Preview: Quakes look to snap record winless run vs. Rapids

San Jose Earthquakes vs. Colorado Rapids

Photo Credit: 
Getty Images/MLSsoccer.com

BUCK SHAW STADIUM, Santa Clara, Calif.
10:30 p.m. ET (CSN-CA; Altitude)
August 13, 2011 (WEEK 22; MLS Game 220)

The San Jose Earthquakes end a three-game home stretch on Saturday evening when they play host to the streaking Colorado Rapids at Buck Shaw Stadium. The Quakes saw their winless run reach a club-record 10 games last weekend in a 1-1 draw with the Portland Timbers. The Rapids are coming into form, their undefeated run now at four games after a 2-0 victory at home against the Columbus Crew last Friday.

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REFEREE: Paul Ward. SAR (bench): Darren Clark; JAR (opposite): Philippe Briere; 4th: Yader Reyes
MLS Career: 31 games; FC/gm: 23.4; Y/gm: 3.7; R: 10; pens: 6

INJURY REPORT: SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES — OUT: FW Alan Gordon (rectus abdominis tear; L/R hip adductor tear); MF Andre Luiz (L knee injury); DF Ike Opara (L foot injury); QUESTIONABLE: MF Simon Dawkins (R hamstring strain) ... COLORADO RAPIDS — OUT: FW Conor Casey (L achilles tear); DF Anthony Wallace (L knee sprain); PROBABLE: GK Matt Pickens (R groin strain); MF Jamie Smith (R hamstring strain); FW Caleb Folan (R groin tightness)

INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none
SUSPENDED: none
WARNINGS:
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: SJ: Bobby Convey, Alan Gordon, Brad Ring ... COL:Conor Casey
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: SJ: Sam Cronin, Jason Hernandez, Chris Leitch, Steven Lenhart ... COL: Caleb Folan, Ross LaBauex, Jeff Larentowicz, Pablo Mastroeni, Tyrone Marshall, Drew Moor, Sanna Nyassi, Wells Thompson, Anthony Wallace

HEAD-TO-HEAD
ALL-TIME (46 meetings): Earthquakes 21 wins (2 shootout), 67 goals ... Rapids 17 wins (1 shootout), 61 goals ... Ties 8
AT SAN JOSE (23 meetings): Earthquakes 11 wins (1 shootout), 41 goals ... Rapids 7 wins (0 shootout), 31 goals ... Ties 5
RETURN MATCH: 9/24: Colorado Rapids vs. San Jose Earthquakes, 7 p.m. MT

LAST YEAR (MLS)
5/1: SJ 1, COL 0 (Wondolowski 33)
8/7: COL 1, SJ 0 (own goal 25)

  • The Rapids haven't won in San Jose since a 2-1 win on Aug. 30, 2003. The Earthquakes have won three of the seven meetings since in northern California, with four draws.
  • The Rapids put an end to a five-game home winless streak vs. San Jose with their 1-0 victory last Aug. 7 at Dick's Sporting Goods Park. Colorado had last defeated the Quakes on their home ground April 24, 2004.
  • Coaches record: Frank Yallop vs. COL: P23 W8 L9 D6 ... Gary Smith v SJ: P4 W1 L1 D2

SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES

The San Jose Earthquakes saw their winless run reach club-record proportions, playing to a 1-1 draw with the Portland Timbers on Saturday evening at Buck Shaw Stadium. The Quakes have 25 points from 22 games on the season, sitting in eighth place in the Western Conference.

LAST MATCH

  • The Timbers opened the scoring on 23 minutes. Jorge Perlaza burst down the right flank and sent in a low cross, and Kenny Cooper slipped through the Earthquakes defense to touch the ball home at the top of the six-yard box.
  • But the Quakes pulled even at the game's three-quarter mark. After coming on as a substitute, Alan Gordon cut inside Portland center back Eric Brunner to reach a long, looping cross from Steven Beitashour, sending a snap header inside the back post.
  • Earthquakes boss Frank Yallop made six changes to the team that fell 2-0 to D.C. United at Buck Shaw Stadium. Only goalkeeper Jon Busch and Sam Cronin, Bobby Convey, Chris Wondolowski and Scott Sealy kept their places in the team, with Tim Ward, Ramiro Corrales, Nana Attakora, Jacob Peterson, Alan Gordon and Khari Stephenson all dropped.
  • SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES (4-4-2): Jon Busch - Steven Beitashour, Jason Hernandez, Bobby Burling, Ramiro Corrales - Joey Gjertsen (Rafael Baca 82), Brad Ring, Sam Cronin (Khari Stephenson 64), Bobby Convey - Chris Wondolowski, Scott Sealy (Alan Gordon 56).

TEAM NEWS

  • Despite coming back for the result, the Earthquakes saw their winless run extended to 10 games, matching the club record set Sept. 8, 2004 — April 16, 2005.
  • "We have tied a lot of games that we should have won. It may have been unlucky that we did not get those wins but the table doesn't lie," said Earthquakes coach Frank Yallop. "We are sitting where we are sitting and it is all up to us. With us, we never give up without a fight."
  • Alan Gordon scored his first goal since his arrival in San Jose, his first goal in MLS since June 11 (with Toronto FC), in the draw with Portland.
  • "We played well. We had a good performance from the guys. We were not as dangerous near the goal as I would have liked," Yallop said. "I thought Alan took his goal well and I thought team wise it was a solid performance. We played a lot freer tonight. I think besides the finishing touches we played well. We had a little bad luck not to get the win tonight."
  • But Gordon underwent surgery on Monday to repair a torn rectus abdominis and torn left and right hip adductors. He is expected to miss up to five weeks.
  • "That's just been our season in a nutshell, right there," Quakes forward Chris Wondolowski said. "Get a glimpse, dude does well and then an injury or something happens that puts him on the shelf for a while. I don't even know what it is, but I don't think we've put the same lineup down all year in back-to-back games. It's tough."
  • Gordon's goal ended a 283-minute scoreless drought for the Earthquakes, eighth longest in MLS this season.
  • The game against the Rapids concludes a three-game homestand for the Quakes. San Jose will then have seven of their final 10 games away from Buck Shaw Stadium.
  • "We have to look forward to next weekend. We are still not out of it. We need to start picking up some wins. We can win at least enough to get into the playoffs," Yallop said.

COLORADO RAPIDS

The Colorado Rapids stretched their unbeaten streak to four games, knocking off the Columbus Crew 2-0 on Friday evening at Dick's Sporting Goods Park. The Rapids have 37 points from 25 games, sitting in fourth place in the Western Conference.

LAST MATCH

  • The Rapids opened the scoring in the 54th minute. Brian Mullan picked up a Wells Thompson pass outside the penalty area and crushed a right-footed shot into the upper corner of the goal.
  • Then in the 79th minute, Sanna Nyassi and Omar Cummings finally connected, Nyassi playing in Cummings and the Jamaican international coolly finished from inside the penalty area.
  • Rapids head coach Gary Smith made no changes to the team that came away from PPL Park with a 2-1 victory against Philadelphia Union.
  • COLORADO RAPIDS (4-4-2): Matt Pickens - Kosuke Kimura (Anthony Wallace 87 / Scott Palguta 91+), Marvell Wynne, Tyrone Marshall, Drew Moor - Brian Mullan, Pablo Mastroeni (Joseph Nane 83), Jeff Larentowicz, Wells Thompson - Sanna Nyassi, Omar Cummings.

TEAM NEWS

  • The Rapids have now won four times in their last six times after winning just five games total in their first 19 league games of the season.
  • "There was still some work to be done, and the second goal I think was needed to settle any nerves and to see the final exchanges out,:" said Rapids head coach Gary Smith. "But the last 10 minutes of the game is probably as well as we've managed a game — at home or away — when we've been in front. I just thought in the end, the 2-nil result was a well-deserved one.:
  • While he did not score after netting four goals in the previous three games, Rapids striker Sanna Nyassi did set up front-line partner Omar Cummings for his first goal since April 30, in the 2-0 win vs. Columbus.
  • "Everyone is scoring goals," said Cummings. "To see Sanna [Nyassi] and Pablo [Mastroeni] score last week, to me and Brian [Mullan] getting it this week. ... You have multiple scorers and just scoring a lot of goals is confidence for any team."
  • Mullan scored his first goal since coming to the Rapids in a late-season trade from Houston last year. He has started six of the last nine games after returning from a 10-game suspension.
  • "It was going to take something special to break the deadlock. Brian's strike — I mean, I can't believe he's scored a better goal than that in his career," said Gary Smith. "That is as clean as they come. If there hadn't been a net on the back of the goal, it'd still be rising now. It just kept rising. That was a magnificent strike."
  • In each of the past five weeks, the Rapids have received the first goal of the season from a player: Wells Thompson, July 16 vs. SEA; Nyassi, July 20 vs. NY; Kosuke Kimura, July 23 vs. NE; Pablo Mastroeni, July 29 vs. PHI; and Mullan vs. CLB.
  • "It just means more confidence, more momentum going into the next game," Cummings said. "Knowing that you are winning games, you are scoring goals, especially going away [next weekend], it means good confidence for the team."
  • But both sides of the strike partnership could face real fatigue after being called into respective national teams for far-flung friendlies this week: Cummings playing for the Jamaican national team in Heifi, China, and Nyassi for The Gambia against DR Congo in Banjul.