MetroStars at Earthquakes preview

OUT: DF Chris Roner (R ankle surgery); DF Eddie Robinson (L hamstring rupture); DF Todd Dunivant (L quad strain); QUESTIONABLE: MD Arturo Alvarez (R ankle sprain) ... METROSTARS -- OUT: DF Jeff Parke (L hamstring strain); FW Mike Magee (R hip flexor strain)

INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none

SUSPENDED: none

YELLOW PERIL: SJ: Troy Dayak (10 CP in 2 gms)

HEAD-TO-HEAD

ALL-TIME (16 meetings): Earthquakes 10 wins (2 shootout), 29 goals ... MetroStars 5 wins (0 shootout), 23 goals ... 4 draws

  • This is the first of three meetings between the clubs this season, and the first of two at Spartan Stadium. They'll play again in San Jose on June 12, then meet for the only time at Giants Stadium on July 10.

  • A year ago, the teams played to a remarkable 4-4 draw at the Meadowlands before the MetroStars won 2-0 in San Jose.

  • On July 2, both teams scored in second-half stoppage time as they shared the spoils in New Jersey (Guevara 7, Magee 36; Mathis 43, 90 -- Ching 15, 34; Lagos 78; Donovan 90). Then on Oct. 5, Metro clinched a playoff berth with a 2-0 victory in Silicon Valley (Guevara 30, Jolley 90).

  • The MetroStars victory last year was the first by a visiting team in the series since the 1999 season, when the 'Quakes won 2-1 at Giants Stadium.

  • The teams have played to a draw in each of the last four seasons, and technically they did as well in 1999, the 'Quakes winning in a shootout after a 1-1 draw through 90 minutes.

  • Just three current Earthquakes players have multiple goals against the MetroStars -- Landon Donovan, Brian Ching and Chris Brown, though none of Brown's came with San Jose. Richard Mulrooney has 0 goals, 5 assists against Metro. The 'Quakes all-time leader against the MetroStars is current D.C. United forward Ronald Cerritos (4 goals, 5 assists); next is current San Jose broadcaster John Doyle (3 goals).

  • Only four current MetroStars players have goals for their career against San Jose: Amado Guevara (2 goals, 2 assists), Eddie Pope (1 goal, 4 assists -- just one assist while with the club) and Mike Magee (1 goal). The club's all-time leaders against San Jose are Clint Mathis and Giovanni Savarese (3 goals, 1 assist each).

  • Coaches record: Dominic Kinnear v MET: first meeting ... Bob Bradley vs. SJ: P16 W7 D5 L4

    SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES

    The defending MLS Cup champion San Jose Earthquakes continued the middling start to their 2004 campaign, playing to a 1-1 draw with D.C. United at Spartan Stadium on Saturday afternoon. The 'Quakes are tied for fourth place in the Western Conference with five points from five matches, three points behind the leading Los Angeles Galaxy and Dallas Burn.

  • 14-year-old Freddy Adu made his first professional start in attack alongside Jaime Moreno, but the goals came from players not usually known for their marksmanship as San Jose and D.C. United shared the spoils.

  • Center back Troy Dayak gave the Earthquakes a 33rd-minute lead when he headed home a free kick whipped in from the right flank, but midfielder Dema Kovalenko pulled the visitors level in the 66th minute when he was left all alone at the back post to finish off a pinpoint cross from Bobby Convey.

  • "It was a tale of two halves," Earthquakes coach Dominic Kinnear said. "I thought we were the better team in the first half, but they were better in the second half. They seemed to have better energy than we did. But when you count the (scoring) chances we had, we should have had three points (for a win)."

  • Kinnear made four changes to the team that lost 1-0 to the Colorado Rapids in Denver. Craig Waibel came in at right back for Wes Hart, and Ramiro Corrales came in on the left as Kinnear dealt with the loss of central defender Eddie Robinson for the remainder of the season. Chris Brown made his first appearance with the 'Quakes, coming in for Ian Russell on the left side of midfield, while Brian Ching made his first start of 2004, preferred to Dwayne DeRosario in attack.

  • Here's Kinnear's team (4-4-2): Pat Onstad -- Craig Waibel, Jeff Agoos, Troy Dayak, Ramiro Corrales -- Brian Mullan, Ronnie Ekelund (Dwayne De Rosario 74), Richard Mulrooney, Chris Brown (Ian Russell 61) -- Landon Donovan, Brian Ching (Jamil Walker 78).

  • The 'Quakes still haven't lost in more than three seasons when they hold the lead at the half (35-0-5 since 2000), but there were few happy faces in the locker room after the result. "Usually we're very tough to break when we have the lead," Troy Dayak said, "but we left people lackadaisically unmarked in the second half, which is not like us, and we paid for it."

  • Bringing in Ching for DeRosario in attack was designed to give the 'Quakes attack a jump-start -- and also help Donovan have more an impact on the game. The change with Ching allows Donovan to face up to the goal more rather than have his back to goal," Kinnear said. Donovan and DeRosario, when they play together, they share the workload physically. Brian is a bigger target and plays better with his back to goal than those two."

  • Brown also received credit for his performance in his San Jose debut. "He did OK. He hadn't played for a while," Kinnear said. "He was maybe out of position on the wide left there. He was available for the ball and good defensively. With the heat and lack of match fitness, he got tired at the end."

    METROSTARS

    The MetroStars lost for the first time in 2004, falling 3-0 to the Chicago Fire in a moribund effort at Soldier Field on Saturday night. With the win the Fire vaulted over the MetroStars into the top spot in the Eastern Conference, Metro now with seven points from four matches, one behind Chicago.

  • Three different forwards scored goals while goalkeeper Henry Ring notched his MLS-leading fourth clean sheet of the season as the Fire continued their recent dominance of the MetroStars and former Chicago coach Bob Bradley. Since Bradley moved from Chicago to the MetroStars before last season, the Metros haven't won in five league meetings (and also lost last year's U.S. Open Cup final to the Fire).

  • Botswana international Dipsy Selolwane finished off a nice move through midfield in the 15th minute, before Damani Ralph doubled the lead after the break when he pounced on a poor clearance and sent it past Metro 'keeper Jonny Walker (56). Ante Razov then turned home a DaMarcus Beasley cross 13 minutes from time for the final Fire goal.

  • "I think we learned last year that you have to raise the bar a little bit on the competing side when you play Chicago," said Bradley, who previously guided the Fire for five seasons. "Last year Chicago was able to get the better of us [with] decisive plays when it counted the most."

  • Bradley made just one change to the team that played to a 1-1 draw with the New England Revolution the previous weekend. Mark Lisi returned to the lineup, coming into central midfield for Ricardo Clark.

  • Here's Bradley's team (4-4-2): Jonny Walker -- Craig Ziadie, Eddie Pope, Jeff Parke (Tenywa Bonseu 46), Chris Leitch -- Joselito Vaca (Ricardo Clark 73), Amado Guevara, Mark Lisi, Eddie Gaven -- Sergio Galvan Rey (John Wolyniec 60), Fabian Taylor.

  • "We just need to do a better job of competing," Pope said. "Whether it's winning 50-50 balls in the midfield and the back, tracking back, or dealing with loose balls better. We just need some more bite. If we couldn't play then I'd really be worried, but we can play. We just have to fight harder, tackle harder, and do the things that will make things go your way."

  • Bradley stayed with the strike partnership of Galvan Rey and Taylor for the second successive week, and while they had their share of opportunities (Taylor had eight shots at goal), they were both shutout for the second consecutive week. "I thought that Fabian and Sergio played well in the first week they had played together," said Bradley. "I thought we needed to build about that."

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