Quakes' Cup defense begins Sunday

Jeff Agoos (left) is looking for a record sixth MLS Cup title.

Photo Credit: 
John Todd/MLS/WireImage.com

and done so each time. "We've got a lot of players here that have been there not only with this team but with their respective national teams, and they know what it's like in tough games," said Landon Donovan. ... The first leg will certainly be the final game at Spartan Stadium this season, as even if the Quakes advance, they cannot host the Western Conference Final. Local investor Tony Amanpour, hoping to ensure the club remains in San Jose, said he believes the Quakes playoff run could help. "The last two home games have been great for fan turnout," Amanpour said. "Now, making the playoffs, we definitely expect a sellout for our home game. That should be the shot in the arm that the community needs."

KANSAS CITY WIZARDS

Tony Meola is getting closer to fitness -- and an almost certain reinstallation as the starting goalkeeper. But Bo Oshoniyi will likely start this weekend at Spartan Stadium -- which he calls his "favorite field." Still, when Meola returns, Oshoniyi harbors no resentment to his role as backup despite outstanding play in place of Meola. "I feel like you have a role and fulfill that role," said Oshoniyi. "The best example of that was in 2000. I got one start, but that one start was ending up meaning a lot, and we won (an MLS Cup) championship. The only reason teams win championships is that they're strong, top to bottom. And the ultimate goal is winning a championship." ... If there is a concern with the Wizards, it's getting more goals. Of their 18 victories in all competitions this season, 10 were by 1-0 scorelines. "One goal's held up for us in many games, but we had an opportunity to get a couple (against L.A.)," said Josh Wolff. "I think, for me, I didn't put the final pass in the right weight and the right spot sometimes. We've got to get better at that." ... A year ago, the Wizards and Earthquakes met for the first time ever in the MLS Cup Playoffs, and with Kansas City on the verge of a second trip to the MLS Cup Final, the Earthquakes came back a second time before winning in extra time on their way to a second title. "Definitely, that left a sour taste," Bo Oshoniyi said. "We were eight minutes away from going away from there with a win and on to the championship game. That one stung the entire offseason." ... But the Wizards cast the first blow in responding earlier this year, knocking out the Earthquakes with a 1-0 victory in the semifinals of the U.S. Open Cup. "Now's the time where we need to step it up a little bit more because San Jose can be a very tough team. They're defending champions, I know they came in fourth place, but that's not a fourth-place team," Kerry Zavagnin said.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.


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