired the 34-year-old native of Concord Township, Ohio, from the Montreal Impact on Sept. 28 after Thomas Hasal’s season was cut short by a concussion and a stress fracture in his left tibia.

Bush had been with the Impact since 2011, appearing in 176 regular season games where he made 562 saves and earned 40 clean sheets but had not started an MLS game since Sept. 21, 2019.

The goalie was tested early on Wednesday.

Espinoza used some nice footwork to get around defender Rose at the top of the box, then launched a rocket at the Vancouver net, forcing Bush to make his first save for the Whitecaps.

Vancouver responded about two minutes later when Russell Teibert sent a cross in to Cristian Dajome in front of the Earthquakes goal. The Whitecap striker saw his header sail just above the crossbar.

San Jose nearly got on the scoreboard in the 40th minute when Judson broke free of the ‘Caps defence and went one-on-one with Bush. The Brazillian midfielder’s shot at the back post went just wide of the net.

The Whitecaps had another opportunity in injury time when Ali Adnan was pulled down outside the penalty box. Marcinkowski smothered Fredy Montero’s ensuing free kick to keep the game scoreless heading into the half.

Vancouver was the lone Canadian MLS club to drop a decision on Wednesday. Toronto FC snagged a 1-0 win over the New England Revolution and the Montreal Impact snapped a four-game losing skid with a 2-1 victory over Columbus SC.

NOTES: Midfielders Russell Teibert and Leonard Owusu returned to Vancouver’s starting 11 after missing games with injuries. … Whitecaps striker Lucas Cavallini and midfielder Janio Bikel sat out the game due to suspensions. … The Whitecaps were without defender Jasser Khmiri who has been called up to the Tunisian national team.

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