On one hand, Jon Busch made plenty of highlight-worthy saves on behalf of the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday night.
On the other hand, Jon Busch had to make plenty of highlight-worthy saves on behalf of the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday night.
It was that kind of a good news/bad news situation for the Quakes at Gillette Stadium. Busch made seven saves against New England, including a couple of spectacular stops, to keep San Jose’s deficit at one goal for much of the evening, but ultimately couldn’t prevent the visitors from falling 2-0 to the Revolution.
“Jon was huge for us tonight,” Quakes interim coach Mark Watson said. “He gave us a chance to still be at 1-0 and have a chance to tie the game, and we almost took advantage of that. Jon’s been really big for us all year. He was big for us in Chicago Wednesday night and was big for us tonight, again.”
With 22 stops in his last three matches, Busch has landed atop the MLS leaderboard in that category, at least temporarily. The 36-year-old veteran entered the weekend tied on 65 with Raúl Fernández of FC Dallas and Andy Gruenebaum of Columbus, whose teams are both in action Sunday.
Busch did his best impersonation of Horatius at the bridge for as long as he could Saturday, almost single-handedly keeping the Revolution from running away with the match. This despite the fact that New England unloading 19 shots, nine on goal, against a Quakes defense missing Víctor Bernárdez (suspended) and Justin Morrow (benched for what a team representative said were fatigue concerns).
Among the highlights: Busch coming far off his line in the 28th minute to force Chad Barrett to push his attempt wide, and a right-footed kick save from the hockey aficionado in the 34th on Andrew Farrell at 8 yards.
Dimitry Imbongo finally put an end to the Quakes’ dim hopes in the 78th minute, slamming home a square pass from Lee Nguyen at the near post for a goal that Busch was powerless to stop.
“We kept them at 1-0, and I thought if we could just get a chance to get one goal [we’d] get out of here 1-1 and squeak a point on the road,” Busch told MLSsoccer.com by phone. “It just wasn’t meant to be tonight.”
This is not unfamiliar territory for Busch, who topped all MLS goalkeepers in 2011 with 113 saves when San Jose’s defense often left him exposed. Not that he’ll admit to counting.
“I don’t know,” Busch said. “I don’t pay attention to stats. The only thing that matters is wins and losses.”
Unfortunately for the Quakes — who are now 2-6-1 in their last nine matches — the losses are piling up almost as fast as Busch’s saves.