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SAN JOSE, Calif.
7 pm PT (FSN-NE)
The San Jose Earthquakes remain at home for the second game of a three-game homestand around the All-Star break coming off their best performance of the season, showing signs of shaking a season-long injury crisis with a resounding 3-1 victory against the Colorado Rapids that pulled them within immediate striking distance of third place in the West. They play host to a New England Revolution side that has similarly been hit by injury all season, yet still find themselves just two victories out of top spot in the Eastern Conference.
REFEREE: Andrew Chapin. SAR (bench): George Gansner; JAR (opposite): Jose Andrade; 4th: Ricardo Valenzuela
MLS Career: 1 games; FC/gm: 25.0; Y/gm: 5.0; R: 1; pens: 1
Games involving Earthquakes: first game
Games involving Revolution: first game
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES - OUT: DF Chris Roner (R ankle surgery); DF Eddie Robinson (L hamstring rupture); DOUBTFUL: MD Ian Russell (R hamstring strain); QUESTIONABLE: DF Troy Dayak (upper back sprain); PROBABLE: DF Jeff Agoos (R calf strain); DF Ryan Cochrane (R hip strain); FW Jamil Walker (R ankle sprain)
NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION - OUT: DF Carlos Llamosa (L knee sprain); FW Joe-Max Moore (R knee sprain); DF Rusty Pierce (R quadriceps contusion); DOUBTFUL: GK Kyle Singer (R shoulder sprain); GK Adin Brown (concussion); QUESTIONABLE: MF Brian Kamler (L hamstring strain); FW Felix Brillant (R quadriceps contusion)
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none
YELLOW PERIL: SJ: Brian Mullan (16 CP) ... NE: Marshall Leonard (18 CP); Avery John (20 CP)
This is the second of three meetings between the two clubs this season, the only meeting of the year in Silicon Valley. They'll meet for the final time this season at Gillette Stadium on Sept. 4.
A rampant Earthquakes side won 3-1 in Foxborough on April 17, as Dominic Kinnear won his first game as head coach after taking for Frank Yallop during the offseason.
Taylor Twellman tapped home a pass from Joe-Max Moore (49) on a goal that had just the slightest hint of offside, but a wonderful bicycle kick from Dwayne DeRosario pulled San Jose level four minutes later.
Arturo Alvarez then slotted home a Landon Donovan cross just two minutes after that to give the Quakes the lead, before Donovan set up Brian Ching, who lashed home a first-time drive from outside the area to kill off the match with 15 minutes left.
Here's Steve Nicol's team on the night (4-1-3-2): Adin Brown - Jay Heaps, Daouda Kante (Andy Dorman 89), Rusty Pierce (Marshall Leonard 86), Joe Franchino - Clint Dempsey - Steve Ralston, Jose Cancela, Pat Noonan - Joe-Max Moore (Brian Kamler 70), Taylor Twellman.
Here's Kinnear's team on the night (4-4-2): Pat Onstad - Wes Hart, Troy Dayak, Eddie Robinson, Jeff Agoos - Brian Mullan (Arturo Alvarez 47), Ronnie Ekelund, Richard Mulrooney, Ian Russell - Landon Donovan, Dwayne De Rosario (Brian Ching 70).
A year ago, San Jose won two of three encounters in the series, with the third meeting ending in a draw. The 'Quakes won 2-0 in the first game in Foxborough on May 3 (own goal 42; Ching 56), then the teams played to a 1-1 draw in New England on Aug. 16 (Twellman 52 - Ekelund 23) when Brian Ching was lost to a knee injury.
San Jose then won 2-1 in the only meeting at Spartan Stadium on Sept. 7 (DeRosario 42, Donovan 52 - Noonan 41).
The Revolution haven't defeated San Jose in the last eight meetings over four years, their last victory against the 'Quakes coming in the final meeting in the 2000 season (July 22). San Jose has won seven of the eight meetings since, a five-game winning streak ending with the 1-1 draw last year.
Joe-Max Moore is the Rev's all-time scoring leader against San Jose, with 5 goals and 5 assists. Only taylor Twellman (among current New England players) has more than one goal against the 'Quakes (2 goals). Steve Ralston has 2 goals, 13 assists in his career v San Jose, but only 3 assists while with the Rev.
Defender Troy Dayak is the Earthquakes all-time leader against the Rev, with 5 goals and 2 assists. Landon Donovan is next with 3 goals, 5 assists. Dwayne DeRosario (3 goals, 1 assist), Ronnie Ekelund (2 goals, 1 assist) and Brian Ching (2 goals) are the only other current 'Quakes with more than one career goal v NE.
Coaches record: Steve Nicol vs. SJ: P5 W0 L4 D1 ... Dominic Kinnear v NE: P1 W1 L0 D0
ALL-TIME (23 meetings): Earthquakes 13 wins (0 shootout), 47 goals ... Revolution 8 wins (2 shootout), 33 goals ... 2 draws
AT SPARTAN STADIUM (11 meetings): Earthquakes 6 wins (0 shootout), 24 goals ... Revolution 4 wins (2 shootout), 17 goals ... 1 draw
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES
The Earthquakes put together their finest performance of the season - with something close to a first-choice team for the first time in months - in the victory against the Rapids.
A surgical passing movement set up the Quakes' and Ching's first, ripping home a perfectly-weighted through ball from Ronnie Ekelund from just inside the area (22).
The Quakes then scored twice in five minutes after the break to put away the match. Ching grabbed his second when he tapped in from almost on the goal line after a wild sequence that saw Landon Donovan stopped twice in short order, first by Joe Cannon, then by the post. But Donovan found Ramiro Corrales for a third bite at the cherry, and he drove a low cross through a host of Rapids defenders to find Ching (50). Donovan then hit for the third, drilling home first-time a Brian Mullan cross whipped in from the right flank.
Seth Trembly pulled back a consolation goal for the Rapids seven minutes from the final whistle when he hammered home a shot from all of 25 yards past Quakes 'keeper Pat Onstad.
"This kind of sends a message to the league on national TV," Earthquakes head coach Dominic Kinnear said.
Kinnear made two changes to the team that lost 2-0 to the MetroStars the previous weekend. Brian Mullan came back in on the right side of midfield, for Wes Hart, while Brian Ching came back into attack for Dwayne DeRosario, both players back from U.S. national team duty.
Here's Kinnear's team (4-4-2): Pat Onstad - Craig Waibel, Ryan Cochrane (Wes Hart 69), Jeff Agoos, Todd Dunivant - Brian Mullan, Ronnie Ekelund, Richard Mulrooney, Ramiro Corrales (Dwayne De Rosario 70) - Brian Ching, Landon Donovan (Jamil Walker 84)
The San Jose Earthquakes ended a three-game losing streak and five-match winless run with their finest outing of the season, a 3-1 victory at home against the Colorado Rapids last Saturday. That pulled the Quakes into a tie for fourth place in the Western Conference with the Dallas Burn on 20 points from 16 matches, still 12 points behind the pace of the Los Angeles Galaxy.
NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION
The Revolution still failed to take advantage of their run of form and climb out of the East cellar as the Crew came back to grab a draw at home.
Clint Dempsey gave the visitors a deserved lead when he brought down a terrific early cross from Richie Baker and prodded the ball home from close range (31). But a well-worked move just before halftime pulled the Crew level, Jeff Cunningham slipping through a perfect pass for Kyle Martino to run onto, rolling an angled shot inside the far post.
"We played really well in the beginning," said midfielder Richie Baker. "We could've had two or three goals. We should've kept the ball, but we gave them too much near the end. It was a lack of concentration."
Revolution head coach Steve Nicol made just one change to the team that defeated the Chicago Fire at home the previous weekend, forced by the late sending-off of Taylor Twellman. Richie Baker came back on the right wing as Pat Noonan moved forward to partner Clint Dempsey in attack.
Here's Nicol's team (4-4-2): Matt Reis - Steve Ralston, Jay Heaps, Avery John, Joe Franchino - Richie Baker (Felix Brillant 54), Shalrie Joseph, Jose Cancela (Marshall Leonard 71), Brian Kamler - Pat Noonan, Clint Dempsey.
"We've played a lot of games lately and had a lot of travel,'' Nicol said. "So the second half for us was about being mentally strong and not letting them break us down. But 1-1 was criminal. Absolutely criminal. I don't think anyone could complain if we had come out 3-1.''
Then on Tuesday at Lusitano Stadium in Ludlow, Mass., Rochester Raging Rhinos 'keeper Theo Zagar was the hero, saving penalties from Jay Heaps and Clint Dempsey in the shootout to send the A-League side through to the quarterfinals after a 1-1 draw.
Pat Noonan put the Revolution ahead after just seven minutes - and after Matt Reis had saved an early penalty - powering home a header of a Richie Baker cross. But then after the halftime break, Kirk Wilson equalized for the Rhinos, smashing home a Doug Miller cross.
The Rhinos then added to their giant-killing legacy with a 3-1 victory in the penalty shootout, surviving the final 19 minutes of extra-time a man down after Bill Sedgewick received a second yellow card.
Here's Nicol's team: Matt Reis - Luke Vercollone, Avery John, Daouda Kante (Jay Heaps 46), Marshall Leonard - Richie Baker (Shalrie Joseph 46), Andy Dorman, Jose Cancela (Clint Dempsey 61), Felix Brillant (Brian Kamler 86) - Pat Noonan, Taylor Twellman.
"The second half, they kept us under pressure and we never stood up to it,'' said Nicol.
The New England Revolution ran their unbeaten run to three matches, playing to a draw for the second time in that run in a 1-1 result away to the Columbus Crew - then played to another draw at midweek against the A-League Rochester Raging Rhinos before being cruelly dumped out of the U.S. Open Cup on penalties. The Revolution are still in last place in the Eastern Conference with 17 points from 17 matches, two behind fourth-place Chicago Fire but just six points out of first place.