SAN JOSE, Calif. – In case you’re wondering if it gets boring to see your own golazo, the short answer is, no.
“It was one of the best goals that I’ve ever scored, and I’ve watched it like 200 times already,” San Jose Earthquakes attacker Vako told MLSsoccer.com on Tuesday, referring to his slaloming run and jaw-dropping, outside-of-the-boot strike that helped propel the Georgian national team to a 2-0 victory in an international exhibition last week against Estonia.
It was another entry in a growing highlight reel for the 25-year-old, who began 2018 on a hot streak for the Quakes, delivering a pair of goals and assists in San Jose’s first three matches.
“I’ve had lots of time to adapt,” said Vako, who joined the Quakes last June. “I’ve been here 10 months. I needed time to get to know the players and the league and soccer here. Now it works good and I’m happy. … So now I feel like I’m at home. It helps me, a lot.”
The increased level of production has put Vako in some select company. Taking into account last season’s five goals and two assists in 13 appearances, Vako has put up 11 combined goals and assists in his first 15 MLS matches – a total that matches or exceeds the early performances of such stars as Toronto FC’s Jozy Altidore, Montreal’s Ignacio Piatti or Portland’s Diego Valeri. And on a per-minute basis, Vako’s first 15 performance (1.02 points per 90 minutes) tops Atlanta’s Miguel Almiron (0.91) and Seattle’s Nicolas Lodeiro (0.87).
“As soon as he’s gotten here, he puts up numbers, puts up stats, and he has the talent to open up some defenses by some individual magic,” Quakes captain Chris Wondolowski said. “I think he’s been doing the same thing that he’s been doing since he’s come in here … He’s definitely fitting in.”