Preview: Chivas USA look to play spoiler against Quakes

CHIVAS USA vs SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES
THE HOME DEPOT CENTER, Carson, Calif.
September 15, 2012 (WEEK 28, MLS Game #269)
7:30 p.m. PT (FS-W/KWHY; CSN-CA+)

 

Chivas USA and the San Jose Earthquakes meet for the second time in three weeks when the clubs face off at The Home Depot Center on Saturday evening. Chivas come into the game needing every point they can take if they are to stay alive in the playoff chase, their winless streak now at six games after a 2-1 loss at Seattle last week. The Quakes have become the first team to clinch a berth in the MLS Cup Playoffs, still leading the MLS overall table after their 4-0 win vs. Chivas at home in their last match.

REFEREE: Chris Penso. AR1 (bench): George Gansner; AR2 (opposite): Jeremy Hanson; 4th: Alejandro Mariscal
MLS Career: 28 games; FC/gm: 21.8; Y/gm: 2.8; R: 6; pens: 10

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INJURY REPORT:

  • CHIVAS USA – QUESTIONABLE: DF Danny Califf (R hamstring strain); GK Tim Melia (lower back); PROBABLE: MF Ryan Smith (R hamstring strain); MF Peter Vagenas (R hamstring strain)
  • SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES – OUT: MF Cesar Diaz Pizarro (R groin strain); MF Joey Gjertsen (R knee surgery); MF Sercan Guvenisik (L hamstring strain); DF Tim Ward (L non-specific soft tissue injury); PROBABLE: DF Jason Hernandez (R hamstring strain); MF Shea Salinas (L hamstring strain); DF Jed Zayner (R quad strain)

SUSPENDED: none

WARNINGS:

  • SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: CHV: Shalrie Joseph, Oswaldo Minda -- SJ: Victor Bernardez, Rafael Baca
  • SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: CHV: Ryan Smith -- SJ: Mehdi Ballouchy. Marvin Chavez, Ramiro Corrales, Steven Lenhart, Steven Beitashour, Alan Gordon, Chris Wondolowski

HEAD-TO-HEAD

ALL-TIME (15 meetings): Chivas USA 6 wins, 18 goals -- Earthquakes 4 wins, 22 goals -- Ties 5

AT CARSON (7 meetings): Chivas USA 3 wins, 10 goals -- Earthquakes 1 win, 7 goals -- Ties 3

2012 (MLS)

5/13: SJ 1, CHV 1 (Gordon 88 -- Correa 4)
9/2: SJ 4, CHV 0 (Bernardez 11; Dawkins 39; Corrales 71, 81)

HIGHLIGHTS: SJ 4, CHV 0

  • The teams are meeting for the third time this year, the second in three weeks. On May 13, the teams played to a 1-1 draw in San Jose; on Sept. 2, the Quakes rolled to a 4-0 win at Buck Shaw Stadium behind three free kick goals.
  • Since San Jose came back into the league in 2008, the Quakes have defeated Chivas USA just twice in 11 meetings. Chivas USA won both meetings between the teams a year ago.
  • Coaches record: Robin Fraser vs. SJ: P4 W2 L1 D1 -- Frank Yallop vs. CHV: P18 W4 L9 D5

LAST MEETING

  • The Quakes took the lead in the 11th minute. Victor Bernardez slammed an audacious free kick from 35 yards around the wall and toward the lower left corner. Chivas goalkeeper Dan Kennedy got a hand to it, but failed to push it wide and the ball settled into the goal.
  • The Quakes doubled their lead in the 39th minute. Chivas were caught in possession in his own half, San Jose's Marvin Chavez fed Chris Wondolowski, and he slotted a pass into Simon Dawkins as he angled into the box. Dawkins took one touch and buried his shot past helpless Kennedy.
  • Another free kick made it 3-0 for San Jose in the 71st minute. This time, Ramiro Corrales dipped a left-footed free kick over the wall and into the lower right corner.
  • And 10 minutes later, Corrales did it again, bending a quickly struck free kick from 25 yards as Chivas were still organizing, into the left side of the goal to complete the rout.
  • SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES (4-4-2): Jon Busch - Steven Beitashour, Ike Opara, Victor Bernardez, Ramiro Corrales - Marvin Chavez, Sam Cronin (Brad Ring 85), Rafael Baca (Mehdi Ballouchy 83), Simon Dawkins - Alan Gordon (Steven Lenhart 60), Chris Wondolowski.
  • CHIVAS USA (4-4-2): Dan Kennedy - James Riley, Rauwshan McKenzie, Danny Califf, Ante Jazic - Tristan Bowen (Nick LaBrocca 69), Shalrie Joseph, Oswaldo Minda (Ben Zemanski 84), Miller Bolanos - Juan Agudelo, Casey Townsend (Jose Correa 72)

CHIVAS USA

Chivas USA had their winless streak extended to six games, Seattle Sounders FC getting a late goal for a 2-1 win Saturday afternoon at CenturyLink Field. Chivas USA are in seventh place in the Western Conference with 28 points from 26 games.

LAST MATCH

HIGHLIGHTS: SEA 2, CHV 1

  • The visitors who struck first in the eighth minute. A good passing movement from Chivas opened up space at the edge of the box for Shalrie Joseph. The Grenadian slipped a short pass through to Nick LaBrocca, who turned and placed the ball inside the right-hand post.
  • Sounders FC drew even in the 28th minute. Steve Zakuani drew a free kick on the left side of the area, and Christian Tiffert whipped the resulting free kick toward the back post for Eddie Johnson. He rose over his defender to head into the far corner.
  • Just as it looked like the two teams would share the points, Sounders FC grabbed the win. Fredy Montero beat two Chivas defenders down the left touchline and swung a precise left-footed cross in front of the Chivas goal, where Johnson powered a diving header past the scrambling goalkeeper for the dramatic winner.
  • Chivas USA head coach Robin Fraser made three changes to the team that fell 4-0 to the San Jose Earthquakes at Buck Shaw Stadium. Jorge Villafana came into the back four for Ante Jazic,  and Ben Zemanski and Nick LaBrocca played in the midfield in favor of Tristan Bowen and Oswaldo Minda.
  • CHIVAS USA (4-4-2): Dan Kennedy - James Riley, Rauwshan McKenzie (Jose Correa 90), Danny Califf (Tristan Bowen 63), Jorge Villafana - Ben Zemanski, Nick LaBrocca, Shalrie Joseph, Miller Bolanos - Juan Agudelo (Laurent Courtois 67), Casey Townsend.

TEAM NEWS

  • The Chivas USA winless streak was extended to six games, the club's longest this season, and longest since last season.
  • "There's really no silver lining at the moment," Chivas coach Robin Fraser said. "The fact of the matter is we're in a position where we need results. We put ourselves in a good spot to get results and to not get them is very difficult."
  • For a fifth time in six games, Chivas allowed multiple goals in a game. They have allowed 20 goals in that time.
  • "It was certainly an improvement over what we've seen the last few weeks. We certainly worked a lot at it over the last number of weeks and through this week. So to come out and be solid and not give up a ton of opportunities was definitely better and we felt better about that," said Fraser. "But you have to be able to play on both sides, right? We defended fairly well."
  • Chivas USA have now allowed 13 goals in the final 15 minutes of matches, second-most in the league (behind Montreal's 15).
  • "It's a disappointing thing. We fought hard and were certainly in a position to get a point out of it," Fraser said. "We needed three, but we didn't play as well as we needed to. As a result we put ourselves under pressure a lot."
  • Nick LaBrocca netted his second goal of the season, his first since April 7 when he scored a late winner against Portland.
  • Ben Zemanski returned to the starting lineup for the first time since Aug. 18, playing the full 90 minutes.
  • Jorge Villafana made his first start since Aug. 18, playing the full match at left back, his second start this season in the back four.
  • "Our backs are against the wall like a wounded animal, so we're scrapping for anything right now," said defender James Riley. "We're scrapping for playing time, for wins, for jobs next year. I thought we came out and competed. Obviously good teams sometimes find a way to win consistently and they did that today with two great goals."
  • Center back Danny Califf was forced from the field after 63 minutes, suffering from a hamstring strain.
  • "It's coming along," Califf said. "It's getting better each day but it's a bit disappointing. Hopefully I can at least be available for selection on the weekend."
  • Said Fraser: "At this point, it's evaluating day by day and seeing how he comes along. It's pretty minor, pretty slight but certainly enough that if it seemed like something that was going to affect him long term or something that was going to affect the game then we wanted to make a change."

SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES

The San Jose Earthquakes return to action as the first team to qualify for the MLS Cup Playoffs, their last match a 4-0 victory against Chivas USA on Sept. 1 at Buck Shaw Stadium. The Quakes lead the Western Conference and the MLS overall table with 53 points from 27 games.

TEAM NEWS

  • Earthquakes head coach Frank Yallop made one change to the team that strolled to a 4-1 win against the Colorado Rapids at Buck Shaw Stadium. Victor Bernardez returned from suspension in place of Justin Morrow.
  • The Quakes became the first team to qualify for the MLS Cup Playoffs after Chivas USA lost 2-1 at Seattle. San Jose leads the race for the MLS Supporters' Shield by three points ahead of Sporting KC.
  • The Quakes have scored four goals in each of their last two games. They have scored four goals or more five times in 27 league games this season.
  • "I talked to the guys about maintaining the standard that we have set this year every game and we certainly did that (vs. Chivas)," said Quakes head coach Frank Yallop. "As a group, we kept pushing the entire game and never took our foot off the gas. We really wanted a clean sheet and we worked hard for it."
  • The Quakes also set a new club record with their 56 goals this season. The previous mark was 55, set in 1997 when they were known as the San Jose Clash.
  • "For us to [outdo that team] in the day and age our league's at in the moment," he said, "with quality players all over the field, with [Designated Players], with us not spending a cent and everyone spending more money than we do -- it's phenomenal, to be honest. I would just say one thing. It has nothing to do with me -- it's the players. They want to do it. I set them up to play, but they go out and they play with confidence and they love each other. That's huge."
  • The league's last player standing who participated in the inaugural season of MLS -- San Jose's Ramiro Corrales -- recorded three assists in a game for the first time in his career Aug. 25 vs. Colorado. Last weekend he had his first career two-goal game in the win vs. Chivas, both directly from free kicks.
  • "I can't remember the last time I scored two goals in a match. The defense stepped up today scoring three of our four goals, adding to that a clean sheet. I couldn't be more proud to captain this team and defensive unit," said Corrales.
  • Simon Dawkins scored his third goal in the last two games, and has four goals in the last four matches. Five of his seven goals have come since July 14.
  • "I think it's just really friendly competition. We're all friends, but we all want to score goals, and you can see that's benefitting for us. I'm just happy we're playing well," said  Dawkins.
  • While Chris Wondolowski went a second consecutive game without a goal and has one in the last seven games, he recorded his sixth season this season.
  • "One thing that I find interesting is that I can have a bad game and score, and they'll say I had a good game. If I don't score, I've had a bad game. It's just one of those things," Wondolowski said. "I'd like to think I have other things I can do, besides score, to contribute to the team. But I know that's part of my job. I have to do it. And I've had chances in the last few games and I haven't put them away."
  • For the first time this season, Justin Morrow was not in the team. He had played every minute of each of the Quakes' first 26 league matches.
  • The Quakes did keep a clean sheet for the first time in six games, since back-to-back shutouts July 7-14.
  • "The back line played great tonight. Each week they seem to make the plays that turn the result in our favor. The spotlight was on them tonight as they kept the shots to a minimum, and they even scored three of our goals," said goalkeeper Jon Busch. "They have played organized all season and they make my job easier. This night was about them."