Earthquakes II opened scoring just 57 seconds into the match and never looked back, matching an MLS NEXT Pro record with seven goals in a 7-1 victory over Colorado Rapids 2 on Saturday night at PayPal Park in San Jose.
The California club was ruthlessly efficient in the box in the first half to race to a 4-0 lead before Rapids 2 pulled one back just before halftime. Quakes II then continued their dominance in the second half for the 7-1 win to improve to 3-3-1 on the season and win in convincing fashion for the second straight time in the midst of a three-match homestand.
It started with a turnover in the opening minute and Eduardo Blancas pounced with the goal, his second of the season.
The momentum continued in the ninth minute when Max Arfsten scored his first goal of the season, again capitalizing on a Rapids 2 turnover to take a 2-0 lead.
A third Rapids 2 turnover in their own half resulted in an own goal in the 21st minute before William Richmond converted a penalty to put Quakes II up 4-0 in the 43rd minute.
Darren Yapi pulled one back - this one coming off of a Quakes II turnover as Yapi picked off a backpass and looped it past the keeper for his second goal of the year.
Any thoughts of a Rapids 2 comeback were laid to rest when second-half substitute Siad Haji slotted one home in the 58th minute. Arfsten added his second of the match on a Shea Salinas assist in the 68th minute and Rudi Castro equalled the league record when he made it 7-1 in the 89th minute.
For their part, Rapids 2 forced Quakes II goalkeeper Emmanuel Ochoa into five saves on the night, including some stellar efforts early in the second half to help quell any chances of a comeback.
Quakes II finish of the stretch of home matches against Sporting KC II on Friday, May 20, while Rapids 2 will look to bounce back against Tacoma Defiance at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park on Sunday, May 22.
Early in the MLS NEXT Pro season, Quakes II has seen both sides of the swinging pendulum of momentum. On one end, the Bay Area side has 12 goals in three victories this season, good enough for eighth among 21 teams through eight weeks of action. On the opposite end, in three losses and a draw, the club has managed just two goals, both coming in a 2-2 draw with Tacoma Defiance on April 25.
With 10 different players scoring goals already this season, they are spreading the wealth. Five of those goalscorers have started in one or fewer games, so the team is getting goals from the regular starters and those coming off the bench or on loan from the San Jose Earthquakes in MLS.
However, those Jekyl and Hyde results have been a bit reflective of lineup consistency. While six players have started in all seven matches thus far for Quakes II, the remaining four starters in the field have fluctuated from week to week. And for a team that saw Head Coach Alex Covelo move to the first team on an interim basis on April 19, finding that consistency in his absence could prove valuable in coming weeks.