Preview: Quakes have eyes on Shield as Dallas come to town

 

SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES vs FC DALLAS
BUCK SHAW STADIUM, Santa Clara, Calif.
September 29, 2012 (WEEK 30, MLS Game #290)
7:30 p.m. PT (CSN-BA; KTXA-21)
 
A pair of clubs needing the full three points in a big way for different reasons meet when the San Jose Earthquakes entertain FC Dallas on Saturday evening at Buck Shaw Stadium. The Quakes are looking to maintain their hold on the Supporters’ Shield with another victory, extending their lead atop the MLS overall table following a 2-1 win at Seattle last weekend. FC Dallas return to action still just two points out of the final playoff spot, their last match a clutch 1-0 home victory against Vancouver.
 
REFEREE: Geoff Gamble. AR1 (bench): Darren Clark; AR2 (opposite): Jeremy Hanson; 4th: Yader Reyes
MLS Career: 18 games; FC/gm: 23.4; Y/gm: 3.2; R: 2; pens: 9
 
 
INJURY REPORT:
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES – OUT: MF Cesar Diaz Pizarro (R groin strain); MF Joey Gjertsen (R knee surgery); DF Tim Ward (L non-specific soft tissue injury); QUESTIONABLE: MF Sam Garza (R ankle sprain); MF Sercan Guvenisik (L hamstring strain); PROBABLE: MF Marvin Chavez (L hamstring strain); MF Simon Dawkins (R ankle sprain)
FC DALLAS – OUT: DF Ugo Ihemelu (concussion symptoms); QUESTIONABLE: FW Jonathan Top (R ankle sprain); DF George John (R ankle sprain)
 
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none
SUSPENDED: none
 
WARNINGS:
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD:
SJ: Victor Bernardez, Ramiro Corrales
DAL: Julian de Guzman, George John
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS:
SJ: Rafael Baca, Mehdi Ballouchy. Marvin Chavez, Steven Lenhart, Steven Beitashour, Alan Gordon, Chris Wondolowski
DAL: Jair Benitez, Fabian Castillo, Daniel Hernandez, Zach Loyd, Blas Perez
 
HEAD-TO-HEAD
ALL-TIME (46 meetings): Earthquakes 22 wins (3 shootout), 75 goals … FC Dallas 15 wins (4 shootout), 50 goals …Ties 9
AT SAN JOSE (23 meetings): Earthquakes 13 wins (2 shootout), 42 goals … FC Dallas 6 wins (4 shootout), 21 goals …Ties 4
2012 (MLS):
7/7: DAL 0, SJ 0
7/18: SJ 2, DAL 1 (Chávez 12, Gordon 45 – Pertúz 89)
  • The teams are meeting for the third time season, after playing twice in three weeks in July. They reached a scoreless draw July 7 in Frisco, before goals from Marvín Chavez and Alan Gordon led the Quakes to a 2-1 home win on July 18.
  • The Earthquakes won both meetings a year ago, a 2-0 win in Frisco on March 26, and a 4-2 win on Oct. 22 in Santa Clara.
  • Coaches' records: Frank Yallop vs. DAL: P26 W14 L7 D5 … Schellas Hyndman vs. SJ: P9 W2 L3 D4
LAST MEETING
  • The Quakes took the lead in the 12th minute when Marvin Chávez hammered a skidding cross-field pass from Shea Salinas into the far corner with a wicked strike.
  • San Jose doubled the advantage through Alan Gordon in the 45th minute. From a turnover, Sam Cronin looped a cross from the right flank to the far post, where a barely marked Gordon looped a header back the other way.
  • The game was poised to be put out of reach when FCD's Brek Shea was called for a handball in the 60th minute. Chris Wondolowski stepped up to the spot and ripped a shot past goalkeeper Kevin Hartman, but referee Kevin Stott ruled a San Jose player encroached into the area, and Hartman knocked away Wondolowski’s drive on the retake.
  • FC Dallas pulled a goal back in the 89th minute when Hernan Pertúz headed home a free kick launched into the mixer by Jackson from the right.
  • Then in stoppage time, Quakes substitute Simon Dawkins bundled over FCD's Zach Loyd, and Stott again pointed to the spot. Jair Benítez stepped up to take the kick, but pushed his shot just high of the crossbar, allowing San Jose to escape with a full three points.
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES (4-4-2): Jon Busch - Steven Beitashour, Jason Hernandez, Victor Bernardez, Justin Morrow - Marvin Chavez (Simon Dawkins 69), Sam Cronin, Rafael Baca, Shea Salinas (Ramiro Corrales 95+) - Alan Gordon (Khari Stephenson 71), Chris Wondolowski.
FC DALLAS (4-2-3-1): Kevin Hartman - Zach Loyd, Hernan Pertuz, Matt Hedges, Jair Benitez - Andrew Jacobson, Julian de Guzman - Jackson, David Ferreira (Scott Sealy 82), Brek Shea (Carlos Rodriguez 64) - Fabian Castillo (James Marcelin 95+).
 
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES
The San Jose Earthquakes stretched their undefeated streak to five games with an impressive victory, defeating Seattle Sounders FC 2-1 on Saturday evening at CenturyLink Field. The Quakes lead the Western Conference and the MLS overall table with 60 points from 30 games.
 
LAST MATCH
  • The Quakes took the lead on the road before the game was even two minutes old. Simon Dawkins found himself unmarked outside the area and let a rising shot rip past Michael Gspurning into the top left corner.
  • Sounders FC drew level 12 minutes later. Sammy Ochoa used some tricky footwork to get by his defender and send a left-footed cross across the goal that Steve Zakuani pounded into the back of the net for his first goal since his return from a broken leg.
  • But San Jose's Chris Wondolowski got the the winner in the 30th minute. From a corner that flew past the goal, center back Víctor Bernárdez found himself with time and the ball at the far post. He sent in a low, hard pass that an unmarked Wondolowski deflected past Gspurning from about two yards out.
  • Earthquakes head coach Frank Yallop made three changes to the team that came back for a 2-2 draw with the Portland Timbers at Buck Shaw Stadium. Jason Hernandez came into the back four for Ike Opara, and Chris Wondolowski and Alan Gordon came back into the team in place of Ramiro Corrales and Steven Lenhart.
  • SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES (4-4-2): Jon Busch - Steven Beitashour, Jason Hernandez, Victor Bernardez, Justin Morrow - Mehdi Ballouchy (Steven Lenhart 65), Sam Cronin, Rafael Baca (Ike Opara 88), Simon Dawkins (Ramiro Corrales 60) - Chris Wondolowski, Alan Gordon.
TEAM NEWS
  • The Quakes extended their latest unbeaten streak to five games and have won back-to-back games on the road, extending their lead in the race for the Supporters’ Shield to five points.
  • It was a third victory against Seattle for the Earthquakes, who are now 8-0-0 against the next three teams in the West: Seattle, Real Salt Lake and LA Galaxy. The Quakes will play LA at Buck Shaw Stadium on Oct. 21.
  • “We got the rub of the green, if you like, in those games,” Quakes head coach Frank Yallop said, “but what I like to say is, we didn’t deserve to lose the games, and we were lucky enough to come out with the victories.”
  • Said Chris Wondolowski: “It means we know that we have a lot of work still ahead of us, because as hard as it is to beat a team three times, it’s going to be even harder to beat them four or five times.”
  • Wondolowski continued his bid to become the MLS all-time single-season goalscoring leader, netting his 22nd of the campaign and his fourth over the last three games, after scoring one goal from July 18 to Sept. 2.
  • It’s the most goals in a season since Carlos Ruiz scored 24 and Taylor Twellman scored 23 in 2002; Roy Lassiter scored 27 in the league’s first season of 1996, still the record.
  • “He scores goals. He had a bit of a – well, not a dip, but about seven-odd games, he hadn't scored in general play. I rested him, put him on the field and he scores two goals. Then he scores (in Seattle), so he's off again,” said Yallop. “He's at 22 now, and I expect more goals from him. I think Chris has a natural knack of scoring, whether it's Seattle or it's anywhere. He loves being in the right spots and he gets something on the ball, usually.”
  • It was also Wondolowski’s 10th game-winning goal of the season, giving him sole ownership of that MLS single-season record. “I do take pride in having goals that mean something, which are game-winners, so that means a lot,” Wondolowski said.
  • Wondolowski and Alan Gordon both returned to the starting lineup after a one-match absence, forming the strike pair. They were joined by Steven Lenhart for the final 25 minutes, the second consecutive match where the trio was on the field together. In the eight games where they’ve played together, the team has scored eight goals in that time.
  • “It’s just difficult with the shape that we have,” Yallop said. “All three of them are true strikers, if you look at them, and if you’re playing a 4-4-2, you can’t really play with three strikers. … When you have two big center backs, sometimes you can pick out each forward and say, ‘I got him, you got him.’ When there’s a third [forward] involved, does an outside back take him? Does the defensive midfielder take him? It just adds a little bit more chaos in there.”
  • Said Wondolowski: “We definitely have been in his ear about it a little bit, suggesting that we like being out there at the same time. We have an understanding for each other. We all three work hard and we all get in the box. Added Gordon: “It’s something special. When I go on the field and I see Lenny next to me, and Wondo ... it’s just kind of a thing we have up top. We get fired up and we know we have the confidence about us. We know we’re going to do it.
  • Simon Dawkins also continued his goal-getting, now with eight on the season, and six in the last 11 games, after netting the opener in Seattle.
  • “We're outscoring opponents. We've scored a lot of goals. I think that's 62 goals. That's a good tally for any club, so that's important,” said Yallop. “Our work-rate and energy is fantastic. We pride ourselves on working hard, and trying to do our best to stop the opposition playing. And I think our ball movement is excellent, especially with [Rafael] Baca and Sam Cronin in the middle of the field. I think they're excellent. They really are clean and crisp on the ball and that's our springboard for the way we play.”
FC DALLAS
FC Dallas return to action after winning for the first time in three games last time out, a dramatic last-gasp 1-0 win against Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Sept. 15 in Frisco. FCD is in sixth place in the Western Conference with 36 points from 30 matches.
 
LAST MATCH
  • FC Dallas had a glorious opportunity to take the lead in the 16th minute, as Martín Bonjour pulled down Matt Hedges in the box on a free kick and referee Allen Chapman pointed to the spot. David Ferreira stepped up to take the penalty kick, but Whitecaps FC 'keeper Brad Knighton brilliantly saved the effort.
  • The game's only goal came as six minutes of stoppage time were just seconds away from expiring. FCD’s Julian de Guzman chested down a cleared Fabián Castillo corner kick and lashed a volley from outside the area past Vancouver goalkeeper Brad Knighton to secure a vital victory.
  • Knighton had made two saves to keep Vancouver in the match until the final blow, while FC Dallas goalkeeper Kevin Hartman was credited with one save.
  • FC Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman made one change to the team that played to a 1-1 draw with Seattle Sounders FC in Frisco. Hernan Pertuz came into the team in place of Zach Loyd.
  • FC DALLAS (4-4-1-1): Kevin Hartman - Hernan Pertuz, George John (Zach Loyd 74), Matt Hedges, Jair Benitez (Scott Sealy 88) - Jackson, Julian de Guzman, Andrew Jacobson (Fabian Castillo 58), Brek Shea - David Ferreira - Blas Perez.
TEAM NEWS
  • FC Dallas return to action after a weekend off, after winning for the fourth time in six games in the huge sixpointer vs. Vancouver.
  • For FCD, it was the fifth shutout since June 23, having allowed fewer than a goal per game in that stretch, after allowing 26 goals in their first 16 games.
  • Julian de Guzman scored his first goal of the season, netting the late winner vs. Whitecaps FC. He has played the full 90 minutes in four consecutive matches, starting six of the last seven games.
  • “I’ll never forget the words of [current TFC manager] Paul Mariner saying that he wants to make sure he’ll send me to a last-place team and let me burn in the heat,” de Guzman said. “It worked out for myself, getting the last laugh, the karma of things. Right now who’s the last place team in the league and who’s battling for the playoffs?”
  • De Guzman became the 17th FCD player to score a goal this season, the most players to score for a single team in MLS this season.
  • “The obvious thing is the number of different players we’ve had in the lineup to give more people a chance to score,” Hyndman said. “I think probably that our goals come from different places whether it’s a defender scoring from a free kick that gets himself up there or it’s like Julian’s goal.”
  • After coming off to a blow in the stomach before the hour mark in the Seattle match, rookie Matt Hedges returned to the lineup and played the full 90 minutes.
  • “He could very well be the man of the match,” Hyndman said. “He had a handful dealing with [Barry] Robson, [Kenny] Miller, and Camilo is not an easy player to play against if you’re a defender. He’s probably one of the more tricky players in the league so we needed him and George John.”
  • There was a change forced in the back four for the final quarter-hour when George John suffered an ankle injury and Hernán Pertúz moved from right back to central defense.
  • “It wasn’t a big change,” Hedges said. “I’ve played with both George and Hernan in the middle, so it was not a big difference for me at all.” Said John: “I thought he played very well. We played really well in the back, and had great communication going between the two of us.”
  • After their scoreless draw with San Jose on July 7, FC Dallas saw their club-record winless streak extended to 13 games, and sat in last place in the Western Conference. With a victory vs. San Jose and a Vancouver loss to Seattle, FC Dallas will take over fifth place in the West and the final playoff spot for the time being.
  • “I keep talking about - I have a dream. And the dream is to be in the playoffs,” Hyndman said. “I think the guys all have a dream that we have four games and even though we’re two points behind anything can happen in this league.”
  • Zach Loyd did not start vs. Vancouver because of a minor back strain, but came on for the final 16 minutes.
  • Obviously we’d like to have another game because of the point situation, but unfortunately we don’t have that so it’s good for all the guys that have nicks,” Loyd said. “It’s a long season so to have this weekend off to spend with your family and friends to just get your mind relaxed and off things is good.”