Danny Hoesen opened his 2019 scoring account in his first start, Shea Salinas and Cristian Espinoza also scored, and the San Jose Earthquakes defeated the Portland Timbers 3-0 on Saturday at Avaya Stadium for their first points under first-year coach Matias Almeyda.
After conceding 14 goals through their first four matches of the season, including five last week in a loss to LAFC, Daniel Vega made four saves to keep San Jose's first clean sheet of the new campaign. His most important came early in the second half, when he stretched out his leg to thwart Diego Valeri's penalty.
The victory snaps a 13-match winless run in total for the Quakes, dating back to last season.
Jeff Attinella made 10 saves for the Timbers, who still have a solitary point five matches into their 12-match road trip to begin 2019. They'll return to a renovated and expanded Providence Park on June 1.
- THE BIG PICTURE: Traditionally, teams that begin the season with long away stints because of stadium construction buck conventional wisdom to make the postseason. But the Timbers had better earn find a way to earn a few points on the road soon. So far they haven't been close, losing three times by three goals during a four-match losing streak.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: It actually happened moments before kickoff, when Quakes Homegrown Player Tommy Thompson spoke to NBC Sports Bay Area's Danielle Slaton. While players often appear to go through the motions in such chats, Thompson took the opportunity to deliver a very serious and earnest message to San Jose fans.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Cristian Espinoza. Despite substantial changes to the lineup around him — or perhaps because of them — Espinoza played his most complete match since his arrival from Villareal, setting up Salinas' opener before putting the game out of sight after just 34 minutes.