Vancouver Whitecaps vs. San Jose Earthquakes | MLS Match Preview

VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC vs SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES
BC PLACE, Vancouver, B.C.
May 3, 2014 (WEEK 9, MLS Game #73)
4 p.m. PT (TSN2; CSN-CA+)

A key match in the Western Conference pecking order is ahead when Vancouver Whitecaps FC meet the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday afternoon at BC Place. Whitecaps FC are looking to stop a four-game winless run, though they came back for a late 2-2 draw at Real Salt Lake last weekend. The Quakes are coming off their first victory of the 2014 season, holding out for a 1-0 home win against Chivas USA.

REFEREE: Drew Fischer. AR1 (bench): Daniel Belleau; AR2 (opposite): Jeremy Hanson; 4th: Baldomero Toledo
MLS Career: 27 games; FC/gm: 26.1; Y/gm: 2.8; R: 2; pens: 6

SUSPENDED: none
WARNINGS:
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: none
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: VAN: Matias Laba
DISABLED LIST: SJ: Tommy Muller
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none

HEAD-TO-HEAD
ALL-TIME (8 meetings): Whitecaps FC 3 wins, 11 goals … Earthquakes 1 win, 9 goals … Ties 4
AT VANCOUVER (4 meetings): Whitecaps FC 3 wins, 7 goals … Earthquakes 0 wins, 3 goals … Ties 1
RETURN MATCHES: 9/10: Vancouver Whitecaps FC vs. San Jose Earthquakes, 7 p.m. PT; 10/18: San Jose Earthquakes vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC, 7:30 p.m. PT

LAST YEAR (MLS)
4/6: SJ 1, VAN 1 (Wondolowski 18 – Hertzog 62)
8/10: VAN 2, SJ 0 (Sanvezzo 60; Miller 74)
9/14: SJ 0, VAN 0

  • Whitecaps FC have never won at Buck Shaw Stadium. But in four meetings all-time in Santa Clara, the Quakes have won only once – a 3-1 win in 2012.
  • The Earthquakes have never won in Vancouver. Whitecaps FC have won their last three home meetings between the clubs, including a 2-0 victory last Aug. 10 in the only match between the two at BC Place.
  • Coaches record: Mark Watson v VAN: P2 W0 L1 D1 … Carl Robinson vs. SJ: first game

VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC
Vancouver Whitecaps FC came back for a second consecutive draw, scoring two late goals for a 2-2 draw with Real Salt Lake on Saturday evening at Rio Tinto Stadium. Whitecaps FC sit in fifth place in the Western Conference with 10 points from eight games.

LAST MATCH

  • RSL were in the lead after just two minutes. Taking possession of the ball after a dummy by midfielder Luke Mulholland, Joao Plata raced into the area on the left and drove a low shot inside the far post.
  • By just the ninth minute it was 2-0. RSL midfielder Ned Grabavoy fended off three Vancouver defenders in the box and got the ball to forward Alvaro Saborio, whose terrific curling left-footed shot from the right side of the box sailed into the upper left corner of the goal, out of reach of Vancouver goalkeeper David Ousted.
  • Whitecaps FC pulled a goal back in the 86th minute. RSL goalkeeper Nick Rimando made a save, but could only turn the rebound toward Nicolas Mezquida, and he was able to bundle the ball over the line.
  • Then in the fourth minute of stoppage time, Sebastian Fernandez fired a rocket from all of 35 yards out that left Rimando no chance to keep out of the back of the net.
  • Whitecaps FC head coach Carl Robinson made two changes to the team that came back for a 2-2 draw with the LA Galaxy at BC Place. Johnny Leveron came into the back four for Jay DeMerit, and Kekuta Manneh started in place of Pedro Morales.
  • VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC (4-2-3-1): David Ousted - Steven Beitashour, Johnny Leveron, Andy O'Brien, Jordan Harvey - Gershon Koffie, Matias Laba - Russell Teibert (Sebastian Fernandez 61), Kenny Miller (Nicolas Mezquida 67), Kekuta Manneh (Erik Hurtado 61) - Darren Mattocks.

TEAM NEWS

  • For a second consecutive match, Whitecaps FC came from behind to grab a draw with a late, late goal. The equalizer in the 2-2 draw with the LA Galaxy the week before came in the 86th minute.
  • “We've started slow in one or two games, we don't get into that rhythm. At home we start on the front foot and it's important we do that on Saturday [against San Jose], but even away from home it's important we start on the front foot as well. We'll be working on that prior to the next away game,” said Whitecaps FC head coach Carl Robinson. “It's easy to play when you're losing the game and they played with no fear in the second half when we were 2-0 down. I want them to play that way when it's 0-0 at the start of the game.”
  • Whitecaps FC have scored 6 goals this season from the 75th minute on, the most in MLS this season. They’ve secured three draws for the season with equalizers in that span.
  • “It was fantastic coming back. We did it last week and did it again this week, but I think it's important not to become the team that always comes from behind," said goalkeeper David Ousted. “We need to get ahead and we need to play better in the first half. We can go toe to toe with any team in this league but we need to be there from the start.”
  • Nicolas Mezquida scored his first MLS goal, coming off the bench in his fourth substitute appearance, the 23-minute shift his longest since joining Whitecaps FC. “Nico was great. He was lively, wants the ball all the time and he’s a pest and he is always trying to get into the final third which is great,” said Robinson.
  • Sebastian Fernandez scored his second MLS goal, his first since netting in the opening match of the season on March 8, also coming off the bench for the final half-hour
  • “I told them a lot of games are won from the substitutes' bench and today was a perfect example and it is going to happen throughout the season. It is important if you are in the starting team you give everything you got and if you are not and are on the bench, you are going to have an effect in the game,” Robinson said. “I have left young players out who aren’t in the 18 because we have such a young talented group of players coming through and hopefully that will continue.”
  • Fullback Steven Beitashour recorded his second assist in as many matches, his first assists since coming to Whitecaps FC from San Jose in the offseason.
  • Johnny Leveron made his first start since March 22, coming into the lineup in central defense in place of Jay DeMerit, who had started four consecutive matches.
  • “It was based on the month coming up. We have a big month with the Canadian Amway Championships so there is going to be lots of time for certain people, so I wanted Johnny [Leveron] to play,” said Robinson. “Johnny [Leveron] had been training very well and I think he deserved his chance. My decision was based on the face that Andy [O’Brien} looked fresher than Jay [Demert]. After 10 minutes I was questioning it because we were two-nil down. He didn’t defend the goals very well at all but sometimes you hold your hand up.”

SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES
The San Jose Earthquakes recorded their first victory of the new season, getting the game’s only goal in a victory against Chivas USA on Saturday evening at Buck Shaw Stadium. The Quakes are in a tie for seventh place in the Western Conference with six points from six games.

LAST MATCH

  • The game's lone goal came in the 66th minute. Running onto a lofted cross from Shea Salinas from the left touchline, substitute Yannick Djalo volleyed the ball first-time at the far post to put the Quakes into the lead.
  • The Chivas struggle was made even more difficult in the 77th minute when goalkeeper Dan Kennedy was shown a red card for an intentional handball outside of the box as he attempted to stop an Alan Gordon breakaway.
  • Quakes boss Mark Watson made one change to the team that reached a scoreless draw with the Colorado Rapids at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. Jordan Stewart came into the back four for Ty Harden.
  • SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES (4-4-2): Jon Busch - Andreas Gorlitz, Clarence Goodson, Victor Bernardez, Jordan Stewart - Atiba Harris (Yannick Djalo 46), JJ Koval, Sam Cronin, Shea Salinas (Cordell Cato 86) - Chris Wondolowski, Alan Gordon.

TEAM NEWS

  • The Earthquakes won their first match of the season, putting an end to their five-game winless streak, the club’s longest since a six-game run without a win almost exactly a year earlier. Just two teams – Portland and Chicago – are still without a win in MLS this season.
  • The Quakes also recorded their second consecutive shutout, their streak without conceding a goal now at 226 minutes, the sixth-longest this season in MLS.
  • “The defense held strong tonight. That’s one of the things we’ve worked on is being tougher to break down. I think two clean sheets in a row will help us confidence-wise,” said Quakes head coach Mark Watson. “There’s still little things we need to do better. I thought there were a few times that Chivas USA attacked us well and broke us down a bit, but a clean sheet and three points is a good night.”
  • Said defender Clarence Goodson: “Our guys are committed. They’re working hard. You saw them fight for every loose ball. We weren’t giving [Chivas USA] much space to work with. With that being said, there is still room for improvement. It wasn’t pretty, but it was three points. We didn’t care how we got it, we knew we had to get those three points.”
  • Making a fourth consecutive appearance off the substitutes’ bench – his second coming on at the halftime break – Yannick Djalo scored his first MLS goal.
  • “Right from the start of the second half, he gave us that little spark, whether it was running at defenders or supporting the play with his runs,” coach Mark Watson said. “The thing with him is that he has a good technical base, so he can get out of pressure. But he’s most dangerous when he can get his legs going and really run.”
  • Said Quakes forward Alan Gordon: “He’s a game-changer. He’s someone that we’ve needed. He gives us a different dimension, and without him we’re pretty one dimensional. He gives us that ‘X’ factor. It’s great to have him. I’m excited to watch him get better and better as he gets more fit.”
  • Shea Salinas added his fourth assist of the season, tied for the league lead after Week 8 with Seattle’s Obafemi Martins and New York’s Lloyd Sam. Salinas has assisted on four of San Jose’s six goals this season.
  • “It was a great build up to the goal. [Shea] Salinas got his space and crossed it in from the left side. My defender shifted toward the center, which gave me time,” said Djalo. “I didn’t hit it perfectly, but it was enough to beat the keeper. I couldn’t have dreamt of a better scenario to score my first goal with the club.”