San Jose Earthquakes vs Colorado Rapids 08-26-2012 - Preview

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San Jose Earthquakes
4 - 1
Final
Colorado Rapids
MLS Regular Season
August 25, 2012
10:30pm EDT
Buck Shaw Stadium

Preview: SJ host Rapids looking to extend MLS points lead

SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES vs COLORADO RAPIDS
BUCK SHAW STADIUM, Santa Clara, Calif.
August 25, 2012 (WEEK 25, MLS Game #241)
10:30 pm ET / 7:30 pm PT (CSN-CA; Altitude)

The San Jose Earthquakes will be looking to extend their lead atop the MLS overall table when they face a Colorado Rapids desperately trying to pull itself back into the playoff chase when the clubs meet Saturday evening at Buck Shaw Stadium. The Quakes still lead the Supporters' Shield race by a point entering the week, following their 3-1 loss in Montréal last weekend. The Rapids sit 11 points behind the fifth and final Western playoff spot after a 1-1 home draw with Chivas.

REFEREE: Silviu Petrescu. AR1 (bench): Jeff Hosking; AR2 (opposite): Baboucarr Jallow; 4th: Yader Reyes
MLS Career: 52 games; FC/gm: 27.3; Y/gm: 3.7; R: 8; pens: 7

DOWNLOAD FULL GAME GUIDE HERE (PDF)

INJURY REPORT:

  • SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES – OUT: MF Jean-Marc Alexandre (R knee MCL sprain); MF Joey Gjertsen (R knee surgery); DF Jason Hernandez (R hamstring strain); MF Shea Salinas (L hamstring strain); DF Tim Ward (L non-specific soft tissue injury); DOUBTFUL: MF Cesar Diaz Pizarro (R groin strain)
  • COLORADO RAPIDS – OUT: DF Anthony Wallace (L Achilles tear); MF Pablo Mastroeni (headaches); QUESTIONABLE: FW Edu (R foot contusion); FW Kamani Hill (L quad strain); PROBABLE: FW Omar Cummings (R ankle soreness)

INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none
SUSPENDED: SJ: Steven Lenhart (through Aug. 26); Jason Hernandez (through Aug. 26); Victor Bernardez (through Aug. 26)
WARNINGS:

  • SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: SJ: Victor Bernardez
  • SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: SJ: Rafael Baca, Mehdi Ballouchy. Marvin Chavez, Ramiro Corrales, Steven Lenhart, Steven Beitashour … COL: Jaime Castrillon, Tyrone Marshall, Drew Moor, Martin Rivero, Tyson Wahl

HEAD-TO-HEAD
ALL-TIME (49 meetings): Earthquakes 22 wins (1 shootout), 71 goals… Rapids 18 wins (2 shootout), 65 goals… Ties 9
AT SAN JOSE (24 meetings): Earthquakes 11 wins (1 shootout), 42 goals … Rapids 8 wins (1 shootout), 33 goals … Ties 5
FUTURE MATCH: 10/6: Colorado Rapids vs. San Jose Earthquakes, 7 p.m. MT
• The teams are meeting for the second time this season. A Chris Wondolowski penalty kick in stoppage time capped a two-goal rally over the final seven-plus minutes to give the Quakes a 2-1 victory, June 20 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
• The Rapids have won just once in their last eight home games vs. San Jose. That win came Aug. 7, 2010; the teams will meet Oct. 6 in Commerce City.
• Colorado’s 2-1 win at San Jose last Aug. 13 was their first in northern California since 2003. The Quakes had won three meetings in between, with four draws.
• Coaches record: Oscar Pareja vs. SJ: P1 W0 L1 D0 … Frank Yallop v COL: P26 W9 L10 D7

LAST MEETING (MLS):
6/20: COL 1, SJ 2 (Mullan 18 – own goal 83; Wondolowski 90+ pen)
• The home side took the lead after 18 minutes. After surging down the wing, right back Hunter Freeman crossed to an open Brian Mullan at the far post, and he made no mistake with the pinpoint service, heading inside the back post.
• But the Quakes yet again had some late heroics in their bag. In the 83rd minute, after Colorado goalkeeper Matt Pickens denied Steven Lenhart's point-blank chance, San Jose's Alan Gordon and Freeman came crashing in at the far post, and the rebound caromed off the Rapids defender into the net.
• Then in stoppage time, Gordon drew a penalty after Pickens’ flailing dive at the ball, where the 'keeper appeared to catch Gordon’s boot. Chris Wondolowski stepped to the spot and buried the ensuing penalty for the match-winner.
• COLORADO RAPIDS (4-3-3): Matt Pickens - Hunter Freeman, Marvell Wynne, Drew Moor, Luis Zapata - Jaime Castrillon (Wells Thompson 90), Martin Rivero, Jeff Larentowicz - Brian Mullan, Conor Casey (Omar Cummings 67), Edu (Kamani Hill 73).
• SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES (4-3-1-2): David Bingham - Steven Beitashour (Shea Salinas 75), Jason Hernandez, Victor Bernardez, Justin Morrow - Rafael Baca (Alan Gordon 65), Sam Cronin (Khari Stephenson 70), Marvin Chavez - Simon Dawkins - Steven Lenhart, Chris Wondolowski.

SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES
The San Jose Earthquakes lost for the second time in as many road games, falling 3-1 to the Montréal Impact on Saturday evening at Stade Saputo. The Quakes lead the Western Conference and the MLS overall table with 47 points from 25 games.

LAST MATCH

HIGHLIGHTS: MTL 3, SJ 1

• The game got off to a fiery start with a 21st-minute altercation between San Jose’s Steven Lenhart and Montreal’s Hassoun Camara that saw both players sent off. The incident also resulted in a penalty awarded to San Jose, and Chris Wondolowski blasted the spot kick low to Troy Perkins’ right to give the visitors the lead.
• The Impact took no time in answering back. Marco Di Vaio sent a long pass towards the right side of the San Jose area, where Felipe beautifully controlled the ball in mid-air, and his return low cross found Di Vaio at the far post where the Italian turned the ball into the roof of the goal.
• The Impact broke the deadlock in the 62nd minute. Patrice Bernier danced through tackles on the edge of the San Jose box before laying the ball to Lamar Neagle, who curled a 22-yard shot past goalkeeper Jon Busch.
• Then in the 71st minute, Neagle released Di Vaio in behind the Quakes defense, and Jason Hernandez brought him down in the box from behind. Referee Armando Villarreal issued Hernandez a straight red card, and Bernier converted the ensuing penalty to put the game beyond doubt.
• Earthquakes head coach Frank Yallop made no changes to the team that hit late for a 2-1 victory against Seattle Sounders FC at Buck Shaw Stadium
• SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES (4-4-2): Jon Busch - Steven Beitashour, Jason Hernandez (sent off 71), Victor Bernardez, Justin Morrow - Marvin Chavez (Ike Opara 74), Sam Cronin, Rafael Baca (Khari Stephenson 74), Simon Dawkins - Steven Lenhart (sent off 21), Chris Wondolowski.

TEAM NEWS
• It was a second consecutive road loss for the Quakes, and extended their winless streak to four games away from Buck Shaw Stadium.
• “All the teams in the league are pretty equal, so it is never easy to win away from home,” Earthquakes head coach Frank Yallop said. “Montreal played well tonight and took advantage of their chances. We took it on the chin a bit tonight, but we will regroup, and we are looking forward to Colorado at home.”
• The Quakes are still one of three teams with a better than .500 record on the road (along with Sporting KC and Chivas USA).
• "We are very good on the road, winning a lot of games. People think you can keep that going, but it’s not easy,” Yallop said. “We’ve been to some difficult places to play. It’s MLS, a lot of teams are equal and you can’t win every game in this league.”

March to the Cup: Battle for First

• After making his first start since June 30 the week before, Steven Lenhart made his second consecutive appearance in the first XI – but will miss the Colorado match after he was sent off in the 21st minute.
• I’m not sure why Lenhart was sent off,” said Yallop. “He seems to be singled out every game we play … It’s like he doesn’t do anything, he just goes for the ball, plays hard. And that’s what he should do, as a center forward. It seems like he’s getting cards and red cards when he doesn’t deserve it. That changed the game for us.”
• Chris Wondolowski scored his first goal since July 14. His four-game streak without a goal was his longest in a year. Wondolowski still leads the MLS Golden Boot standings with 18 goals.
• “It was tough losing Steven,” right back Steven Beitashour said. “Without him up top, Wondo had it tough with three defenders around him. They took their chances when they had them, and we couldn’t connect in the final third.”
• The Quakes will be missing both center backs for the Colorado match after Victor Bernardez was suspended for one match following a decision by the MLS Disciplinary Committee. Jason Hernandez was sent off in the 71st minute in Montréal.
• Khari Stephenson came off the bench for the final 16 minutes, his first appearance since July 18. Stephenson has made four substitute appearances since his last start, July 3 vs. Portland.

COLORADO RAPIDS
The Colorado Rapids played to just their second draw of the 2012 season, reaching a 1-1 result with Chivas USA on Saturday evening at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. The Rapids are in eighth place in the Western Conference with 26 points from 25 games.

LAST MATCH

HIGHLIGHTS: COL 1, CHV 1

• The Rapids opened the scoring in the 19th minute off a mistake by the visitors. Brian Mullan picked Shalrie Joseph’s pocket inside the area and unleashed a rocket past Chivas goalkeeper Dan Kennedy for the early lead.
• Seven minutes from time, Chivas USA made the hosts pay. Second-half substitute Tristan Bowen crossed into the path of Colorado goalkeeper Pickens, but the veteran ‘keeper could only get an outstretched hand on the ball, and it deflected directly into the path of Juan Pablo Ángel for an easy tap-in.
• Rapids head coach Oscar Pareja made one change to the side that dropped a 3-2 decision to FC Dallas in Frisco. Tony Cascio came into the side for the suspended Jaime Castrillon.
• COLORADO RAPIDS (4-2-3-1): Matt Pickens - Hunter Freeman, Marvell Wynne, Drew Moor, Luis Zapata - Joseph Nane (Wells Thompson 75), Jeff Larentowicz - Brian Mullan, Martin Rivero, Tony Cascio (Jamie Smith 82) - Omar Cummings (Conor Casey 61).

TEAM NEWS
• The Rapids again failed to hold a lead after scoring the first goal. Colorado have lost five games and tied one after scoring the first goal, the 16 points lost tied for second-most in the league.
• “It’s like a movie,” Rapids head coach Oscar Pareja said. “I thought the game was leaning towards us and we had chances and options, and defensively, we played very well. And we came out with one point. That’s the way it is, but it’s disappointing.”
• It was just the second draw of the season for the Rapids, the fewest of any team in MLS. “I've run out of words now, really. It's a game that you dominate, that you have chances and chances, and defensively I thought the team played very well, were very solid,” said Pareja. “And then just one time, and it cost us two points. It's very [costly] for us, for sure."

WATCH: Pareja discusses new signing Thomas

• Brian Mullan scored his second goal of the season. He has a goal and three assists over the last six games.
• “I don’t think it was so much the amount of attempts that we had, it was the two or three quality opportunities that we had that we’re regretting right now,” said defender Drew Moor. “It’s everybody on the field. You don’t go and single out anybody or point anybody out. At the end of the day, 11 to 14 guys have to get the three points. Nobody’s doing what we need to do right now to get the points.”
• With Jaime Castrillón suspended, rookie Tony Cascio made his first start since July 21, his second start after starting 13 of the first 14 games of the league campaign.
• Conor Casey also made his first appearance after not featuring in back-to-back matches, after his start July 28. Casey came on for the final half-hour in place of Omar Cummings.
• “There was a lot of positive things for sure, I thought our guys performed very well. But you have to have that killer instinct, that instinct to just put the game away. We were creating chances, and chances, and it didn't happen,” said Pareja. Added Moor: “We did create some chances going forward that we’re used to seeing go in the back of the net. It’s just a combination of things right now that aren’t going our way and it’s disappointing.”
• The trip to San Jose starts a run of four out of the next five games away from Dick’s Sporting Goods Park for the Rapids. The Rapids are 2-10-0 on the road this season, matching Montréal for the most away losses in MLS this season.
• “[San Jose are] a team who’s doing well,” Mullan said. “We dominated them here and the same thing happened again [blowing the lead]. We have to solve the problems and put our chances in.”