Preview: Crew head west for primetime match with SJ

SJ vs. CLB, 5-19-12

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SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES vs COLUMBUS CREW
BUCK SHAW STADIUM, Santa Clara, Calif.
May 19, 2012 (WEEK 11, MLS Game #106)
7:30 p.m. PT (CSN-CA; FS-OH)

Aiming to get back to their winning ways, the San Jose Earthquakes play the second game of their homestand when they entertain the Columbus Crew on Saturday evening at Buck Shaw Stadium. The Quakes have gone without a victory in back-to-back games for the first time this year, despite coming back for a 1-1 home draw with Chivas USA last weekend. The Crew put an end to a five-game winless skid of their own last weekend, also coming back in a 2-1 home win vs. FC Dallas.
 
REFEREE: Juan Guzman. SAR (bench): Ian Anderson; JAR (opposite): Colin Arblaster; 4th: Ramon Hernandez
MLS Career: 12 games; FC/gm: 26.6; Y/gm: 3.8; R: 6; pens: 3
 
 
INJURY REPORT:
  • SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES – OUT: DF Victor Bernardez (L knee MCL sprain); MF Joey Gjertsen (R knee surgery); MF Shea Salinas (L clavicle fracture); DF Tim Ward (L non-specific soft tissue injury); DOUBTFUL: MF Marvin Chavez (L hamstring strain) …
  • COLUMBUS CREW -- OUT: FW Tommy Heinemann (L knee surgery); GK William Hesmer (R hip surgery); FW Aaron Schoenfeld (R plantar fascia rupture); DF Chad Marshall (concussion); MF Kirk Urso (R adductor tendonitis); FW Ethan Finlay (concussion); DOUBTFUL: FW Ben Speas (sports hernia rehab); DF Rich Balchan (sports hernia rehab); DF Julius James (illness); QUESTIONABLE: FW Olman Vargas (L hamstring contusion); PROBABLE: MF Danny O'Rourke (L ankle sprain), MF Dilly Duka (L hamstring strain); DF Carlos Mendes (R hamstring strain)
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none
 
SUSPENDED: none
 
WARNINGS:
  • SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: none
  • SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: SJ: Steven Lenhart, Ramiro Corrales
HEAD-TO-HEAD
ALL-TIME (35 meetings): Earthquakes 13 wins (3 shootout), 52 goals … Crew 18 wins (2 shootout), 60 goals … Ties 4
AT SAN JOSE (18 meetings): Earthquakes 10 wins (3 shootout), 34 goals … Crew 6 wins (0 shootout), 32 goals … Ties 2
 
LAST YEAR (MLS):
5/14: SJ 3, CLB 0 (Wondolowski 50; McDonald 59; Stephenson 62)
7/16: CLB 0, SJ 0
This is the only league meeting between the clubs this season.
The Quakes haven’t lost to Columbus in two seasons, since the Crew won both meetings in 2009. But three of the four meetings since have ended in draws; San Jose was victorious on May 14 of last year.
Coaches record: Frank Yallop vs. CLB: P20 W7 L8 D5 … Robert Warzycha vs. SJ: P7 W2 L2 D3
 
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES
The San Jose Earthquakes once again came through with some endgame heroics, getting a late goal to salvage a 1-1 draw with Chivas USA on Sunday evening at Buck Shaw Stadium. The Quakes are in second place in the Western Conference with 23 points from 11 games.
 

WATCH: SJ 1, CHV 1

LAST MATCH
 
Chivas USA took the lead after just four minutes. James Riley ran down a ball on the overlap on the right and hooked in a low cross that Jose Erick Correa finished deftly from seven yards, curling the ball past Quakes goalkeeper Jon Busch and just inside the far post.
But the Quakes once again had some late drama. Sam Garza, a 60th-minute substitute, roamed free on the left wing before delivering a perfectly placed near-post cross that Alan Gordon met with authority, just beating goalkeeper Dan Kennedy to the ball and nodding it inside the back post.
Earthquakes head coach Frank Yallop made two changes to the team that fell to a stoppage-time goal in a 2-1 defeat by Vancouver Whitecaps FC at BC Place. Tressor Moreno and Khari Stephenson came into the team for Marvin Chavez and Sam Cronin.
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES (4-4-2): Jon Busch - Steven Beitashour, Jason Hernandez, Justin Morrow, Ramiro Corrales - Rafael Baca (Sam Garza 60), Tressor Moreno (Alan Gordon 57), Khari Stephenson, Simon Dawkins - Steven Lenhart (Sercan Guvenisik 75), Chris Wondolowski.
 
TEAM NEWS
The Earthquakes saw their three-game winning streak at Buck Shaw Stadium come to an end despite coming back to salvage the point late.
“I am very happy that we got a point out of the game. It shows that we always have fight in us and we aren’t going to quit,” said Quakes head coach Frank Yallop. “We didn’t play our game today, but it’s a good sign that we fought to get a point, especially in against a team from the Western Conference.”
The Quakes have scored half of their 22 goals on the season after the 60th minute – with five coming in the final quarter-hour (tied for second-most in MLS, behind Colorado’s 6). It was the third time in the last five matches San Jose has scored the tying or winning goal in the 88th minute or later.
“We showed some resiliency today. We are gaining something out of every match it seems. As long as we aren’t losing too many of these close games, you will see us improve each and every week,” said Alan Gordon. “These are games at home in which you need to come away with points. We didn’t get the win, but to come back like that late and go home with a point can build momentum for us moving forward.”
Gordon returned to action after missing three matches with a hamstring strain and scored his second goal this season – both as a substitute. Since being acquired from Toronto FC last July, all three of Gordon’s goals with San Jose have come after the 70th minute.
“Every time Alan Gordon has been on the field for us, he’s produced and been dangerous,” Quakes center back Jason Hernandez said. “When he’s healthy, he really, really helps us out.”
Missing Marvin Chavez after he suffered a hamstring strain in the Vancouver match, rookie Sam Garza provided an injection of pace with his introduction on the hour, and recorded his first MLS assist.
“We were struggling with our pace in the first half. Coach (Frank Yallop) told me to go run out wide and look to make some crosses. We brought in a little more speed in the second half and created some chances. You have to credit Chivas (USA) for staying tight back there. We fought for that draw. I tried to sub on and bring some energy and speed, and luckily it worked as we were able to equalize and get a point.”
 
COLUMBUS CREW
The Columbus Crew put an end to their winless run after five games, coming back for a 2-1 victory against FC Dallas on Saturday evening at Crew Stadium. The Crew sit in a tie for seventh place in the Eastern Conference with 11 points from 9 games.
 

WATCH: CLB 2, DAL 1

LAST MATCH

 
The visitors took the lead in the 22nd minute. Fabián Castillo gathered a pass on the touchline, and after Crew midfielder Tony Tchani gave up chase, thinking the ball had gone out of bounds, Castillo continued down the left side, cut toward the box, twisted past a defender then bested goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum at the near post.
But FC Dallas went a man down in the 63rd minute when Zach Loyd received a second caution.
It took the Crew only four minutes to capitalize. Justin Meram, who entered late in the first half, got the ball about 35 yards out from the net and ripped a rising shot for his first MLS goal.
Five minutes later, Columbus completed their rally thanks to Sebastian Miranda’s snapped header from 20 yards out off a corner kick by Nemanja Vukovic.
Crew head coach Robert Warzycha made no changes to the team that reached a scoreless draw with the Portland Timbers at Jeld-Wen Field.
COLUMBUS CREW (4-1-3-2): Andy Gruenebaum - Sebastian Miranda, Josh Williams, Eric Gehrig, Nemanja Vukovic (Shaun Francis 90) - Danny O'Rourke - Tony Tchani, Milovan Mirosevic, Eddie Gaven - Ethan Finlay (Justin Meram 44), Emilio Renteria (Bernardo Anor 83).
 
 
TEAM NEWS
The Crew won for the first time since a 1-0 win at Toronto FC on March 31 and put an end to their 263-minute goalless drought – fourth-longest this year in MLS – with the two second-half goals.
“We needed it. It has been over 200 minutes without a goal and we finally got the monkey off our shoulders and we were able to get the first goal. Once you get the first one the others will come,” said Justin Meram.
Meram scored his first professional goal, pulling the Crew level in the second half. He was a 2011 SuperDraft selection out of the University of Michigan.
Meram was making his second consecutive appearance, both as a substitute, his first two of the season. He came on just before halftime for the injured Ethan Finlay.
“I felt that Meram’s speed could hurt them [Dallas] on the left side. I think he did very well today, he was very quick, didn’t hold the ball too much and that’s how we wanted him to play,” said Warzycha. “If he keeps playing that way he can be very effective.”
Sebastian Miranda also scored his first goal since coming to Columbus and MLS – a remarkable header from outside the penalty area on a corner kick.
“We practiced some plays and corners and the idea was maybe to find Milo [Mirosevic]. I was outside the box unmarked and I headed the ball and scored,” said Miranda. “It was my first time scoring with a header in my career. I headed it as hard as I could and it went in. The important for me was not the goal but that we won. This was good for our confidence.”
The Crew should again have midfielder Dilly Duka available this weekend. Duka played 12 minutes in the season opener before suffering a hamstring injury, then returned for a 33-minute shift against New York on April 7 before again injuring the muscle.
“He can do some special things on the field,” Warzycha said. “He can take defenders on and create chances. He’s good technically and holds the ball well. He can draw more players to leave space for someone else.” Said Duka: “I think I can help with the attack whether I start or coming in as a sub. I’ll have fresh legs and some experience from playing last year.”