Whitecaps, Earthquakes continue longstanding rivalry

ByField Level Media ESPN logo
Saturday, March 9, 2024

Fifty years ago, the Vancouver Whitecaps and San Jose Earthquakes first met as expansion members of the North American Soccer League.

On Saturday, the longtime members of Major League Soccer will meet again in San Jose, Calif., as both seek their first victories of the season.

The host Earthquakes (0-2-0, 0 points) lost their home opener 3-1 to the Los Angeles Galaxy last weekend after losing 2-1 at FC Dallas to start the season.

"All the games are very important," Earthquakes coach Luchi Gonzalez said at a news conference Wednesday. "We're very focused. The week started well with intensity and competition to prepare for this weekend. We go one thing at a time. We have a different opponent with a different style. (Vancouver Whitecaps FC) are a good team to challenge us, but we are focusing on ourselves. We want to play today. If there were a game today it'd be ideal, but we have to wait and be patient for Saturday. With energy and faith, we can win and change games."

Forward Amahl Pellegrino, who scored 55 goals for Norwegian champion Bodo/Glimt from 2021-23, made his Earthquakes debut last week.

"I think that MLS will fit me good," said Pellegrino, the reigning Eliteserien Player of the Year. "I'm just trying to adapt to the team, to my teammates and how we play, as fast as possible so I can be myself on the team and put my signature when we are playing here. That's the only thing that I'm trying to learn as fast as possible because I want to be myself and I want to win games with San Jose."

The Whitecaps (0-0-1, 1 point) played to a 1-1 draw with visiting Charlotte FC in the season opener last Saturday.

Ryan Raposo scored the tying goal for the Whitecaps.

"We opened the game a little sleepy," said the Whitecaps' Vanni Sartini, who had to watch from a coaching box while serving a six-game MLS suspension for his actions at the end of a playoff loss to Los Angeles FC last season. "When we gave up the goal that woke us up and from there, we played well.

"If we're not 'us' for 90 minutes, it's hard to win games."

--Field Level Media