Every once in a while you'll see players subbed in the first half for tactical reasons. More often, you might see it happen it halftime. In the San Jose Earthquakes' Week 20 visit to Montreal, we saw both of those subs happen, with another twist thrown in.
It all started in the 41st minute, when Anibal Godoy – who was on a yellow card after a hard challenge on Ignacio Piatti – was replaced by Fatai Alashe. Godoy, fresh off a World Cup campaign with Panama, did not appear to be happy with the move, and TVA's Nicolas Martineau noted that he was "not hurt."
Alashe saw out the rest of the half, and took the field when the teams came out for the second half. But before referee Joseph Dickerson could re-start the game, the fourth official held up his board, indicating that Alashe was to be replaced by Jimmy Ockford after being on the field for four minutes plus first-half stoppage time. After taking a long look at the Quakes bench while walking of the field, Alashe engaged in a heated discussion with Stahre before taking his seat:
Although Alashe took the field to start the second half, the Quakes said the fourth-year midfielder had suffered a groin strain late in the first half, and the broadcast crew noted that he had been working out with the San Jose substitutes at halftime:
The Quakes would lose the match, 2-0, after goals on either side of halftime from the Impact and they remain rooted to the bottom of the Western Conference.
The substitution drama comes a few days removed from an incident in which defender Florian Jungwirth drew criticism from a former Quakes player for his comments about the quality of the team's roster.