Preview: Vancouver, San Jose seek returns to win column
Vancouver Whitecaps FC return home to Empire Field to take on the San Jose Earthquakes in a Western Conference clash with both clubs looking to end winless runs. Whitecaps FC haven’t won in MLS play since the season opener, but are coming off their first road draw, a scoreless result at Chicago. The Earthquakes had last weekend off after a third consecutive loss, falling 1-0 to Philadelphia Union in their last league action.
REFEREE: Ricardo Salazar. SAR (bench): Kevin Duliba; JAR (opposite): Corey Rockwell; 4th: David Gantar
MLS Career: 128 games; FC/gm: 26.9; Y/gm: 3.5; R: 39; pens: 49
INJURY REPORT: VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC – OUT: FW Atiba Harris (R knee surgery); MF Michael Nanchoff (groin strain); MF John Thorrington (R calf strain); DOUBTFUL: DF Jay DeMerit (groin strain) … SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES – OUT: MF Simon Dawkins (R/L bilateral fasciotomy); MF Andre Luiz (L knee injury); DF Tim Ward (R hamstring strain)
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none
WARNINGS: SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: none. SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: SJ: Sam Cronin
- ALL-TIME: First meeting.
- RETURN MATCH: 7/20: San Jose Earthquakes vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC, 7 p.m. PT
- Coaches record: Teitur Thordarson vs. SJ: first game … Frank Yallop v VAN: first game
VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC
Vancouver Whitecaps FC saw their winless streak extended to eight games, playing to a scoreless draw at the Chicago Fire on Saturday evening at Toyota Park. Whitecaps FC have 7 points from 9 matches, sitting in eighth place in the Western Conference.
- The best chance in the game came late in the second half when Eric Hassli was put in alone behind the back four, but Fire goalkeeper Jon Conway came off his line and took the ball off Hassli's foot.
- It was the only save Conway was required over the match; Whitecaps FC goalkeeper Jay Nolly was called upon to make two saves.
- Whitecaps FC head coach Teitur Thordarson made two changes to the team that lost 2-1 to the Columbus Crew at Crew Stadium. Blake Wagner and Eric Hassli came into the side in place of Wes Knight and Omar Salgado.
- VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC (4-4-2): Jay Nolly - Jonathan Leathers, Greg Janicki, Mouloud Akloul, Alain Rochat - Davide Chiumiento, Terry Dunfield, Gershon Koffie, Blake Wagner (Shea Salinas 58) - Eric Hassli, Camilo (Nizar Khalfan 71).
- Whitecaps FC return home after back-to-back road games, getting a first point away from British Columbia in the scoreless draw with Chicago. The ‘Caps have a win and three draws at Empire Field.
- "The guys showed great character in the second half," said Whitecaps FC coach Teitur Thordarson. "That [point] was important. We were under pressure in the first half but kept a clean sheet with a little bit of luck and took it over in the second. I think we showed great signs."
- While Whitecaps FC haven’t won since First Kick, they did record a second shutout on the season, while maintaining a back four of Alain Rochat, Greg Janicki, Mouloud Akloul and Jonathan Leathers for a third consecutive game.
- “They were good (against Chicago),” Thordarson said. “I felt in the beginning of the game in the first half, in the first half hour maybe that I saw some signs of them being tired. But as the game went on I felt that they played better and better.”
- But U.S. international center back Jay Demerit could be ready to return to the lineup for the first time since April 10. "He is very close for Wednesday in terms of playing some minutes," Thordarson said. "Whether he will start or not we'll see."
- The Whitecaps are in a stretch of four weeks when they will play two games in a week – and for the second time in that period, a trip covering three time zones will be involved. When the ‘Caps and Revolution met in
- April, the Revolution were at home both the weekend before and the weekend following.
- “We get good rest in between games,” Dunfield said. “It's not an easy schedule, there's no hiding from that, but if we can get a result at home against San Jose [on Wednesday], it will have been a good week.”
- While Whitecaps FC haven’t won in league play since the season opener, they have reached the final of the Nutrilite Canadian Championship, where they will take on Toronto FC. The series will be played over two legs May 18 (in Vancouver) and May 25 (in Toronto), with the winner gaining a berth in the CONCACAF Champions League.
- "It gives us a starting point and gives the changing room a little lift," said midfielder Terry Dunfield. "That's two games in a row with good results and hopefully we can keep this going. In the second half I thought we came out a lot more positive and this is what we need to do in the league.”
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES
The San Jose Earthquakes return to action after a week off, their last match a 1-0 loss to Philadelphia Union that stretched their losing skid to three games. The Quakes have 5 points from 7 games on the season, sitting in ninth place in the Western Conference.
- Union went a man down just before halftime when defender Jordan Harvey shown a straight red card by referee Mark Geiger after a clash with a sliding Chris Leitch.
- But the home side scored the game's lone goal from the penalty spot in the 76th minute. Union midfielder Amobi Okugo dribbled into the box and attempted a cross that appeared to hit San Jose defender Jason
- Hernandez in the hand, and after Geiger pointed to the spot, Sebastien Le Toux converted.
- Earthquakes boss Frank Yallop made five changes to the team that lost 2-1 to Chivas USA at Buck Shaw Stadium. In came Anthony Ampaipitakwong, Brad Ring, Steven Lenhart, Bobby Burling and Justin Morrow; out went Ramiro Corrales, Sam Cronin, Khari Stephenson, Simon Dawkins and Bobby Convey.
- SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES (4-4-2): Jon Busch - Chris Leitch, Bobby Burling, Jason Hernandez, Justin Morrow - Chris Wondolowski, Brad Ring, Brandon McDonald (Sam Cronin 64), Anthony Ampaipitakwong (Ryan Johnson 72) - Steven Lenhart, Scott Sealy (Bobby Convey 58)
- San Jose returns to action after a weekend off and trying to put the skids on a three-game losing streak, their last match a 1-0 loss at Philadelphia on April 30. The game’s lone goal came from a penalty kick after a handball in the box, after Union had gone down a man in the first half.
- "I went over and tried to make a tackle and break up a cross," defender Jason Hernandez said. "I didn't see the ball, and I didn't make a play for it. I just tried to block the cross. I've played a lot of games, and that's the first time I've had that called against me."
- The Quakes were able to manage only a season-low six attempts at goal, and put only one on target.
- "We had some chances, and we moved the ball well at times, but it didn't translate," Quakes coach Frank Yallop said. "You have to keep working and moving ahead. I saw some good things (against Philadelphia)."
- The Quakes will be without midfield creator Simon Dawkins for up to a couple of months after he underwent surgery on both calves last week to correct compartment syndrome. Dawkins has two goals this season after arriving on loan from English side Tottenham Hotspur.
- Since league play, the Quakes were able to be the first team to come away from Jeld-Wen Field with a result, defeating the Portland Timbers 1-0 in a U.S. Open Cup play-in match on May 3. The game’s lone goal was scored by Ike Opara in the 120th minute, heading home a Sam Cronin cross.
- Here’s the Earthquakes team: Andrew Weber, Steven Beitashour, Bobby Burling, Ike Opara, Ramiro Corrales, Khari Stephenson (Steven Lenhart 83), Sam Cronin, Brad Ring, Bobby Convey (Justin Morrow 94), Ryan Johnson (Ellis McLoughlin 111), Chris Wondolowski.
- “We defended very well last weekend against Philadelphia and were a little unlucky to concede a goal and tonight we had another good performance defensively. I think we are back to doing the right things defensively and that is a positive,” Yallop said.
- The win was the Quakes’ first-ever in a U.S. Open Cup play-in game. San Jose now faces the Chicago Fire in another Open Cup play-in match, with the winner going into the Open Cup tournament proper.
- “I was very happy with the performance (against Portland),” Yallop said. “We possessed the ball very well and really controlled the game. I am glad that we got the goal at the end because if it goes to penalties anything can happen. I feel that we deserved the win.”