Carlos Vela scored a hat trick as LAFC crushed the Quakes 5-0 at Avaya Stadium on March 30 in MLS regular season play. It was a low-water mark for San Jose, who turned the page following that result and have since gone 5-2-4 in all competitions.
With the teams meeting on Thursday in the 2019 U.S. Open Cup Round of 16 (10:30 pm ET | ESPN+), Earthquakes defender Guram Kashia admitted revenge was a motivating factor for his team.
"[LAFC are a] great team, they are really good when they have the ball, a lot of threats," he said in a press conference on Wednesday previewing the match. "I experienced two types of games against them. First game we won 3-0, which was a really perfect performance for us, it was a [preseason] friendly game. Second one in the league, they beat us [5-0], but I feel like we need to go for revenge. It's a good moment to take revenge."
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Kashia believes the fitness built this year under head coach Matias Almeyda gives them a great shot to advance in the Open Cup and potentially juggle some fixture congestion in the coming weeks.
"It is a lot of games next two or three weeks but I must say we are a really fit team," he explained. "You can see how much on the field, the guys invest in [the game], run, to see that it's really a huge difference between last year and now. We are really fit so we can take advantage of those weeks, because we are fit and we can perform on the highest level. I'm really confident that our fitness style is really good. We are not scared to have a few games a week."
And with the Quakes four games away from a trophy, the desire to add more silverware to the collection is strong.
"Yes we take really serious, we want to go, you know [U.S. Open] Cup is really short way to win title. The team and trainers are taking really serious. The opposition is really strong so it's going to be challenging game. It's going to be an exciting game, I believe, with a good quality," Kashia said.