Almeyda’s team forced extra time when MLS’ all-time leading scorer, Chris Wondolowski, tied the game 3-3 in the final play of the second half, but the Earthquakes lost the penalty shoot-out 3-0, with goalkeeper Tim Melia the hero for Sporting KC with three saves.
“I’ll take three or four days to analyze a lot of things. I’ll speak with my family and see what the future holds for me,” said Almeyda in a video conference after the game. “I’m satisfied because we gave even more than we had in us. I was happy to see how the players tried everything. From about a month and a half ago they have been playing good football. At the same time, I’m left with the emptiness that it was hard to give any more. We fought with everything we’ve got.”
Almeyda took over the Earthquakes ahead of the 2019 season, narrowly missing out on the playoffs in his first season in charge. This season, the team overcame a mid-season run of nine games without a victory to make the postseason as the eighth seed in the Western Conference.
The former Chivas coach said that Melia was the game’s MVP even before the penalty shoot-out and that he was proud of the way his team came from behind to level the game twice in normal time.
“We came back quickly on the first goal, we recovered quickly on the second goal and we never stopped fighting until the third goal with five seconds to go,” said Almeyda. “That is the love and passion that I ask of the players, to never give up and sweat the shirt until the last second of the game. I cannot be more than grateful to each of them.
“The best player on the pitch I think was their goalkeeper, not including the penalties,” he continued. “When a goalkeeper is the star, it is because the opponent had very good opportunities like we did.”
Almeyda has previously been the subject of interest from Liga MX club Monterrey and the Ecuador national team.
The future of Earthquakes 37-year-old striker Wondolowski has also been up in the air, with the former United States international leaning towards not playing, but not 100 percent committing as yet.
“I don’t think I’m done,” said Wondolowski in a video conference. “I love it. I can’t get enough of it. It’s in my blood and so I want to continue to play. I don’t have anything in line yet. I haven’t discussed any numbers, and I definitely never want to be a burden on the Quakes. But I also want to make sure I see all the options, see what’s out there.
“I think that the Quakes are doing some amazing things and I want to make sure the pieces can be moved to continue to make this team grow and continue to be better. That’s my long-winded story.”