San Jose Earthquakes, Jamiro Monteiro finding their footing after another win

To hear interim manager Alex Covelo tell it, the San Jose Earthquakes’ 3-2 win over the Portland Timbers on Wednesday night mirrored his club’s season so far.

The Quakes overcame an early deficit, took a 2-1 lead on Jamiro Monteiro’s first goal of the encounter and then sealed the victory on Monteiro’s second.

“First of all, we started a little bit slow in the first half. It took us too much time to get into the game and that’s why I think Portland took the lead,” Covelo said. “[We] showed a lot of personality again in the second half.”

The result was a third MLS victory in five games under Covelo, removing the Quakes from the bottom of the standings to within just two points of the playoff line in a congested Western Conference table.

Monteiro’s brace was the sixth multi-goal performance for a San Jose player this season, and took his total to three on the season.

And he says he’s feeling more comfortable in his attacking partnerships with Jeremy Ebobisse (seven goals) and Cristian Espinoza (four goals).

“From my first game, my first training, I was really connecting [with Ebobisse and Espinzo],” he said. “I was talking with the guys. But now I feel like it’s getting better and better. Today, I think we could have done more, we could have scored more goals. It didn’t happen but we have another game Sunday and I hope we do that on Sunday.”

That’s when Sporting Kansas City comes to PayPal Park. A side the Quakes suddenly find themselves above in the table, as SKC have struggled to produce offensively at a constant rate for most of the season, recording the second-lowest expected goals in the league with 12.20.

However, Wednesday’s win could still offer reason for concern. San Jose conceded multiple goals for the 10th time in 12 matches, with both coming from Timbers corners.

“The negative thing is we’re giving up too many easy goals against us,” Monteiro said. “We talk about it, and we try to do it better, so we’re really working on that. That needs to be better. Like today, we gave up two goals from corners. I think we need to be sharper in those moments to make it easier for ourselves.”