Preview: TFC, Quakes square off in need of points
A pair of teams in need of points in a hurry meet on Saturday evening when Toronto FC take on the San Jose Earthquakes at BMO Field. TFC sit in a tie at the foot of the Eastern Conference table after a 2-0 loss at Chicago last weekend, and fell 1-0 to FC Dallas in the CONCACAF Champions League at midweek. The Quakes are riding a club-record 11-game winless streak, after their 2-0 loss at the LA Galaxy last weekend.
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REFEREE: Terry Vaughn. SAR (bench): George Gansner; JAR (opposite): Eric Boria; 4th: Geoff Gamble
MLS Career: 150 games; FC/gm: 28.4; Y/gm: 3.8; R: 48; pens: 49
INJURY REPORT: TORONTO FC – OUT: MF Elbekay Bouchiba (R knee surgery recovery); DF Adrian Cann (R knee surgery recovery); DF Dicoy Williams (R knee surgery recovery); QUESTIONABLE: MF Leandre Griffit (abdominal strain); MF Eric Avila (R hamstring tightness); FW Danny Koevermans (L hamstring tightness); PROBABLE: GK Stefan Frei (knee contusion) …
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES – OUT: MF Andre Luiz (L knee injury); DF Ike Opara (L foot injury); FW Alan Gordon (surgery); FW Steven Lenhart (family leave); QUESTIONABLE: MF Brad Ring (R shoulder sprain); MF Anthony Ampaipitakwong (L groin strain)
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none
SUSPENDED: SJ: Steven Beitashour (through Aug. 28)
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: TOR: Danleigh Borman … SJ: Bobby Convey, Alan Gordon, Brad Ring
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: TOR: Terry Dunfield, Ryan Johnson, Javier Martina, Mikael Yourassowsky … SJ: Sam Cronin, Jason Hernandez, Chris Leitch, Steven Lenhart
ALL-TIME (7 meetings): Toronto FC 2 wins, 10 goals …Earthquakes 2 wins, 9 goals … Ties 3
AT BMO FIELD (3 meetings): Toronto FC 0 wins, 3 goals … Earthquakes 1 win, 4 goals … Ties 2
• The teams ended in a 1-1 draw on April 9. Alan Gordon scored for Toronto FC; Simon Dawkins also scored in the first half for the Quakes.
• The road teams won both meetings a season ago, TFC winning 3-1 at Buck Shaw Stadium on May 29, and the Quakes winning 3-2 on Sept. 25 at BMO Field.
• In seven all-time meetings, the home team has won just once: a 2-0 Earthquakes victory at Buck Shaw Stadium on Oct. 25, 2008.
• Coaches record: Frank Yallop v TOR: P9 W3 L2 D4 … Aron Winter vs. SJ: P1 W0 L0 D1
4/9: SJ 1, TOR 1 (Dawkins 38 – Gordon 27)
• The visitors took the lead after 27 minutes. Toronto defender Danleigh Borman saw his cross from the endline blocked, then Sam Cronin tried to clear in front of goalkeeper Jon Busch. But it looped right into the goalmouth where Alan Gordon knocked it home.
• The Quakes pulled even just 11 minutes later. Simon Dawkins played a nifty one-two with Chris Wondolowski at the top of the box before racing into the area and jabbing a shot past TFC ‘keeper Stefan Frei.
• SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES (4-1-4-1): Jon Busch – Jason Hernandez, Brandon McDonald, Ike Opara, Ramiro Corrales (Joey Gjertsen 85) - Sam Cronin - Bobby Convey, Khari Stephenson (Matt Luzunaris 80), Simon Dawkins, Ryan Johnson - Chris Wondolowski
• TORONTO FC (4-2-1-3): Stefan Frei – Ty Harden, Nana Attakora (Julian de Guzman 46), Adrian Cann, Danleigh Borman - Jacob Peterson, Tony Tchani - Maicon Santos (Joao Plata 65) - Javier Martina, Alan Gordon, Alen Stevanovic (Gianluca Zavarise 63).
Toronto FC weren’t able to build on a victory, going down to a 2-0 loss to the Chicago Fire on Sunday evening at Toyota Park. TFC has 23 points from 24 games on the season, sitting in a tie for eighth place in the Eastern Conference.
• Dominic Oduro put the Fire ahead in the 16th minute, completing a nice attacking move by neatly flicking defender Gonzalo Segares’ cross from the left corner past TFC goalkeeper Milos Kocic.
• The Fire doubled their lead in the 69th minute. A corner kick from the left was allowed to bounce through the area all the way to the far post, and Dan Gargan, traded from Toronto to Chicago just over three weeks ago, got on the end of it to power a header home.
• TFC head coach Aron Winter made two changes to the team that defeated Real Salt Lake 1-0 at BMO Field. Javier Martina and Ryan Johnson came into the team for Danny Koevermans and Eric Avila.
• TORONTO FC (3-1-3-3): Milos Kocic - Richard Eckersley, Torsten Frings, Andy Iro - Julian de Guzman (Mikael Yourassowsky 61) - Matt Stinson, Peri Marosevic, Danleigh Borman (Ashtone Morgan 80) - Javier Martina (Nathan Sturgis 46), Ryan Johnson, Joao Plata.
• It was Toronto FC’s first loss since July 23 (a 4-2 defeat by Sporting Kansas City), a run of three games in league play and six games in all competitions.
• “We had a six-game unbeaten streak which we lost, but it’s certainly one of the more complete performances [Sunday] that we’ve had,” defender Andy Iro said. “I think we controlled most of the game. I think we created opportunities and if we were a little sharper defensively then maybe we keep a shutout.”
• It was also the first time TFC was shut out at the attacking end since July 20, the last of three consecutive blanking in MLS play.
• “At that moment we were not sharp. So, if you watch the whole game, we had opportunities to change [the scoreline] based on the possession game that we played. We should earn more than a defeat in this game,” said TFC head coach Aron Winter. “For the most part, I think we played well even if we lost 2 to nil. We have had a lot of changes. We were not sharp with the finishing. That is something I think we can blame ourselves.”
• Winter had to make two significant changes in his attack. Center forward Danny Koevermans, who had scored three times in five league starts, was not available after suffering a hamstring injury in the CONCACAF Champions League match at Tauro FC.
• Eric Avila, who had made back-to-back 90-minute appearances in league play after his arrival from FC Dallas, was also unavailable with a hamstring injury.
• “It’s not easy but until now we’ve managed well. We’re playing a little different,” Winter said “I think it’s part of this league but also everyone knows the league is very tough. It’s been much tougher for us because of playing in the CONCACAF league but still you have to be smart on the pitch by playing simple.”
• Milos Kocic made his second consecutive league start, and fourth overall, between the posts with first-choice ‘keeper Stefan Frei still nursing a leg injury.
• On Thursday, Toronto FC suffered a 1-0 loss to FC Dallas in the CONCACAF Champions League at BMO Field in a match that was abandoned the night before. The game’s lone goal came from Jack Stewart in first-half stoppage time. Daniel Hernandez also missed a penalty for FCD. The game was abandoned at halftime on Wednesday due to heavy rain and lightning, with FC Dallas leading 1-0.
• Here’s the TFC team: Milos Kocic; Julian de Guzman, Joao Plata, Ryan Johnson, Matthew Stinson (80: Doneil Henry), Ty Harden, Torsten Frings, Danleigh Borman (54: Ashtone Morgan), Richard Eckersley, Gianluca Zavarise (56: Leandre Griffit), Peri Marosevic
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES
The San Jose Earthquakes saw their winless skid reach 12 games, falling to a 2-0 defeat by the LA Galaxy on Saturday evening at The Home Depot Center. The Quakes have 25 points from 23 games on the season, sitting in eighth place in the Western Conference.
• It took Robbie Keane just 21 minutes to open his MLS account for the Galaxy. David Beckham played a freekick from midfield over the San Jose defense, and Keane easily walked onto the ball with only goalkeeper Jon Busch to beat, rounding him easily before slipping the ball into an empty net.
• The Quakes went down a man in the 81st minute when Steven Beitashour was sent off by referee Andrew Chapin after he deemed that the defender intentionally kicked Landon Donovan.
• Mike Magee punctuated the victory with a goal in the game's final minute, knocking in a cross from close range from Sean Franklin while completely unmarked in front of goal.
• Earthquakes boss Frank Yallop made two changes to the team that fell 2-1 to the Colorado Rapids at Buck Shaw Stadium. Justin Morrow and Rafael Baca came into the team for Brad Ring and the suspended Sam Cronin.
• SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES (4-4-2): Jon Busch - Steven Beitashour (sent off 81), Jason Hernandez, Bobby Burling, Justin Morrow - Joey Gjertsen (Ellis McLoughlin 86), Ramiro Corrales, Rafael Baca, Bobby Convey - Khari Stephenson (Edmundo Zura 71), Chris Wondolowski (Simon Dawkins 71).
• The Earthquakes have not won since a 4-2 June 11 victory vs. D.C. United, their current 12-game winless streak a club record.
• “Obviously losing 2-0 is not good. On general play I thought we played well enough to maybe get something out of this game but obviously the Galaxy took their chances when they came along and we didn’t seem to do that,” said Earthquakes head coach FrankYallop. “I am not faulting the guys for effort.”
• The loss was just the second time in the long winless skein where the Quakes were defeated in back-to-back games (also: July 23 and 30, by Real Salt Lake and D.C. United.
• “I thought we played well again tonight but in the end we didn’t get anything out of it,” said goalkeeper Jon Busch. “That aspect is frustrating because it has been that way a lot this season where we have done the right things and haven’t gotten a just result.”
• Once again, with both Alan Gordon (abdominal surgery) and Steven Lenhart (leave of absence) unavailable, Khari Stephenson featured in attack, partnering with Chris Wondolowski.
• Wondolowski, who has gone five games without scoring, since netting a pair on July 20 vs. Vancouver, was taken off in favor of Simon Dawkins in the 71st minute.
• “I know I’m healthy. I’m going to go out there and try to work as hard as I can. But he’s the head coach, and I’ll stick by every decision he makes. And that was the decision,” Wondolowski said.
• Ecuadorian forward Edmundo Zura made his Earthquakes debut, coming on as a substitute for Stephenson in the 71st minute.
• With Sam Cronin suspended, Ramiro Corrales returned to central midfield from left back, his first start in the engine room since mid-June.
• Justin Morrow made his first start since April 30, replacing Corrales on the back four. Rafael Baca also made his second start for the Quakes, after making his debut July 9.