Preview: 'Caps look to cool off red-hot Quakes
VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC vs SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES
BC PLACE, Vancouver, B.C.
May 5, 2012 (WEEK 9, MLS Game #80)
7 p.m. ET (SNET Pac; CSN-BA)
Vancouver Whitecaps FC and San Jose Earthquakes meet for the second time this season in a huge clash at the top of the Western Conference. Whitecaps FC have won back-to-back games by 1-0 scorelines, last against FC Dallas, as they return to their record-setting defensive performance of the start of the season. All the Earthquakes have done is move to the top of the MLS overall table, extending their unbeaten streak to seven with a third straight win at midweek, a 5-3 defeat of D.C. United at home.
REFEREE: Chris Penso. SAR (bench): Chris Strickland; JAR (opposite): Colin Arblaster; 4th: Paul Ward
MLS Career: 17 games; FC/gm: 22.9; Y/gm: 3.3; R: 5; pens: 10
- VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC - OUT: FW Darren Mattocks (R shoulder burn); GK Brian Sylvestre (R knee surgery); PROBABLE: MF Jun Marques Davidson (R adductor strain); FW Etienne Barbara (groin strain); FW Camilo Sanvezzo (R quad strain)
- SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES - OUT: DF Victor Bernardez (L knee MCL sprain); MF Joey Gjertsen (R knee surgery); FW Alan Gordon (L hamstring strain); MF Shea Salinas (L clavicle fracture); DF Tim Ward (L non-specific soft tissue injury)
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: SJ: Steven Lenhart
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: VAN: Eric Hassli
ALL-TIME (3 meetings): Earthquakes 1 wins, 6 goals ... Whitecaps 0 wins, 4 goals ... Ties 2
AT VANCOUVER (1 meeting): Earthquakes 0 wins, 1 goal ... Whitecaps 0 wins, 1 goal ... Ties 1
FUTURE MATCHES: 7/22: Vancouver Whitecaps FC vs. San Jose Earthquakes, 4 p.m. PT
- The teams are meeting for the second time this season. San Jose claimed a 3-1 victory April 7 at Buck Shaw Stadium, Vancouver's first loss of the season after season-opening unbeaten and shutout streaks.
- It was the first victory for either team in the all-time series; they played to a pair of draws last year in Vancouver's inaugural season in MLS.
- Chris Wondolowski has scored five of San Jose's six goals vs. Vancouver.
- Coaches record: Frank Yallop vs. SEA: P3 W1 L0 D2 ... Martin Rennie vs. SJ: P1 W0 L1 D0
LAST MEETING (MLS):
- 4/7: SJ 3, VAN 1 (Wondolowski 68, 78; Gordon 72 - Le Toux 49)
- Whitecaps FC opened the scoring four minutes after the break, Eric Hassli posted up inside the box and played a pass back to Sebastien Le Toux off a throw-in, and Le Toux knocked it inside the far post.
- Five minutes after the 'Caps broke the MLS record for most minutes to start a season without conceding a goal, the Quakes pulled even. Chris Wondolowski got behind the Vancouver defense, held off defender Jay DeMerit, then ran onto a throw-in from left back Ramiro Corrales and chipped 'Caps goalkeeper Joe Cannon.
- Then, in the 72nd minute, Corrales dialed a cross into the box, and second-half substitute Alan Gordon answered with a diving header to give San Jose the lead.
- Wondolowski hammered the final nail into the coffin in the 78th minute. Tressor Moreno found the striker at the back post with a cross from a free kick, and Wondolowski simply redirected it into the net on the volley.
- SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES (4-5-1): Jon Busch - Steven Beitashour, Justin Morrow, Victor Bernardez, Ramiro Corrales - Marvin Chavez (Tressor Moreno 38), Rafael Baca, Simon Dawkins (Alan Gordon 52), Sam Cronin (Khari Stephenson 68), Shea Salinas - Chris Wondolowski.
- VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC (4-4-2): Joe Cannon - Lee Young-Pyo, Jay DeMerit, Martin Bonjour, Jordan Harvey - Davide Chiumiento, Gershon Koffie, Jun Marques Davidson (Camilo 76), John Thorrington (Matt Watson 79) - Sebastien Le Toux, Eric Hassli.
VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC
Vancouver Whitecaps FC won yet another 1-0 game, this time knocking off the Columbus Crew on Saturday evening at Columbus Crew Stadium. Whitecaps FC are in fourth place in the Western Conference with 14 points from 8 games.
HIGHLIGHTS: Vancouver stun Columbus at Crew Stadium
- The game's lone goal came after 74 minutes. Young-Pyo Lee lined up 25 yards out from goal on the right side and looped a free kick toward the far post. Crew goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum misread the ball as he backpedaled and tried to deflect the shot with his left hand but the ball settled into the upper left corner.
- Whitecaps FC goalkeeper Joe Cannon was called upon to make two saves for the shutout, both testing efforts in the first half from Eddie Gaven and Aaron Schoenfeld.
- Whitecaps FC head coach Martin Rennie made one change to the team that defeated FC Dallas 1-0 at BC Place. Eric Hassli returned to the side in place of Camilo.
- VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC (4-3-3): Joe Cannon - Lee Young-Pyo, Jay DeMerit, Martin Bonjour, Jordan Harvey - Gershon Koffie, Jun Marques Davidson, Matt Watson - Sebastien Le Toux, Eric Hassli (Atiba Harris 74), Omar Salgado (John Thorrington 83).
- Whitecaps FC have now recorded six shutouts in eight matches, the most clean sheets in MLS this season (Sporting KC are next with five).
- "That's a fantastic place for us to build from. Joe [Cannon] made a couple of good saves. I thought the fullbacks did a really good job and I thought [Martin] Bonjour and [Jay] DeMerit were excellent, but it wasn't just the back four and the pressure all over the field was excellent," said Whitecaps FC head coach Martin Rennie. "Even at the end where the Crew were looking to play forward, we pressed them from the front so they wouldn't have to play back and that limited the number of chances that the Crew got."
- Added goalkeeper Joe Cannon: "The guys on our team know their individual roles. This year there's more accountability. Everyone's stepping up, but we are fortunate to be getting some breaks."
- Vancouver won a game by a 1-0 scoreline for a third time this season, second in MLS (behind SKC's four). By comparison, a year ago the LA Galaxy recorded nine 1-0 victories on their way to the Supporters' Shield.
- "From our point of view, on the road we know we're going to be under pressure. We know we're going to put up with shots and pressure and crosses and things like that," Rennie said. "If we can stick together and make a goal no matter how that goal comes, obviously we're delighted with that."
- A week after getting his first assist in MLS play, Young-Pyo Lee scored his first MLS goal - a stunning free kick that he said was "lucky".
- "It was one of those ones where it was fortuitous," Rennie said. "We had a set piece lined up that we were looking to play and it got blocked off at the last minute, so you look to get the ball into the danger area and it went right into the top corner. It's fantastic for (Young-Pyo) and fantastic for us tonight."
- Added Cannon: "If you're asking if Y.P. meant it, I think anything that guy does is magical. I think he means it. He's that good. He's an absolute beast. The 'young prince' is doing wonders for us on the right side and it's great to see."
- After suffering a burn in a household cooking accident in mid-March, Darren Mattocks, the No. 2 selection overall in the SuperDraft, this week returned to training.
- "It's nice to have him back out here," Rennie said. "He looks very fit. It doesn't seem like [the accident] has done him any harm at all fitness wise. He just needs to get his sharpness back. Hopefully he'll get fully cleared on Wednesday to start training and be in full contact again. So it will be great to have him back. He seems very bubbly and upbeat, and I'm very happy with how he's come back."
- On Wednesday, Whitecaps FC opened their Canadian Championship campaign with a 2-0 win against second-tier FC Edmonton in Alberta. Eric Hassli and Atiba Harris staked Whitecaps FC to a first-half lead. The return leg will be played May 9 in Vancouver.
- Here's the Whitecaps FC team: Brad Knighton; Greg Klazura, Carlyle Mitchell, Alain Rochat, Jordan Harvey; Gershon Koffie, John Thorrington, Davide Chiumiento; Atiba Harris (Michael Nanchoff 70), Eric Hassli (Long Tan 78), Omar Salgado
Coldplay kickaround at BC Place
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES
The San Jose Earthquakes stretched their unbeaten streak to seven games in impressive fashion, rolling to a 5-3 win against D.C. United on Wednesday evening at Buck Shaw Stadium. The Quakes are now in first place in the overall MLS table with 22 points from 9 games.
HIGHLIGHTS: Vancouver stun Columbus at Crew Stadium
- United took the lead in the eighth minute. After Danny Cruz was halted on a long run through midfield, Dwayne De Rosario rushed in unchecked for a loose ball, delivering a scalding shot from all of 30 yards high to the left side of helpless San Jose goalkeeper Jon Busch.
- But the Quakes exploded to take the lead before halftime. In the 19th minute, Steven Lenhart walked onto the rebound after a Tressor Moreno attempt was blocked and lashing it home from just outside the area.
- Chris Wondolowski doubled the lead two minutes later, after a series of one- and two-touch passes from Khari Stephenson to Moreno and Simon Dawkins concluded with the Englishman feeding Wondolowski a step inside the penalty spot for a cool finish.
- Justin Morrow widened the gap in the 31st minute after his shot from a deflected corner kick was deflected by United midfielder Danny Cruz, leaving 'keeper Joe Willis no chance.
- United pulled a goal back in the 64th minute, when De Rosario sprung Andy Najar on the right endline, and his cross to the back post was met with a diving header by Daniel Woolard.
- But Wondolowski got his second of the night in the 69th minute, snapping home a header from a Steven Beitashour cross from the right flank. Lenhart then recorded the final San Jose tally in the 74th, chesting in a rebound after Marvin Chavez pinged the crossbar.
- United scored a late goal when Hamdi Salihi then ran onto De Rosario's lead pass in the 88th minute and chipped the ball over Quakes goalkeeper Jon Busch.
- Earthquakes head coach Frank Yallop made three changes to the team that claimed a 2-1 win against Philadelphia Union at PPL Park. Ramiro Corrales came into the back for Ike Opara, and Marvin Chavez and Steven Lenhart came in for Rafael Baca and Sam Cronin.
- SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES (4-3-1-2): Jon Busch - Steven Beitashour, Jason Hernandez, Justin Morrow, Ramiro Corrales (Ike Opara 83) - Marvin Chavez, Khari Stephenson, Simon Dawkins (Sam Cronin 72) - Tressor Moreno (Rafael Baca 63) - Steven Lenhart, Chris Wondolowski.
- The five goals scored by the Earthquakes was one shy of the club record, set twice earlier (in 1996 and 1999), and is the most goals the club has scored since its return to MLS. They last scored five goals in a game in a 5-5 draw with the MetroStars in 2004.
- "We attacked well all night. I liked the way we moved the ball around, how we were running off the ball and we were dynamic in front of goal. All the things we talked about coming into the game, we did well tonight, so I was very pleased with that," said Earthquakes head coach Frank Yallop. "Even though we got down early, we did not hang our heads or buckle."
- The Quakes' seven-game unbeaten run is the longest for the club since a nine-game streak from July 12-Sept. 13, 2008. The club record is 14 games without defeat, set in 2005.
- "We have had a great start but we are not getting carried away at all. There is a long way to go in the season and we have to keep playing well and getting results," Yallop said. "What I like about our team right now is that they play for each other and they come out excited to play every match. We have great team spirit right now in training every day and that is carrying over to the games."
- With his third two-goal game of the season, Chris Wondolowski took over the MLS Golden Boot lead from New York's Thierry Henry, now with 10 goals on the season. Wondolowski became the fastest player in league history to reach 10 goals in a season.
- "We are creating chances and I have been fortunate enough to find myself on the other end, ready to finish," Wondolowski said. "Anytime you can score to help your team get three points against a quality side make the goals even greater."
- Wondolowski has a goal or an assist in seven consecutive games, most in the league this season. A year ago, Fredy Montero of Seattle had an eight-game streak; the MLS record is 11 games, set by Roy Lassiter of D.C. United in 1998.
- Dating back to last season, Wondolowski has 18 goals in 18 games. In the 1998 season, Stern John of the Columbus Crew scored 19 goals over the final 18 games of the season.
- "I'm a pretty harsh critic of myself and I think that I've left some [goals] out there," said Wondolowski. "So it reflects on the team, how well they've been playing. Look at Beitashour's cross. Look at Simon Dawkins' pass. He put it on a platter there for me. Those two assists are the real things to talk about. Those are pretty special."
- Steven Lenhart has hit for multiple goals in consecutive games for the first time in his MLS career.
- "I think you are seeing us starting to gel and just play. We have some skilled players on this team and you see the depth of our roster stepping up for injured players," Wondolowski said. "Everybody is doing their part, staying disciplined and it's resulting in three points."
Power 5: Early Headlines - The Golden Boot