Colorado Rapids vs San Jose Earthquakes 06-16-2013 - Preview

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Final
San Jose Earthquakes
MLS Regular Season
June 15, 2013
9:00pm EDT
Dick's Sporting Goods Park
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Colorado Rapids vs. San Jose Earthquakes | MLS Match Preview

COLORADO RAPIDS vs SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES
DICK’S SPORTING GOODS PARK, Commerce City, Colo.
June 15, 2013 (WEEK 16, MLS Game #139) 7 p.m. MT (Altitude; CSN-CA)

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Blacked out in Colorado (watch on Altitude)

The Colorado Rapids will put their undefeated streak on the line as the Mark Watson era begins for the San Jose Earthquakes, when the clubs meet for a second time this season, Saturday evening at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. The Rapids stretched their unbeaten run to six games in their last match, a 2-2 home draw with FC Dallas two weeks ago. It’s the first game in charge for Watson as head coach, who replaced Frank Yallop after the Quakes’ last contest, a 3-0 loss at Real Salt Lake two weekends ago.

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REFEREE: Jorge Gonzalez. AR1 (bench): C.J. Morgante; AR2 (opposite): Baboucarr Jallow; 4th: Fotis Bazakos
MLS Career: 97 games; FC/gm: 25.0; Y/gm: 3.2; R: 32; pens: 24

DISABLED LIST: COL: Jaime Castrillon, Diego Calderón, Matt Pickens … SJ: Ty Harden
SUSPENDED: SJ: Victor Bernardez (through June 15)
WARNINGS:
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: SJ: Steven Lenhart, Victor Bernardez
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: COL: Hendry Thomas, Shane O’Neill, Dillon Powers… SJ: Rafael Baca
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: COL: Shane O’Neill, Dillon Serna (both USA U-20) … SJ: Victor Bernardez, Marvin Chavez (both Honduras)

HEAD-TO-HEAD
ALL-TIME (52 meetings): Rapids 18 wins (2 shootout), 68 goals …Earthquakes 24 wins (1 shootout), 80 goals … Ties 10
AT COLORADO (26 meetings): Rapids 10 wins (1 shootout), 33 goals … Earthquakes 12 wins (0 shootout), 33 goals … Ties 4
FUTURE MATCH: 10/9: San Jose Earthquakes vs. Colorado Rapids, 7:30 p.m. PT

  • The teams are meeting for the second time this season. Marvín Chavez scored in the 78th minute for San Jose, answering a Rapids goal from Nathan Sturgis in the first half, as the teams played to a 1-1 draw May 18 at Buck Shaw Stadium.
  • The Rapids last defeated San Jose in the first meeting in the 2011 season. The Quakes have won three of the five meetings since, with two draws, including all three matches last season.
  • The teams met for the Eastern Conference Championship in 2010, the Rapids winning 1-0 in Commerce City.
  • Coaches record: Mark Watson vs. COL: first game … Oscar Pareja vs. SJ: P4 W0 L3 T1

LAST MEETING (MLS):
5/18: SJ 1, COL 1 (Chavez 78 – Sturgis 26)

  • Colorado took the lead in the in the 26th minute when Nathan Sturgis neatly turned home a Martin Rivero corner kick at the near post, squirting the ball between a defender and goalkeeper Jon Busch.
  • But the Earthquakes found the leveler in the 78th minute. Marvin Chavez, in the lineup after having an appeal of a suspension upheld, drilled a knuckling free kick from 30 yards out that beat Colorado goalkeeper Clint Irwin.
  • Colorado played a man down from the 90th minute after defender Shane O’Neill brought Chris Wondolowski down just outside the penalty area, but San Jose could not take advantage.
  • SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES (4-4-2): Jon Busch - Steven Beitashour, Jason Hernandez, Victor Bernardez, Justin Morrow - Marvin Chavez, Sam Cronin (Steven Lenhart 56), Rafael Baca (Adam Jahn 42), Walter Martinez - Chris Wondolowski, Alan Gordon.
  • COLORADO RAPIDS (4-4-1-1): Clint Irwin - Marvell Wynne, Shane O'Neill (sent off 89), Drew Moor, Christopher Klute - Atiba Harris, Pablo Mastroeni (Anthony Wallace 80), Nathan Sturgis, Danny Mwanga (Nick LaBrocca 73) - Martin Rivero (Brenton Griffiths 90) - Deshorn Brown.

COLORADO RAPIDS
The Colorado Rapids return to action after stretching their undefeated streak to six matches, reaching a 2-2 draw with FC Dallas on June 1 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. The Rapids are in a tie for fifth place in the Western Conference with 19 points from 14 matches.

LAST MATCH

  • The game's four goals all came in a 10-minute span early in the second half. The Rapids took the lead in the 56th minute when Marvell Wynne’s throw-in near the touchline went straight into the center of the box, and Atiba Harris followed with a clean header right into the corner of the net.
  • But five minutes later, the visitors had their first reply. Clearing away a Dallas cross, Harris’ header deflected off a teammate and straight to Blas Perez, who fired into the corner of the net to beat Rapids ‘keeper Clint Irwin.
  • Just three minutes later, the Rapids were back in front. A looping cross into the box from Rapids left back Chris Klute was met by a wide open Harris, who had a simple finish for his second goal of the game.
  • But FC Dallas waited just two minutes to reply. A long Dallas cross onto the edge of the box floated for Perez, who clinically finished with a scorching low drive from 20 yards out to even the game.
  • Rapids head coach Oscar Pareja made three changes to the team that eased to a 2-0 win against Chivas USA at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. Shane O'Neill came into the back four for Brian Mullan, and Hendry Thomas and Dillon Powers returned to the midfield for Pablo Mastroeni and Martin Rivero.
  • COLORADO RAPIDS (4-2-3-1): Clint Irwin - Marvell Wynne, Shane O'Neill, Drew Moor, Christopher Klute - Nathan Sturgis (German Mera 90), Hendry Thomas - Atiba Harris, Dillon Powers, Deshorn Brown (Danny Mwanga 88) - Edson Buddle.

TEAM NEWS

  • The draw extended the Rapids’ undefeated streak to six games, the longest since the club-record nine-game unbeaten run April 30-June 11, 2011.
  • Atiba Harris scored a pair of goals, his second and third in the last two games. It was his second two-goal game in MLS, the first coming in his first season, Sept. 30, 2006 for Real Salt Lake at Kansas City. His four goals this season matches his single-season career-high, achieved twice earlier.
  • “He's such a professional player, he's always working and he knew that he didn't have a good year last year,” Rapids head coach Oscar Pareja said. “[It's] an opportunity that the club is providing to him, he's embracing [it] and doing a great job. I¹m very happy for him.”
  • Shane O’Neill returned from suspension to reclaim his position in central defense. But the Rapids will now be without him for a few matches while he is with the U.S. U-20 national team for the FIFA U-20 World Cup.
  • “It’s an option to play Wynne in the middle or Mera,“ Pareja said. “We’ll see. … We’re using these guys in the best way possible. [Wynne] has the ability to play outside and in the middle, and it’s great. And that is still consistent, because we’re not playing eight guys, we’re playing five or six, and that has given us consistency there.”
  • Colombian defender German Mera made his MLS debut, coming on in the final minute of normal time. “I’m working,” Mera said. “I’m waiting on the coaching staff and working so that when I get called on, I’m in proper shape to help the team.”
  • Edson Buddle was able to go the full 90 minutes for a second consecutive match, at the spearhead of the Rapids attack.
  • “I think he needs to get fitter for sure,” Pareja said. “What he’s done is come and help us to hold the ball and make us play, and he’s helped us tremendously there. Now, can we get him turned and occupy the space in the backs? Can we do that 90 minutes? That’s what we want.”
  • After making three consecutive starts, his first three of the season, Martín Rivero missed the Dallas match after being forced to leave before halftime the week before with a foot injury.
  • “Martin brings a lot to the team when he’s in there, a different dynamic. He has an ability to get out of tight spaces and find players like Atiba [Harris] and Deshorn [Brown] in the gaps,” said Buddle. “He’s definitely a big piece to this team and that’s why our coach Oscar brings him here.”

READ: Rapids' Martin Rivero set for slight role change as return from foot injury nears

SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES
The San Jose Earthquakes saw their winless run extended to four games with a second consecutive shutout loss in their last match, a 3-0 loss to Real Salt Lake on June 1 at Rio Tinto Stadium. The Quakes sit in eighth place in the Western Conference with 15 points from 15 matches.

LAST MATCH

  • Real were three goals to the good before halftime. The opener came in the 16th minute. Robbie Findley hammered a shot that San Jose goalkeeper Jon Busch could only block, and the rebound went straight to the feet of Javier Morales eight yards out, where he calmly slotted the ball into the open left side of the net.
  • In the 33rd minute, it was 2-0. Morales took a pass down toward the right corner from Findley behind the defense and sent in a cross. Forward Joao Plata sold a perfect dummy, leaving the ball for Ned Grabavoy, and he hammered a left-footed shot into the upper-right corner.
  • RSL made it 3-0 five minutes later. Plata beat a defender in the box toward the left-side endline and sent a ball across that a defender was just able to poke back out, but the ball went straight to the feet of Findley just inside the left corner of the 18, and he curled a gorgeous finish into the right side of the net to seal the match.
  • Quakes head coach Frank Yallop made one change to the team that fell 1-0 to FC Dallas in Frisco. Brad Ring came into central defense in place of Victor Bernardez.
  • SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES (4-4-2): Jon Busch - Steven Beitashour, Brad Ring, Jason Hernandez, Justin Morrow - Marvin Chavez, Sam Cronin (Steven Lenhart 39), Adam Jahn (Rafael Baca 40), Walter Martinez - Alan Gordon (Mehdi Ballouchy 85), Chris Wondolowski.

READ: Quakes bring in former Manchester United youth player, but Simon Dawkins still at large

TEAM NEWS

  • The RSL game was the last in charge for coach Frank Yallop, after he and the club parted ways the week following the match. Yallop had been in charge of the club since its return to MLS for the 2008 season, his second stint at the helm in San Jose.
  • “No one saw it coming,” Quakes striker Chris Wondolowski said. “That was literally the last thing we [expected]. … For me personally, Frank has done so much. I wouldn’t be where I am without him. He brought me here, had faith in me. I know for players too, they loved him. He didn’t lose the locker room, that’s for sure.”
  • The head coaching duties will be taken over on an interim basis by Yallop assistant Mark Watson. “The team’s not in a good situation, record-wise,” Watson said. “So my job is to turn things around and get some wins. ... We’ll work with different scenarios, different lineups and try to find the right mix to get us that win to kind of turn the tide for us.”
  • The Quakes have won once in their last 11 matches, though they have lost back-to-back games in league play for the first time this season. They have also been shut out in three consecutive games in all competitions, and in four of their last five contests overall.
  • “I think we’re going to work on being really organized defensively,” Watson said. “The stats show that we’ve conceded a lot of goals. We’ve conceded the first goal in a majority of our games, which has to stop. We can’t keep digging a hole for ourselves to climb out of. And I think we haven’t moved the ball as well as we have in the past. So we’re going to work a little bit on that, keeping possession. [We’re] still looking to get forward and getting the ball in the guys’ feet that we want in the attacking third. But we’ll maybe be a little more patient in how we get there.”
  • In the RSL game, with Victor Bernardez suspended, Brad Ring made his first start of the season, coming into central defense.
  • Adam Jahn was given his second consecutive start in the midfield behind the front two of Alan Gordon and Chris Wondolowski. But he, along with Sam Cronin, were removed at halftime in favor of Rafael Baca and Steven Lenhart.
  • “I don't think it was a tactical thing, I think it was work – getting in on tackles, energy,” said goalkeeper Jon Busch. “They just wanted it more in the first half and it showed in every facet. Winning second balls, playing the ball, keeping the ball. We couldn't pass the ball, and they could. We got going in the second half because obviously we had to, and probably they sat back a little, up 3-0.”