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11/23 FINAL
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11/30 9:20pm
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Eastern Conference Championship

Preview: Streaking DC and San Jose square off at RFK

DC_SJ_DL_6-11-2011

Photo Credit: 
Getty Images

A pair of teams riding month-long unbeaten runs meet at RFK Stadium when D.C. United return home to take on the San Jose Earthquakes. United are coming off a two-game unbeaten Western swing, concluding with a scoreless draw at the LA Galaxy. The Quakes are back on the road at an Eastern Conference opponent after a stirring 2-0 win against the Houston Dynamo at home last weekend.

DOWNLOAD: FULL GAME GUIDE

REFEREE: Andrew Chapin. SAR (bench): Greg Barkey; JAR (opposite): Corey Parker; 4th: Alex Prus MLS Career: 30 games; FC/gm: 27.5; Y/gm: 4.8; R: 8; pens: 4

INJURY REPORT:
D.C. UNITED – OUT: MF Branko Boskovic (L ACL tear); DF Marc Burch (R hamstring strain); DF Dejan Jakovic (L hamstring strain); DF Devon McTavish (concussion); MF Santino Quaranta (concussion); QUESTIONABLE: MF Kurt Morsink (R ankle sprain); PROBABLE: MF Junior Carreiro (L ankle sprain); MF Dax McCarty (R groin strain); DF Jed Zayner (L hamstring strain)

SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES – OUT: MF Andre Luiz (L knee injury); DOUBTFUL: DF Ike Opara (L foot injury); PROBABLE: FW Scott Sealy (L hamstring strain); DF Tim Ward (R hamstring strain)

INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES:
SJ: Ryan Johnson (Jamaica); Chris Wondolowski (USA)

SUSPENDED: none
WARNINGS:
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: none
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS:
DC: Fred
SJ: Sam Cronin

HEAD-TO-HEAD
ALL-TIME (30 meetings): United 10 wins (0 shootout), 48 goals … Earthquakes 14 wins (3 shootout), 44 goals … Ties 6
AT RFK (15 meetings): United 8 wins (0 shootout), 30 goals … Earthquakes 7 wins (2 shootout), 21 goals … Ties 0
RETURN MATCH: 7/30: San Jose Earthquakes vs. D.C. United, 10:30 p.m.

LAST YEAR
7/3: SJ 1, DC 1 (Opara 16 – Najar 54)
10/9: DC 0, SJ 2 (Wondolowski 45, 55)

  • The Earthquakes have a five-game unbeaten streak alive against United, including victories on each of their last two trips to RFK Stadium over the last two seasons.
  • D.C.’s last win against San Jose came June 22, 2008 at home. United have not won at San Jose since a 4-0 victory in 1998.
  • Coaches record: Frank Yallop vs. DC: P17 W8 L4 D5 … Ben Olsen v SJ: P1 W0 L1 D0

D.C. UNITED

D.C. United stretched their undefeated streak to five games, playing to a scoreless draw with the LA Galaxy on Wednesday at The Home Depot Center. United have 16 points from 12 games on the year, sitting in third place in the Eastern Conference.

LAST MATCH

  • Josh Saunders made three saves in goal for the Galaxy, while Bill Hamid was called upon to make one save for United.
  • The visitors had two quality chances in the second half, but both Josh Wolff, in the 63rd minute, and Charlie Davies in the 81st, pushed their close-range efforts wide of goal.
  • United coach Ben Olsen made three changes to the team that defeated the Portland Timbers 3-2 at Jeld-Wen Field. Chris Korb came into the back four for Dejan Jakovic, Fred started in place of Stephen King in midfield, and Josh Wolff replaced Joseph Ngwenya up top.

D.C. UNITED (4-4-2): Bill Hamid - Chris Korb, Ethan White, Perry Kitchen, Daniel Woolard - Andy Najar, Clyde Simms, Fred (Stephen King 61), Chris Pontius - Blake Brettschneider (Charlie Davies 67), Josh Wolff (Joseph Ngwenya 88).

TEAM NEWS

  • United came away from their West Coast swing with four points from two games, the first team to win in Portland and one of three to come away from The Home Depot Center with a point against the Galaxy.
  • “I think overall we are pretty excited that in the last two games we get four points on the road,” United boss Ben Olsen said. “I am a little disappointed in not getting three points today. I thought we had some good chances. If only we were a little bit sharper in the final third.”
  • Olsen put three rookies together in the back four – center backs Ethan White and Perry Kitchen and right back Chris Korb – and the Black-and-Red recorded a third shutout on the season. It was the first time the freshman trio had been in the same starting XI.
  • “It was a pretty impressive performance from those three young guys,” Olsen said. “They continue to play beyond their rookie status week in, week out. It’d be hard to take those three out of the lineup.”
  • For Korb, it was his first start since April 21. “We got the shutout. It wasn't the prettiest at times, but we had the right mentality and got the result that we needed,” Kitchen said.
  • Dax McCarty missed a second consecutive match after failing a late fitness test before the Galaxy game. McCarty has been slowed by a groin strain.
  • Fred moved into a central midfield role, making his first start since April 30 and playing 61 minutes. He had made four consecutive brief substitute appearances.
  • “I’m happy with the way team played,” midfielder Clyde Simms said. “I think the guys are ultimately happy but are still a little disappointed we didn’t come up with three [points].”
  • Called into Canada’s team for the CONCACAF Gold Cup, center back Dejan Jakovic suffered a hamstring strain in a preparatory friendly vs. Ecuador. He has returned to United, though is expected to miss the next few weeks while recovering.

SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES

The San Jose Earthquakes extended their undefeated streak to five games, defeating the Houston Dynamo 2-0 on Saturday evening at Buck Shaw Stadium. The Quakes have 16 points from 12 games on the season, sitting in eighth place in the Western Conference.

LAST MATCH

  • The Quakes took the lead on 69 minutes. With plenty of time and space, right back Steven Beitashour delivered a bending ball into the box from deep on the right flank and Steven Lenhart split a pair of Houston defenders to powerfully head the ball to the near post, leaving Dynamo goalkeeper Hall with no real chance.
  • The home side put away the game in second-half stoppage time. Simon Dawkins and Sam Cronin played a one-two in midfield, Dawkins running onto the return pass all along behind the Dynamo back line and easily slotting home past Hall.
  • Earthquakes boss Frank Yallop made two changes to the team that held on for a 2-2 draw with the Chicago Fire at Toyota Park. Bobby Burling came in at center back for Ike Opara, and Sam Cronin replaced Chris Wondolowski, on international duty.

SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES (4-4-1-1): Jon Busch - Steven Beitashour, Jason Hernandez, Bobby Burling, Bobby Convey - Anthony Ampaipitakwong (Simon Dawkins 75), Sam Cronin, Brad Ring, Ramiro Corrales - Khari Stephenson (Brandon McDonald 82) - Steven Lenhart.

TEAM NEWS

  • The Quakes were without Chris Wondolowski for the first time on the season, away with the U.S. national team in preparation for the CONCACAF Gold Cup.
  • "Whether Wondo's in or not we play the same," Yallop said. "We didn't worry about not having our top goal scorer with us." Said goalkeeper Jon Busch: “We've got very talented forwards on this team. Yes, we miss Wondo, but we have to get on with the game."
  • It was the first time San Jose did not have Wondolowski in the gameday squad since April 10, 2010; since that date, Wondolowski had scored 18 goals in league play.
  • “When people around the league look at our team, it looks like a one-man show at times,” Quakes defender Jason Hernandez said. “You can’t deny what [Wondolowski] has done. For us to not have him and Ryan Johnson, who’s another important piece, go against a tough Houston team and get a result, I think it says a lot about the first guy all the way to the last guy in our lineup.”
  • Steven Lenhart finally scored his first goal with the Quakes, in his sixth consecutive start.
  • “Steven is a wholehearted player who gives everything he has in every game. I am pleased for him that he got on the scoresheet tonight. He had another very good performance,” Yallop said. “On the goal, it was a great ball from (Steven) Beitashour, but it was an even better finish by Steven. He is playing with more confidence every game.”
  • Simon Dawkins made his first appearance since April 23 and scored his third goal of the season.
  • After three games out of the starting lineup, Bobby Burling returned to center back.
  • “It was great to see guys come into the lineup without a hitch. Bobby Burling stepped in and did a great job,” said Jason Hernandez. “We’re starting to see the depth and great play of this team. Guys are stepping up when called upon and that’s the sign of a great team. Earlier this year, we’ve given up the goal late to tie or lose so for us to close out Houston like that was a good sign.”