MLS Match Preview: San Jose Earthquakes vs. Vancouver Whitecaps

SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES vs VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC
BUCK SHAW STADIUM, Santa Clara, Calif.
April 6, 2013 (WEEK 6, MLS Game #48)
7:30 p.m. PT (CSN-CA; SNET Pac)

The San Jose Earthquakes will be looking to resume their Buck Shaw Stadium winning ways when they play host to Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Saturday evening. The Quakes have won two in a row in Santa Clara, but are coming off a 2-0 loss at the Houston Dynamo last weekend. Whitecaps FC are concluding a three-game road swing, having dropped the first two, last a 2-1 defeat at Chivas USA, after starting the season with two home wins.

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REFEREE: Fotis Bazakos. SAR (bench): Fabio Tovar; JAR (opposite): Eric Proctor; 4th: Baldomero Toledo
MLS Career: 11 games; FC/gm: 24.6; Y/gm: 2.3; R: 0; pens: 3

DISABLED LIST: SJ: Mehdi Ballouchy
SUSPENDED: none
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none

HEAD-TO-HEAD
ALL-TIME (5 meetings): Earthquakes 1 win, 8 goals … Whitecaps FC 2 wins, 8 goals … Ties 2
AT SAN JOSE (3 meetings): Earthquakes 1 win, 5 goals … Whitecaps FC 0 wins, 3 goals … Ties 1
RETURN MATCHES: 8/10: Vancouver Whitecaps FC vs. San Jose Earthquakes, 4:30 p.m. PT (TSN, RDS); 9/14: San Jose Earthquakes vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC, 7:30 p.m. PT

LAST YEAR (MLS):
4/7: SJ 3, VAN 1 (Wondolowski 68, 78; Gordon 72 – Le Toux 49)
5/5: VAN 2, SJ 1 (Koffie 40; Hassli 94+ -- Wondolowski 15)
7/22: VAN 2, SJ 1 (Richards 20; Robson 62 – Gordon 38)

  • After going winless in the first three meetings in the series all-time, Whitecaps FC won the final two matchups last year, both at BC Place.
  • Whitecaps FC have not lost to the Earthquakes in Vancouver; the Quakes have not lost to Vancouver in their two home matches.
  • Coaches record: Frank Yallop v VAN: P5 W1 L2 D2… Martin Rennie vs. SJ: P3 W2 L1 D0

SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES
The San Jose Earthquakes saw their undefeated streak come to an end after three matches, falling 2-0 to the Houston Dynamo on Saturday evening at BBVA Compass Stadium. The Quakes sit in a tie for fourth place in the Western Conference with 7 points from 5 matches.

LAST MATCH

  • The Dynamo controlled the match from the outset and took the lead in the 21st minute. Boniek García nutmegged a defender on the right and sent in a low pass, where Will Bruin took no time in slotting home a professional finish.
  • The home side doubled the lead just before the first half ended. Freed on the left flank, Brad Davis lifted a teasing cross that drew San Jose goalkeeper Jon Busch off his line, only to be beaten by a streaking Giles Barnes, who thumped home a header from the heart of the area.
  • Quakes head coach Frank Yallop made two changes to the team that got the game’s only goal for a win against Seattle Sounders FC. Victor Bernardez and Justin Morrow came back from international duty, replacing Nana Attakora and Dan Gargan in the back four.
  • SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES (4-4-2): Jon Busch - Ty Harden, Jason Hernandez, Victor Bernardez, Justin Morrow - Shea Salinas (Alan Gordon 68), Sam Cronin, Rafael Baca (Cordell Cato 61), Ramiro Corrales - Adam Jahn (Mike Fucito 60), Chris Wondolowski.

TEAM NEWS

  • The Earthquakes, the league’s highest-scoring team a season ago with 72 goals from 34 matches, were shut out for a second time in five games this year. They were shut out just twice in all of 2012 – a 1-0 loss at Houston on March 17, and a July 7 scoreless draw at FC Dallas.
  • “This has been a very good start with a lot of guys out,” Earthquakes head coach Frank Yallop said. “We knew [with all the players out] this was going to be a long-term season. We have to be around the .500 mark when the guys come back and we’ll be good.”
  • Alan Gordon returned from offseason surgery to make his first appearance of the new season, coming on for the final 22 minutes.
  • “We weren’t ready to compete for the first half hour and we got punished for it, but I think the positive for us was the emergence of Alan Gordon in the second half,” said Yallop. “I think he changed the game completely for us. If he would have been on from the start, it might have been different.”
  • Yallop will have the other piece of his attacking arsenal available for the Vancouver match, as Steven Lenhart has returned to action and should be available for selection following arthroscopic knee surgery in November.
  • “If you ask Lenny, he wants to play 90, 95 [minutes], but realistically, he’s not played for four or five months,” Yallop said. “… We’ll see on Thursday and Friday how [Gordon and Lenhart] are feeling and make a decision on both guys. … If you look at them potentially playing together, it’s great, because Wondo can play in a number of positions – behind them, or wide. It’s something we’ll look at, because that’s three very good players and very good offensive threats, and I think the more of those on the field you have, the more chance of scoring goals.”
  • While the Quakes saw their back four return to the season standard following international duty, they are still without nominal starters Steven Beitashour, Mehdi Ballouchy and Marvin Chávez.
  • “I feel very confident in my team no matter who is out there. We are just trying to bide our time and wait for the guys to get healthy. We feel that any 11 guys that we throw out there, we are going to try to win that game and we feel we have that ability to win the game,” said Wondolowski. “It’s always disappointing when you don’t get the result you want, but it is nice to look on the horizon and see a lot of healthy bodies coming back.”
  • Said goalkeeper Jon Busch: “We have enough depth in our team regardless of who is on the field to get points. Sure it’s nice to see those guys who have been injured on the horizon, but we live in the present, we live in the here and now. There is a reason why this team is built by John [Doyle] and Frank [Yallop] to be so deep. We just concentrate on who is on the field.”
  • Ramiro Corrales – the last active player in MLS to have played in the inaugural season of 1996 – became the 21st player in league history to reach 300 league appearances in the loss in Houston.

 

VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC
Vancouver Whitecaps FC suffered a second consecutive road loss, dropping a 2-1 decision to Chivas USA at The Home Depot Center on Saturday evening. Whitecaps FC sit in sixth place in the Western Conference with 6 points from 4 matches.

LAST MATCH

  • Chivas USA took the lead in the 12th minute when Carlos Álvarez’s crossing pass from just outside the box deflected off Jun Marques Davidson’s shoulder and past goalkeeper Joe Cannon, who was unable to react in time to keep out the own goal.
  • The home side doubled their lead 10 minutes after the break. Jorge Villafana flighted in a cross from the left flank and Eric Avila met it with a thumping full volley with his right foot that curled back inside the far post.
  • Vancouver cut the deficit in half in the 64th minute on Kenny Miller’s opportunistic header. Chivas goalkeeper Dan Kennedy initially saved Erik Hurtado’s strong left-footed strike, but substitute Miller headed the ball back into the unguarded goal.
  • Whitecaps FC head coach Martin Rennie made one change to the team that lost 2-1 to the Houston Dynamo. Camilo Sanvezzo came into the team in place of Erik Hurtado.
  • VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC (4-1-4-1): Joe Cannon - Lee Young-Pyo, Brad Rusin, Andy O'Brien, Alain Rochat - Jun Marques Davidson (Kekuta Manneh 80) - Daigo Kobayashi, Nigel Reo-Coker, Gershon Koffie (Kenny Miller 57), Camilo Sanvezzo (Erik Hurtado 57) - Darren Mattocks.

TEAM NEWS

  • After two wins at BC Place to open the season, Whitecaps FC have now lost their first two matches away from home, concluding a three-match road swing with the visit to San Jose.
  • “As a team you’ve got to take it how it is,” Whitecaps midfielder Nigel Reo-Coker said. “You’re going to get games like this. The only thing you can do is continue to do what you’re doing and your fortune and your luck will change. The important thing and the positive is, we’re creating chances away from home, and we’re playing well away from home. It could be a different situation if we’re not playing well away from home and not creating chances.”
  • The own goal was the second conceded by Whitecaps FC in their MLS history, the first coming last April 18 vs. Sporting KC through Martin Bonjour.
  • “Marques is one of our most consistent and reliable players. He just had an off night tonight. I think he wasn’t the only one, which was a little bit disappointing,” said Whitecaps FC head coach Martin Rennie. “We didn’t win enough second balls. We gave balls away a little easy. Both goals came from not dealing with second balls properly and it’s frustrating because we worked on that during the week.”
  • After returning from international duty with Scotland, Kenny Miller started on the substitutes’ bench vs. Chivas USA, but scored just seven minutes after coming onto the field.
  • “He’s done well coming into the game. He’s made an impact on it. He’s a very important player for us,” said Martin Rennie. In some ways, it’s disappointing we’ve had two great games at home, then a break, then missing Kenny for those [away] games has knocked us a little bit – but we need to get over that now and move on.”
  • Said Miller: “I feel good – I’ve said that since preseason. I felt fit, I’ve felt strong. … Obviously, I was looking forward to the game today to get back and get back into the swing of things.”
  • Rookie Kekuta Manneh, who came off the substitutes’ bench for a second consecutive match after starting in the season opener, had a glorious opportunity to score his first professional goal when in alone on the goalkeeper in the 90th minute.
  • "Some people find it easier than others, to score goals,” Miller said. “We have a lot of young lads in the team. Obviously with Kekuta’s chance right in the 90th minute, maybe you could say, if you’re that quick, you can compose yourself a little bit when you’re going through on goal. But everybody’s different – everyone’s different when they’re going through one on one or shooting with the goal and he was unfortunate.”