Preview: Quakes try to end skid against Philadelphia

The San Jose Earthquakes return home to Buck Shaw Stadium take on Philadelphia Union on Saturday evening. The Quakes are on a four-game winless slide, after a 2-0 loss at midweek at Chivas USA. Union staged some late heroics for a second consecutive match last time out, salvaging a 2-2 draw at D.C. United.

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REFEREE: Elias Bazakos. SAR (bench): George Gansner; JAR (opposite): Corey Parker; 4th: Juan Guzman
MLS Career: 13 games; FC/gm: 26.4; Y/gm: 2.6; R: 3; pens: 0

INJURY REPORT:
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES – OUT: MF Bobby Convey (L knee contusion); MF Andre Luiz (L knee injury); DF Ike Opara (L foot injury)
PHILADELPHIA UNION – DOUBTFUL: MF Veljko Paunovic (L hip strain); PROBABLE: DF Danny Califf (rib strain)

INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES:
none

SUSPENDED:
SJ: Steven Lenhart (caution accumulation; through July 10)

WARNINGS:
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD:
PHI: Carlos Valdes
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS:
SJ: Ramiro Corrales, Sam Cronin
PHI: Danny Califf, Brian Carroll, Danny Mwanga, Sheanon Williams

HEAD-TO-HEAD

  • ALL-TIME (3 meetings): Earthquakes 2 wins, 3 goals … Union 1 win, 2 goals … Ties 0
  • AT SAN JOSE (1 meeting): Earthquakes 1 win, 1 goal … Union 0 wins, 0 goals … Ties 0
  • A Sebastien Le Toux penalty kick in the 76th minute gave Union a 1-0 victory on April 30 at PPL Park in the teams’ first meeting this season.
  • The Earthquakes won both meetings in Union’s inaugural campaign, a 2-1 win at PPL Park in July and a 1-0 win at Buck Shaw Stadium in September.
  • Coaches' records: Peter Nowak vs. SJ: P8 W3 L3 T2 … Frank Yallop v PHI: P3 W2 L1 T0

LAST MEETING (MLS):

  • 4/30: PHI 1, SJ 0 (Le Toux 76)
  • 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.
  • Union manager Peter Nowak made two changes to the team that reached a 1-1 draw with Seattle Sounders FC at PPL Park. Roger Torres and Danny Mwanga came into the side, for Stefani Miglioranzi and Kyle Nakazawa.
  • PHILADELPHIA UNION (4-1-2-3): Faryd Mondragon - Sheanon Williams, Danny Califf, Carlos Valdes, Jordan Harvey (sent off 41) - Amobi Okugo - Roger Torres (Michael Farfan 46), Keon Daniel - Sebastien Le Toux, Danny Mwanga (Stefani Miglioranzi 46), Carlos Ruiz (Kyle Nakazawa 83)
  • 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 EARTHQUAKES

The San Jose Earthquakes saw their winless run stretched to four games, falling 2-0 to Chivas USA on Wednesday evening at The Home Depot Center. The Quakes have 21 points from 16 games on the season, sitting in a tie for sixth place in the Western Conference.

LAST MATCH

  • Chivas USA finally took the lead in the 64th minute, when Justin Braun played the ball forward to Ben Zemanski, who fired a bending strike from 30 yards that swerved out of San Jose goalkeeper Jon Busch's reach.
  • The hosts doubled their lead in the 84th minute. Second-half substitute midfielder Francisco Mendoza easily unlocked the Earthquakes defense with a through ball to a wide open Nick LaBrocca in the area, and the attack-minded midfielder coolly finished.
  • Earthquakes boss Frank Yallop made three changes to the team that played to a 2-2 tie with the New York Red Bulls at Stanford Stadium. Chris Leitch came into central defense for the suspended Chris Leitch, and Joey Gjertsen andSam Cronin came into the midfield for Simon Dawkins and Khari Stephenson.
  • SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES (4-4-2): Jon Busch - Steven Beitashour (Tim Ward 46), Jason Hernandez, Chris Leitch, Ramiro Corrales - Joey Gjertsen (Simon Dawkins 46), Brad Ring, Sam Cronin (Omar Jasseh 77), Ryan Johnson - Steven Lenhart, Chris Wondolowski.

TEAM NEWS

  • The Earthquakes were shut out offensively for a third time in four games, that stretch coming a run of five games where they scored 13 goals.
  • “I think all of us collectively struggled tonight. Guys that played in the weekend, guys that had come in to the team, it was just one of those nights. It’s very frustrating to sit and watch because I felt if we could just put our game together a little bit, I felt we could get something out of the match,” Quakes head coach Frank Yallop said. “But we couldn’t. We couldn’t even string any passes together, other than a spell of 10 minutes at the start of the second half. But for a 90-minute game, it’s not enough.”
  • After starting in a wide midfield role in the New York game, Chris Wondolowski again moved into an out-and-out striking position, paired with Steven Lenhart.
  • “To be honest, I think both offensively and defensively our whole team was on a different page from each other. We couldn’t connect any passes, and couldn’t defend well together as a team defensively. That’s never a good formula for success,” Wondolowski said. “Offensively I felt that we had opportunities to try to exploit them and be dangerous, but we couldn’t do that.”
  • Even when Yallop brought on Simon Dawkins to replace Joey Gjertsen, Dawkins played out wide while the starting strike pair remained intact.
  • “Of course it’s frustrating when you lose and you’re a forward and you don’t get many opportunities,” Wondolowski said. “We just need to connect the passes. There were too many passes going way out of bounds or to the other team. We need to try to do the little things a lot better: win our 50-50 passes, track runners and see if guys can defend as a team.”
  • Wondolowski was playing in his second match after returning from the U.S. team for the CONCACAF Gold Cup. He had scored four of his six goals on the season in the six games before missing four while on international duty.
  • “Mentally, I think I’m all right,” Wondolowski said. “It’s just getting back into it and trying to keep working hard and try to get chances and when I do get chances, [to] finish them. That’ll be a big key for me. It’s one of those things. All strikers go through it. Sometimes anything you hit goes in, sometimes no matter how well you hit it, it doesn’t go in.”
  • Tim Ward made his first appearance of the season, coming on at halftime for Steven Beitashour at right back.
  • “I’ve been out for such a long time. It was a little unexpected but you want to play as many games as you can, and play every time you’re available,” Ward said. “So to play the first time I was back in the team was a big positive for me.”

PHILADELPHIA UNION

Philadelphia Union against salvaged a result with late heroics, getting a late equalizing goal for a 2-2 draw with D.C. United on Saturday evening at RFK Stadium. Union have 27 points from 17 matches on the year, leading the Eastern Conference.

LAST MATCH

  • United took the lead a minute before halftime. A clever ball from Andy Najar found De Rosario on the left side of the box, and after drawing two Philly defenders he slid a square pass to Josh Wolff who stabbed the ball home.
  • But Union were even just four minutes into the season when Perry Kitchen's attempted clearance of a Veljko Paunovic cross clattered off his shin and past Bill Hamid into his own goal.
  • United took the lead back in the 58th minute through a tremendous individual effort from Najar, who was given time and space to hare forward before letting fly with a shot from 35 yards that sailed past a diving Faryd Mondragón.
  • But the visitors again got the goal back, this time with five minutes to play. Sheanon Williams drove a low cross into the area from the right corner and Carlos Ruiz re-directed it past Hamid for the leveler.
  • Union manager Peter Nowak made one change to the team that got a late goal for a 3-2 victory against Chivas USA at PPL Park. Danny Mwanga came into the side in place of Jack McInerney.
  • PHILADELPHIA UNION (4-1-3-2): Faryd Mondragon - Sheanon Williams, Carlos Valdes, Danny Califf, Jordan Harvey - Brian Carroll - Sebastien Le Toux, Veljko Paunovic (Gabriel Farfan 66), Justin Mapp (Jack McInerney 78) - Danny Mwanga (Keon Daniel 71), Carlos Ruiz.

TEAM NEWS

  • For a second consecutive game, Union got a goal in the last 10 minutes to secure points. Danny Mwanga’s goal in the 82nd minute gave Philadelphia a 3-2 win vs. Chivas USA the week before.
  • “I think the important thing is that on a night like tonight when we did not play well, we still got the point. We came back and tied the game in a very good fashion,” said Union team manager Peter Nowak. “The boys are still fighting so this is a good sign and after half of the season right now it is good to be where we are right now.”
  • Union have scored 15 goals in the second half, second-most in MLS, behind the Columbus Crew’s 16. But they’ve scored just six in the opening 45 minutes, ahead of only Toronto FC (4).
  • “We see that games are very difficult and you’ve got to be prepared and I think in the first half we weren’t prepared. So, we were lucky, but I think it was important to get the point from here,” Nowak said. “The team is still behind us and it was the second game in a row where we came back and scored goals. The one point is one point, so we’re moving forward.”
  • In his third game back in the Union lineup after missing four matches to Guatemala national team duty, Carlos Ruiz scored for a second consecutive game.
  • “It was a great collective play. It was a great run from Sheanon Williams and a great pass from Sebastien Le Toux. I think those were the crosses I was looking for all game in front of the goal. … We tied the game [and] that is a good result at the end of the day for us,” Ruiz said.
  • Union have come back to take points in four of the eight games when they’ve conceded the first goal (one win, three draws), holding the fourth-best record in the league.
  • “I think overall [the game] was pretty back-and-forth,” said defender Danny Califf. “I think we definitely had some chances and [D.C. United] had some chances to put the game away and put ourselves out in front, but it feels good for us to go down twice and have the character to come back out and tie the game up. So, we feel good about that.”