Toronto FC vs. San Jose Earthquakes | MLS Match Preview

TORONTO FC vs SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES
BMO FIELD, Toronto, Ont.
June 7, 2014 (WEEK 14, MLS Game #128)
4 p.m. ET (TSN/RDS2; CSN-CA)

Toronto FC return their attention to league matters when they play host to the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday afternoon at BMO Field. TFC saw their bid for a fifth Canadian Championship come to an end at midweek, but are undefeated in their last three MLS games after a dramatic 3-2 home win vs. Columbus last weekend. The Quakes remain on the road off a second consecutive victory, coming back for a 2-1 win at FC Dallas last Saturday.

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REFEREE: Fotis Bazakos. SAR (bench): Brian Poeschel; JAR (opposite): Richard Gamache; 4th: Yusri Rudolf
MLS Career: 27 games; FC/gm: 25.3; Y/gm: 3.5; R: 6; pens: 7

SUSPENDED: none
WARNINGS:
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: none
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: TOR: Jackson … SJ: Steven Lenhart
DISABLED LIST: SJ: Tommy Muller
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: TOR: Michael Bradley (USA); Julio Cesar (BRA) … SJ: Chris Wondolowski (USA); Victor Bernardez (HON)

HEAD-TO-HEAD
ALL-TIME (10 meetings): Toronto FC 2 wins, 12 goals … Earthquakes 4 wins, 15 goals … Ties 4
AT TORONTO (5 meetings): Toronto FC 0 wins, 4 goals … Earthquakes 2 wins, 8 goals … Ties 3

LAST YEAR (MLS)
5/8: SJ 2, TOR 1 (Jahn 48; Wondolowski 81 – Braun 14)

  • This is the only league meeting between the teams this season.
  • The Earthquakes haven’t lost to Toronto FC in five meetings, with three victories (and two draws), including a 2-1 victory in the lone meeting a year ago, May 8 at Buck Shaw Stadium. TFC’s last win in the series came in 2010.
  • TFC has never defeated San Jose at home, with two losses and three draws all-time at BMO Field.
  • Coaches record: Ryan Nelsen v SJ: P1 W0 L1 D0 … Mark Watson vs. TOR: first game

TORONTO FC
Toronto FC extended their undefeated streak to three matches, getting another late result with a 3-2 come-from-behind win against the Columbus Crew on Saturday afternoon at BMO Field. TFC sit in sixth place in the Eastern Conference, with 16 points from 10 matches.

LAST MATCH

  • The Crew took the lead in the 18th minute. Justin Meram picked up a pass at the edge of the box on a quick Crew counterattack and curled a shot past TFC goalkeeper Joe Bendik into the top corner for a 1-0 lead.
  • But just a couple of minutes later, Jackson found Jermain Defoe in the box, and after he was pulled down by defender Tyson Wahl, referee Sorin Stoica awarded a penalty kick. Defoe stepped up to the spot and struck his finish into the bottom left corner past Crew 'keeper Steve Clark, who got a touch on the ball but couldn’t make the save.
  • The Crew regained the lead again in the 65th minute when a corner kick which was swung in and met by Agustin Viana, who out jumped a defender and headed home.
  • But TFC had another comeback in them. First, in the 81st minute, when substitute Gilberto slipped a through ball in for Defoe, and he hammered a first-time with his left foot from just outside the box into the top corner for the leveler.
  • Then in stoppage time, Dan Lovitz swung in a free kick from the right flank and Doneil Henry sent a glancing header inside the far post for the winner.
  • TFC head coach Ryan Nelsen made four changes to the team that got a late equalizer for a 2-2 draw with Sporting Kansas City at Sporting Park. Doneil Henry came into the back four for the suspended Steven Caldwell, Jackson and Jonathan Osorio came into the midfield for Alvaro Rey and Collen Warner, and Luke Moore started up top in place of Gilberto.
  • TORONTO FC (4-4-2): Joseph Bendik - Mark Bloom, Doneil Henry, Nick Hagglund, Justin Morrow, - Jackson (Gilberto 66), Bradley Orr (Daniel Lovitz 18), Kyle Bekker, Jonathan Osorio (Dwayne De Rosario 71) - Luke Moore, Jermain Defoe.

TEAM NEWS

  • Toronto FC have now gone three games without a loss, and have won two in a row at BMO Field in league play.
  • “Even though we didn’t play that well we stayed in the game we keep trying, sometimes painful to watch,” said TFC manager Ryan Nelsen. “We kept trying, the boys kept going, they never back out. It’s a funny game; even the best teams in the world have really bad days in the office. But if you still try and do the good things, if you still try and win the 50-50 balls, be positionally sound, stay with the organization, stay with the structure and try and keep doing what’s right, you get generally rewarded.”
  • Jermain Defoe scored a pair of goals in a game for the second time since coming to MLS this season, also netting a pair in the season-opening win vs. Seattle. “You give the man a chance and he’ll take it. That’s priceless in any team and in any league and that’s why we brought him in,” said Nelsen.
  • After scoring goals in each of the two previous Canadian Championship games, Doniel Henry scored his first league goal of the season, his first since April 28, 2012 when he netted his first in MLS, vs. Real Salt Lake.
  • “Sergio Ramos is my favorite defender,” Henry said. “You can see the stuff that he’s done for [Real Madrid], see the finals of the [Champions League] when he scored in stoppage time. It really shows character, they never give up. Until the whistle blows, you have to keep going and keep pressing and your opportunities will come. The more hungry you are, it pays off.”
  • After making eight consecutive starts in league play, Gilberto went to the substitutes’ bench, coming on for the final 24 minutes. Dwayne De Rosario also came on as a second-half substitute, his longest shift in a league game since starting April 12.
  • “They give us some more experience in there, just a bit of athleticism in Gilberto. It’s just a different kind of picture that Columbus had to look at,” Nelsen said. “De Rosario I thought was really good because he started wanting the ball in these little seams that we weren’t getting into. … It was just one of those days but that’s why you make those substitutions. Its credit to the guys that came on because it turned the momentum and it turned the tide.”
  • There were two welcome additions to the TFC side as Jonathan Osorio (hamstring) and Jackson (concussion) overcame injury to return to the lineup.
  • But there was an injury blow out of the match as Bradley Orr was forced from the field after just 18 minutes with an hamstring injury. Orr was starting his third consecutive match in the center of midfield, after making four starts in the back four.
  • On Wednesday, Toronto FC fell in the second leg of the final of the Canadian Championship, losing 1-0 to the Montreal Impact at Stade Saputo and the series 2-1 on aggregate. The game’s lone goal was scored by Felipe in stoppage time.
  • Here’s the TFC team: Joe Bendik; Mark Bloom, Steven Caldwell, Doneil Henry, Justin Morrow; Alvaro Rey (Dwayne De Rosario 74í), Jeremy Hall (Jonathan Osorio 67í), Kyle Bekker, Daniel Lovitz (Gilberto 55í); Jermain Defoe, Luke Moore

SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES
The San Jose Earthquakes won their second game on the trot, coming back for a 2-1 win against FC Dallas on Saturday evening at Toyota Stadium. The Quakes are in a tie for sixth place in the Western Conference with 16 points from 12 games.

LAST MATCH

  • FC Dallas opened the scoring in the 16th minute. After a cross sailed through the area, Fabian Castillo sent a cross back in from the right flank, and Blas Perez hammered home a spectacular volley from the heart of the area.
  • But the Earthquakes drew level in the 27th minute through a bit of controversy. A corner kick sailed into the box and Steven Lenhart appeared to knock it down with his arm, but the ball fell for Atiba Harris to drive into the goal and it stood for the equalizer.
  • FC Dallas went a man down in the 33rd minute when Adam Moffat received his second yellow card in the space of eight minutes, getting his marching orders from Jose Carlos Rivero.
  • The Quakes then hit for the game-winner in the 45th minute when midfielder Jean Baptiste Pierazzi took advantage of space in the midfield to hit a wonder-strike from 35 yards out, a powerful shot sailed past Dallas goalkeeper Chris Seitz into the top of the goal.
  • FCD had a great chance to level in first-half stoppage time when Jordan Stewart was called for a foul in the area, leading to a penalty kick for Fabian Castillo. San Jose goalkeeper Jon Busch read the attempt and made the save to preserve the lead.
  • Quakes boss Mark Watson made one change to the team that rolled to a 3-0 win against the Houston Dynamo at Buck Shaw Stadium. Clarence Goodson came into the back four for Shaun Francis.
  • SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES (4-4-2): Jon Busch - Shaun Francis (Brandon Barklage 72), Ty Harden, Clarence Goodson, Jordan Stewart - Atiba Harris, Khari Stephenson (Sam Cronin 70), Jean-Baptiste Pierazzi, Shea Salinas (Cordell Cato 67) - Yannick Djalo, Steven Lenhart.

TEAM NEWS

  • The win at FC Dallas was the first road victory of the year for San Jose, after starting the year 0-3-1 away from Buck Shaw Stadium.
  • “It’s huge,” Quakes coach Mark Watson said. “It’s hard to win games on the road in this league. I just think it’ll be a big boost for our confidence, especially the way it happened. They must have played 50 balls forward that we had to defend, and we did a great job. It just kind of showed the group, if we apply ourselves and have the correct mentality, regardless of what’s thrown at us, we can get the job done.”
  • Atiba Harris netted his second goal in as many games, his first two for the Quakes. Harris scored a single-season MLS career-high five goals for Colorado last season, and is in his ninth MLS season.
  • “We knew he’s a big, athletic guy that had goals in him,” Watson said. “Sometimes it just takes a little while to get comfortable with your surroundings, your teammates, just everything. He’s getting better and better, and his performances the past couple of weeks have been his best, and he’s been rewarded with goals on both occasions. He’s definitely improving week by week.”
  • Said Harris: “I’ve been here for a few months now, and I’m beginning to feel a bit more comfortable on the field with these guys. Having guys who are actually playing me the ball and getting me more touches, creating more chances for the attacking players, is really good.”
  • Jon Busch saved his first penalty kick in 15 attempts against him in league play in four seasons with the Earthquakes. Thirteen of the previous attempts were goals ñ in 2012, in a 2-1 win vs. FC Dallas, Jair Benitez put a spot kick over the bar. For his career, Busch has been beaten on 34 of 40 total penalty kicks.
  • Jon’s a good goalkeeper and has been for a long time in this league. You need a little luck on penalties as well but he practices them all the time, he practices every facet of goalkeeping all the time,” Watson said. “I don’t know if he read something in the approach to the kick but he guessed the right way and made a big save for us.” Said Busch: “Every squirrel finds a nut once in a while, you know? I was fortunate. I tried to read him and went the right way. It was a good time for me to make a save.”
  • A week after netting his first two goals this season, Khari Stephenson contributed his first assist of the season.
  • Back in the team for a third consecutive match, Jean Baptiste Pierazzi scored his first MLS goal, a stunning long-range effort.
  • “We know he’s got a good shot from distance but it was nice to see. He’s someone that’s been getting better and better every game for us,” Watson said. “I think to score a fantastic goal like that is going to help his confidence and help him keep improving and help the team. We’re really happy for him. He’s done a lot of work for us and I think when you can produce on the other end as well in scoring goals, it just helps everything.”