Preview: Quakes, Goats headed in opposite directions
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES vs CHIVAS USA
BUCK SHAW STADIUM, Santa Clara, Calif.
September 2, 2012 (WEEK 26, MLS Game #256)
6 p.m. PT (NBC SN)
The San Jose Earthquakes will be aiming to put a stranglehold on the Western Conference leadership and the Supporters’ Shield chase when they play host to Chivas USA on Sunday evening at Buck Shaw Stadium before an NBC Sports Network audience. The Quakes lead the West by seven points and the overall table by three, after rolling to a 4-1 win against Colorado last weekend. Chivas are on a two-game road swing, coming back from three goals down for a 3-3 draw at New England at midweek.
REFEREE: Mark Geiger. AR1 (bench): Greg Barkey; AR2 (opposite): Mike Rottersman; 4th: Daniel Radford
MLS Career: 100 games; FC/gm: 26.4; Y/gm: 3.7; R: 26; pens: 34
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES – OUT: MF Jean-Marc Alexandre (R knee MCL sprain); MF Cesar Diaz Pizarro (R groin strain); MF Joey Gjertsen (R knee surgery); DF Jason Hernandez (R hamstring strain); MF Shea Salinas (L hamstring strain); DF Tim Ward (L non-specific soft tissue injury) … CHIVAS USA – OUT: MF Peter Vagenas (R hamstring strain); DOUBTFUL: MF Ryan Smith (R hamstring strain); PROBABLE: MF Marvin Iraheta (L knee ACL)
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: SJ: Victor Bernardez … CHV: Shalrie Joseph
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: SJ: Rafael Baca, Mehdi Ballouchy. Marvin Chavez, Ramiro Corrales, Steven Lenhart, Steven Beitashour … CHV: Oswaldo Minda, Ryan Smith
- ALL-TIME (14 meetings): Earthquakes 3 wins, 18 goals … Chivas USA 6 wins, 18 goals … Ties 5
- AT SAN JOSE (7 meetings): Earthquakes 2 wins, 11 goals … Chivas USA 3 wins, 8 goals … Ties 2
- FUTURE MATCH: 9/15: Chivas USA vs. San Jose Earthquakes, 7:30 p.m. PT\
- The teams are meeting for the second time this season. Alan Gordon scored an 88th-minute equalizer after José Erick Correa scored a very early opener, leaving the teams in a 1-1 tie May 13 at Buck Shaw Stadium.
- Since San Jose came back into the league in 2008, the Quakes have defeated Chivas USA just once in 10 meetings – a 3-0 home win in 2010. Chivas USA won both meetings between the teams a year ago.
- Coaches record: Frank Yallop vs. CHV: P4 W1 L0 D3 … Robin Fraser vs. SJ: P3 W2 L0 D1
- LAST MEETING (MLS)
- 5/13: SJ 1, CHV 1 (Gordon 88 – Correa 4)
- 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.
- 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.
- CHIVAS USA (4-3-1-2): Dan Kennedy - James Riley, John Valencia, Heath Pearce, Ante Jazic - Nick LaBrocca, Peter Vagenas (Blair Gavin 75), Laurent Courtois (Michael Lahoud 46) - Miller Bolanos (Ryan Smith 68) - Jose Correa, Alejandro Moreno.
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES
The San Jose Earthquakes extended their long unbeaten streak at Buck Shaw Stadium, strolling to a 4-1 win against the Colorado Rapids on Saturday evening. The Quakes lead the Western Conference and the MLS overall table with 50 points from 26 games.
WATCH: Full Match Highlights
- The Quakes broke on top in the 11th minute. Simon Dawkins sped unchecked down the left wing to collect a well-placed cross-field pass from Alan Gordon. With Colorado right back Hunter Freeman trying to recover, Dawkins cut inside and fired from the top of the box to beat goalkeeper Matt Pickens at the near post.
- San Jose doubled the lead two minutes from the break. Rafael Baca, played down the left wing on a free kick by Ramiro Corrales, broke away toward the end line before delivering a perfect cross to the top of the six-yard box. Gordon snuck in from wide of the back post and tucked it home smartly with the outside of his right foot.
- The Rapids pulled a goal back in the 54th minute when substitute Tyrone Marshall hammered home an unmarked header off Martin Rivero’s corner kick.
- But in the 68th minute, Dawkins restored the two-goal cushion by lashing a first-time strike from 16 yards off a pass by Sam Cronin.
- Gordon put things truly out of reach when he settled a long header from Ramiro Corrales and swiveled to slot it home, left-footed, from 13 yards in the 75th minute.
- Earthquakes head coach Frank Yallop made three changes to the team that fell 3-1 to the Montréal Impact at Stade Saputo. Ike Opara and Ramiro Corrales came into the back four in place of the suspended Jason Hernandez and Victor Bernardez, and Alan Gordon started in place of the suspended Steven Lenhart.
- SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES (4-4-2): Jon Busch - Steven Beitashour, Justin Morrow, Ike Opara, Ramiro Corrales - Marvin Chavez (Mehdi Ballouchy 80), Sam Cronin, Rafael Baca, Simon Dawkins (Sam Garza 90) - Alan Gordon (Khari Stephenson 78), Chris Wondolowski.
- The Earthquakes extended their unbeaten streak at Buck Shaw Stadium to 11 games, 8-0-3 since a 1-0 loss to Houston in Santa Clara on March 17.
- Simon Dawkins collected the first two-goal game of his MLS career in the win against Colorado. He has four goals in the last seven games.
- “I’ve said it all along, I think he could be one of the better players in the league. With his feet, his vision and now he’s adding to that with goals and assists, he’s really coming into form,” said Yallop. “He comes to work every day with a smile on his face and it shows. He tries to create and be dynamic with everything that he does and I’m very happy for him.”
- Said midfielder Sam Cronin: “You could obviously see his quality last season, but he was getting used to a new country, new league, new players. He’s one of the best attacking, wide midfielders in the league. He’s so good on the ball, breaking guys down one on one, and he’s got a good long-distance shot, which he proved tonight. He’s a really multifaceted player, and we’re happy to have him on our team.”
- Alan Gordon returned to the Earthquakes lineup and scored two goals. He now has 11 for the season, exactly half the total of goals he scored in his first eight MLS seasons combined.
- “We all have to chip in with scoring goals,” Dawkins said. “[Wondolowski, Gordon and Lenhart] have done a wonderful job this season, but as an attacking player, you look at them and say, ‘I want to catch them.’ It’s a little competition between us all. It’s healthy. It’s good for the team. And that’s why we’re doing so well right now, because we have that competitive edge about us.”
- The last player remaining who played in the league’s inaugural season of 1996, Ramiro Corrales, recorded three assists for the first time in his MLS career in the Colorado victory.
- With Jason Hernandez and Victor Bernardez both suspended, Ike Opara made his first start since May 23, partnering Justin Morrow in central defense. Morrow was making his first start as a center back for the first time since mid-April.
Chivas USA started their road swing with an improbable point, coming back from a three-goal deficit before ending in a 3-3 draw with the New England Revolution on Wednesday evening at Gillette Stadium. Chivas USA are in seventh place in the Western Conference with 28 points from 24 games.
WATCH: Full Match Highlights
- Saer Sène put the Revolution ahead after just four minutes. Revolution defender Chris Tierney thumped a long diagonal from back to front, and Sène lashed home inside the far post after defender Rauwshan McKenzie failed to clear.
- McKenzie doubled the Revolution lead in unfortunate fashion seven minutes later. Kelyn Rowe reached the byeline and slotted his cross into a dangerous area, where the Chivas defender diverted the ball on the way through and watched as it found its way past a helpless Dan Kennedy in goal.
- The deficit increased 10 minutes later as Sène nabbed his second goal of the game. He picked Shalrie Joseph’s pocket on the edge of the penalty area and uncorked a swerving shot to make it 3-0.
- But Chivas USA responded quickly and ultimately pegged the Revs back. Joseph started the comeback two minutes after the third goal. Nick LaBrocca provided an inviting service from a corner kick and Joseph rose highest to nod home.
- The former Revolution captain sliced the deficit further in first half stoppage time with a stunning finish from 24 yards, collecting a neat little pass outside the area then curling his effort inside the far post.
- Miller Bolaños completed the comeback two minutes after play resumed. Juan Agudelo latched onto James Riley's throw-in and served a ball toward the far post. Casey Townsend nodded the cross down at the far post for Bolaños to thump home the eventual tying goal.
- Chivas USA head coach Robin Fraser made two changes to the team that suffered a 6-2 loss to Seattle Sounders FC at The Home Depot Center. Rauwshan McKenzie and Danny Califf came in as the central defense pairing in place of John Valencia and Bobby Burling.
- CHIVAS USA (4-4-2): Dan Kennedy - James Riley, Rauwshan McKenzie, Danny Califf, Ante Jazic - Tristan Bowen (Juan Pablo Angel 54), Shalrie Joseph, Nick LaBrocca (Oswaldo Minda 83), Miller Bolanos - Juan Agudelo (Laurent Courtois 76), Casey Townsend.
- The three goals scored by Chivas USA were their season-high, and the most they’d scored in a game since the last time they played New England, a 3-2 in Foxborough last Aug. 6.
- “Clearly we didn’t start off well enough, and … we weren’t urgent enough in the beginning. As the game went on we got better and it was definitely a good thing to see improvement as we went forward, and then good resiliency to get the goals and get back into it,” said Chivas USA head coach Robin Fraser.
- Chivas USA have scored five goals in their last two games – more than they had scored in the previous seven games, from June 23-Aug. 18, combined.
- “Certainly we’ve created more chances over the last couple of games than we have pretty much all year. So we like to feel like we’re moving in the right direction there. … It’s just been things we’ve been talking about,” said Fraser. “I think a lot for the year is aggressive running, aggressive running in behind, playing balls in behind, and putting balls into dangerous spots. We don’t score if we don’t put balls in dangerous spots and I think we’ve done a better job of that in the past two games.”
- Said Shalrie Joseph: “I think it gives us confidence that we can score goals. Now we have to get back to locking it down and being tougher to play against defensively, a hallmark for us in the beginning of the season. But now that we have the confidence that we can score goals, I think we also have the confidence that we can lock it down. So it’s a good step.”
- Joseph had a match to remember, his first against his former club. Joseph scored two goals in a game for the fourth time in his career, his first goal since May 12, when he scored his only goal this year for the Revolution.
- “It feels good to score two goals; it doesn’t matter what team,” Joseph said. “It’s bittersweet that it’s against my old team, and it feels good. But it’s more than about me right now. It’s about a team trying to make a playoff run. That’s what we’ve got to look forward to.”
- Said Fraser: “On the field he’s such an impactful player because he’s such a presence. He’s a big presence for us and for teams to be successful you need a couple players like that and certainly he adds that to our team.”
- After Chivas conceded six goals at the weekend, Danny Califf was reinstalled at one center back position after not featuring in the Seattle game. At the other, Rauwshan McKenzie made his first start since July 21.
- “I think certainly in the first 20, 25 minutes we were showing them that we were trying to get used to playing together again, and our communication and stuff like that,” Califf said. “So there were a few miscues I think, but after we sorted that out I think we had a pretty solid combination and pretty solid partnership.”
- Said Fraser: “We talked about being compact. I felt like we weren’t as disciplined in the beginning of the game as we would like to have been. As the game went on we got better and defensively we got better and as a result guys were able to push forward and create some good opportunities and show good character.”
- Nick LaBrocca collected his first assist of the 2012 season, putting in the corner kick that sent Chivas on their way to their comeback.