Chicago Fire vs. San Jose Earthquakes | MLS Match Preview

CHICAGO FIRE vs SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES
TOYOTA PARK, Bridgeview, Ill.
July 3, 2013 (WEEK 19, MLS Game #162)
7:30 p.m. CT (My50 Chi; CSN-CA+)

The Chicago Fire will put their long unbeaten streak on the line when they play host to the San Jose Earthquakes on Wednesday evening at Toyota Park. The Fire have won back-to-back league games and are undefeated in five in a row, their last match a 2-1 win against Columbus on June 22 where Mike Magee scored for a fourth consecutive league game. The Quakes hit the road for back-to-back games after yet another thrilling comeback against the LA Galaxy, scoring twice in stoppage time for a 3-2 win Saturday at Stanford Stadium.

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REFEREE: Chris Penso. AR1 (bench): George Gansner; AR2 (opposite): Kermit Quisenberry; 4th: Fotis Bazakos
MLS Career: 40 games; FC/gm: 23.2; Y/gm: 2.8; R: 10; pens: 14

DISABLED LIST: SJ: Ty Harden
SUSPENDED: SJ: Victor Bernardez (through July 7)
WARNINGS:

  • SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: SJ: Alan Gordon
  • SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: CHI: Daniel Paladini, Gonzalo Segares … SJ: Rafael Baca, Steven Lenhart, Chris Wondolowski

INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: CHI: Sean Johnson (USA) … SJ: Nana Attakora (CAN), Marvin Chavez (HON), Clarence Goodson (USA), Chris Wondolowski (USA)

HEAD-TO-HEAD
ALL-TIME (31 meetings): Fire 12 wins (0 shootout), 44 goals … Earthquakes 8 wins (1 shootout), 33 goals … Ties 11
AT CHICAGO (15 meetings): Fire 7 wins (0 shootout), 27 goals … Earthquakes 2 wins (1 shootout), 15 goals … Ties 6

LAST YEAR (MLS)
7/28: SJ 1, CHI 1 (Lenhart 98+ -- Rolfe 37)

  • The teams are meeting for the only time this season in league play.
  • The Fire have not defeated the Earthquakes since 2010, when they won 3-0 at Buck Shaw Stadium. The Quakes have won once since with a pair of draws, including a 1-1 result in last year’s lone encounter, July 28 in Santa Clara.
  • The teams of course met in MLS Cup 2003 at The Home Depot Center, as Landon Donovan scored twice in leading the Earthquakes to a 4-2 victory.
  • The Fire haven’t defeated San Jose at home since 2009. The Quakes won at Toyota Park in 2010; the teams played to a 2-2 draw in Bridgeview the next year.
  • Coaches record: Frank Klopas vs. SJ: P2 W0 L1 T1 … Mark Watson vs. CHI: first game

CHICAGO FIRE
The Chicago Fire won their second game on the trot and extended their unbeaten streak to five games in MLS play last time out, coming back for a 2-1 win against the Columbus Crew at Crew Stadium. The Fire are in eighth place in the Eastern Conference with 18 points from 15 matches.

READ: Pause target's Sunday's ESPN match vs. SKC for return

LAST MATCH

  • The Crew were staked to an early lead. Dominic Oduro stripped defender Austin Berry and dribbled into the box, but goalkeeper Sean Johnson got a piece of Oduro as he tried to round. Federico Higuaín promptly converted from the penalty spot by drilling the ball under Johnson's outstretched left arm.
  • But the Fire took control with two goals in three minutes shortly after the second-half restart. In the 52nd minute, Dilly Duka tied the match by getting past defender Josh Williams at the far post and getting his foot onto a service from the left flank by Joel Lindpere.
  • The game-winner then came in the 54th minute when Mike Magee beat Williams to chest home a Lindpere cross from the left corner to extend his goal streak since joining the Fire to six games in all competitions.
  • Fire head coach Frank Klopas made three changes to the team that came back for a 2-1 victory against the Colorado Rapids at Toyota Park. Daniel Paladini, Logan Pause and Joel Lindpere all came into the midfield for Patrick Nyarko, Jeff Larentowicz and Alex.
  • CHICAGO FIRE (4-4-2): Sean Johnson - Jalil Anibaba, Bakary Soumare, Austin Berry, Gonzalo Segares - Dilly Duka, Daniel Paladini, Logan Pause (Jeff Larentowicz 26), Joel Lindpere (Patrick Nyarko 70) - Chris Rolfe (Maicon Santos 59), Mike Magee.

TEAM NEWS

  • The Fire extended their undefeated streak to five games with their back-to-back victories, their longest unbeaten run since an eight-game streak May 28-July 2, 2011.
  • “We had some very good moments and created chances. We scored two goals, but they had some good chances also,” said Fire head coach Frank Klopas. “In a game like that the goalkeeper has to come up big like Sean [Johnson] did and that’s what you have to do to get three points on the road.”
  • Mike Magee scored for a fourth consecutive league game since coming to the Fire from the LA Galaxy, and pulled into a tie atop the MLS Golden Boot standings with Marco Di Vaio (Montréal) and Jack McInerney (Philadelphia). Magee has scored in all seven games in all competitions since joining Chicago, now with seven goals and two assists in that span.
  • “Our defense is playing great, but we’re giving away goals. It stinks, but it shows a lot about this team and sets the tone for the week to come – we know we can battle and we fight for each other, that’s the hardest thing in soccer,” said Magee. “If we can just get our minds right to start games, we could be a hell of a team.”
  • Dilly Duka scored his first goal since coming to the Fire from Columbus – his first goal in MLS play since Oct. 22, 2011, when he scored for the Crew against Chicago. His only two MLS goals had come in back-to-back matches, scoring on Oct. 15, 2011 vs. New England.
  • “I needed my first goal in a Chicago jersey,” Duka said. “I feel like I’ve been getting good shots off in past games and I’ve just been a little unlucky. This one I got played a good ball and I just made sure I got behind it so it could go in. I’m happy for that, but it’s extra special we got the three points with it.”
  • Said Klopas: “It was good to see him score because he's done everything right.  He's got so much ability and you see it. He can play a lot better because he's a young player and he's learning but the games he's had, even before this game, he's been really fantastic with his ability to create but also defend without the ball has been the key.”
  • Joel Lindpere set up both goals with crosses, his first two assists with the Fire after moving from the New York Red Bulls in the offseason. Lindpere was forced to leave the match in the 70th minute with a hamstring injury.
  • “When I have a chance, I like to cross it,” Lindpere said. “I'm not a big dribbler, so if I have a chance, I cross it and try to find my own player.”
  • Logan Pause also made his first start after missing three consecutive league matches to injury, but he lasted just 26 minutes before Jeff Larentowicz came on in his place. “Our changes helped a lot; we needed to rest guys who weren’t 100 percent from the Open Cup game,” said Klopas.
  • Since the Columbus match, former German international center back Arne Friedrich announced his retirement from professional soccer.
  • "After much consideration and consultation with my doctors and physical therapists I have decided to finish my professional soccer career," Friedrich said. "The last couple of weeks and month I have been suffering from increasing back pain. With two herniated discs in my lower back, I am no longer able to fulfill the demands of a professional soccer player. For this reason, I have asked the Chicago Fire to terminate my contract."

SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES
The San Jose Earthquakes again played a California Clasico for the ages, scoring twice in stoppage time for a dramatic 3-2 victory against the LA Galaxy on Saturday evening at Stanford Stadium. The Quakes sit in a tie for seventh place in the Western Conference with 21 points from 18 matches.

READ: Alan Gordon plays the hero, but says praise is misplaced

LAST MATCH

  • The Galaxy took the lead in the 25th minute through a well-worked goal. Landon Donovan floated a pass across the top of San Jose’s box which Robbie Keane struck on the fly with his left foot, and Marcelo Sarvas followed with a right-footed volley of his own inside the near post.
  • LA doubled its advantage in the 65th minute. Donovan fed an overlapping Keane in the left side of the Quakes’ penalty area, and he fed the ball across the 6-yard box to the far post, where Jimenez slotted home into the open net.
  • The Quakes began their comeback in the 68th minute. Just four minutes after coming on as a substitute, Alan Gordon headed home a Shea Salinas cross. But San Jose's chances looked dire after defender Victor Bernardez saw two yellow cards in the space of eight minutes and was sent off in the 77th minute.
  • Yet the home side equalized in the 92nd minute when Salinas hammered home a loose rebound after LA goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini was unable to corral a deflected flick header from San Jose rookie Adam Jahn.
  • The dramatic winner then came less than 90 seconds later, when Gordon headed home a chipped cross from just inside LA’s penalty area by San Jose midfielder Sam Cronin.
  • Quakes interim head coach Mark Watson made three changes to the team that lost 1-0 to D.C. United at RFK Stadium. Victor Bernardez came in at central defense for Nana Attakora, and Chris Wondolowski and Steven Lenhart formed the strike partnership in place of Alan Gordon and Adam Jahn.
  • SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES (4-4-2): Jon Busch - Steven Beitashour, Jason Hernandez, Victor Bernardez (ejected 77), Justin Morrow - Marvin Chavez, Sam Cronin, Rafael Baca (Adam Jahn 80), Shea Salinas - Chris Wondolowski, Steven Lenhart (Alan Gordon 64).

TEAM NEWS

  • A year ago, the Earthquakes won the Supporters’ Shield thanks to a string of dramatic comebacks. The win against the Galaxy marked the third time this season they’ve scored in stoppage time to draw (May 4 vs. Montréal) or win (March 10 vs. New York).
  • “I don’t think those things are supposed to happen, really,” Quakes interim coach Mark Watson said. “It’s one thing to be down a couple of goals, but to be down a player as well – I mean, it’s a very difficult situation. … Our guys kept pushing 'til the end. It was amazing to see, but I’m not surprised, because I know the kind of guys we have in the locker room.”
  • Shea Salinas had the best game of his six-year professional career, scoring a goal and setting up two others in the victory against LA.
  • “We have to carry this momentum into the second half of the season. Coming into the game, we knew what it meant to the team and even the entire organization,” Salinas said. “Now going into this road trip, we have to build off of this game and get six points this week.”
  • Alan Gordon scored his first two goals of the season, after coming on as a substitute in the 64th minute. Gordon had made six consecutive starts in league play before coming off the bench vs. LA.
  • “Any goalscorer goes through spells like that,” Watson said. “He’s had some physical issues this year. He’s injured, but he’s playing through it. That guy is a true character and true battler. I knew that, just because of the way he is, and the attitude and the work rate that he brings to practice every day, he was eventually going to get it. He got some great service, but those two goals were fantastic.”
  • Said Gordon: “Everyone that played laid it on the line and didn’t give up and that’s what led to us coming back from two-nil down. You know Lenny [Steven Lenhart] and Wondo [Chris Wondolowski] deserved those two goals; their hard work allowed me to come on and get a chance to score. The credit goes to them.”
  • Quakes goalkeeper Jon Busch faced a season-high 10 shots, and made a season-high eight saves, in keeping San Jose in touch for the comeback.
  • “Jon Busch kept us in the game. It’s a funny scenario when you’re down a player and down a goal at home. You have to chase the game and it’s a very difficult thing to do,” said Watson. “We knew that by doing that we were going to leave ourselves exposed at the back. They had a bunch of chances and Jon Busch played fantastic tonight and really kept us in the game.”