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SAN JOSE, Calif.
1 p.m. PT (ESPN2)
A rematch of the season opener at RFK Stadium sees both teams come into the game looking to reverse their recent fortunes. The defending champion San Jose Earthquakes haven't really gotten untracked this season, but a disappointing loss last weekend followed their only victory of the campaign. D.C. United won that opening match against the Quakes in Washington, but have since lost twice to the MetroStars and Chicago Fire after losing a late lead in a draw with Los Angeles.
REFEREE: Abbey Okulaja SAR (bench): Steven Davidson; JAR (opposite): Paul Scott; 4th: Brent Sorg
MLS Career: 12 games; FC/gm: 32.8; Y/gm: 4.0; R: 2; pens: 6
Games involving Earthquakes: P4 W2 L1 T1; FC/gm: 27.8; Y/gm: 3.5; R: 0; pens: 0
Games involving United: P2 W1 L1 T0; FC/gm: 44.5; Y/gm: 6.0; R: 1; pens: 2
INJURY REPORT: SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES - OUT: DF Chris Roner (R ankle surgery); DF Eddie Robinson (L hamstring rupture); QUESTIONABLE: DF Todd Dunivant (L quad strain) ... D.C. UNITED - OUT: FW Santino Quaranta (adductor surgery); FW Eliseo Quintanilla (R fibula fracture); FW Thiago Martins (L ACL surgery)
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none
YELLOW PERIL: none
This is the second of three meetings between the two clubs this year, the second in three weeks and the first of two at Spartan Stadium The final meeting will be at Spartan Stadium on Aug. 7.
An inspired performance from veteran Jaime Moreno gave D.C. United a 2-1 victory at RFK Stadium in the season opener. Moreno gave United an 12th-minute lead with a glancing header, but Ronnie Ekelund pulled the Earthquakes level seven minutes later from the penalty spot after Brian Mullan was taken down by United 'keeper Nick Rimando in the area. But then a pinpoint through ball from Moreno was masterfully turned home by Alecko Eskandarian in the 39th minute to give United the lead heading into the halftime interval.
Here's the team Peter Nowak ran out his debut as a head coach (3-1-4-2): Nick Rimando - Bryan Namoff, Ryan Nelsen, Mike Petke - Brian Carroll - Earnie Stewart, Dema Kovalenko, Ben Olsen, Bobby Convey (David Stokes 89) - Alecko Eskandarian (Freddy Adu 61), Jaime Moreno (Joshua Gros 85)
Here's the team Dominic Kinnear put out in his debut (4-4-2): Pat Onstad - Craig Waibel, Jeff Agoos, Eddie Robinson, Ramiro Corrales - Brian Mullan, Ronnie Ekelund (Brian Ching 74), Richard Mulrooney, Ian Russell (Arturo Alvarez 86) - Dwayne De Rosario (Jamil Walker 81), Landon Donovan
Last year, San Jose won the first two meetings between the clubs, with United claiming the third and final encounter.
The teams split their meetings on East Capitol Street, the Quakes winning 2-1 on July 19 (Curtis 13 - Roner 38, Lagos 54), then United winning 2-1 (Stewart 9, Olsen 81 - Walker 80) on Sept. 13. San Jose won 1-0 at home on Aug. 24 (Corrales 80).
United haven't won in San Jose in six years, their last victory at Spartan Stadium coming in a 4-0 victory on June 3, 1998. The Quakes have gone unbeaten in the last five meetings in the Bay Area, winning by shootout in 1999, the teams playing to a 2-2 tie in both 2000 and 2002.
Current United forward Ronald Cerritos is the Earthquakes' all-time scoring leader against D.C., with 5 goals, 3 assists. Ronnie Ekelund leads current Quakes with 3 goals; only Chris Brown and Landon Donovan have 2 goals against United (both of Brown's while with Kansas City).
Jaime Moreno is United's all-time leader against the Quakes with 7 goals, 5 assists. Ben Olsen, Dema Kovalenko and Eliseo Quintanilla each have 2 goals v San Jose (Olsen has 1 assist); Kovalenko has no points while with United.
Coaches record: Dominic Kinnear v DC: P1 W0 L0 T1... Peter Nowak vs. SJ: P1 W1 L0 T0
ALL-TIME (20 meetings): Earthquakes 10 wins (3 shootout), 31 goals ... United 8 wins (0 shootout), 36 goals ... 2 draws
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES
Chris Henderson scored a 26th-minute goal to give the Colorado Rapids their first victory and maintain their home unbeaten streak. The Rapids haven't lost at home in 14 league games going back to last season.
Midfielder Kyle Beckerman collected the ball in his own half and played it 50 yards downfield to Henderson, who ran onto the ball on the right flank with no defenders in sight. Henderson's low drive from inside the penalty area beat San Jose 'keeper Pat Onstad just inside his right-hand post.
Earthquakes coach Dominic Kinnear had some injury concerns throughout the week, but in the end was able to run out the same team that started the weekend before in New England, the Quakes first victory of the year.
"I think that in the first half, we did not come out with the effort that I would have expected," Kinnear said. "I was disappointed at halftime and we came out with a little push in the second half, but we did not have enough to get a result tonight."
Here's Kinnear's team (4-4-2): Pat Onstad - Wes Hart (Jamil Walker 83), Troy Dayak, Eddie Robinson (Ramiro Corrales 22), Jeff Agoos - Brian Mullan (Brian Ching 70), Ronnie Ekelund, Richard Mulrooney, Ian Russell - Landon Donovan, Dwayne De Rosario
But those plans quickly changed when center back Eddie Robinson went down with a hamstring injury midway through the first half, Ramiro Corrales coming in at left back as Jeff Agoos moved into the center.
"We came out with a little bit more enthusiasm (in the second half), more zip to our game. But, to dig ourselves a hole and to play so poorly, to try and overcome that, it can be hard to do and it was too difficult for us tonight," Kinnear said. "It's only the fourth game of the season, but you need to know why you're losing games and identify that."
The Quakes suffered a real blow after the game when it was revealed that Robinson suffered a ruptured hamstring tendon and will be lost for the remainder of the season. He will undergo surgery to repair the injury later this week.
In addition, Arturo Alvarez suffered a sprained ankle during training, and is listed as questionable for the weekend.
The defending MLS Cup champion San Jose Earthquakes lost for the second time in four matches this season, a 1-0 loss to the Colorado Rapids in Denver leaving the Quakes tied for last place in the West. San Jose has a victory and a draw to show for the season, level with the Kansas City Wizards at the foot of the Western Conference.
The visitors finally hit home in both the scoring and win column with the victory against United. Damani Ralph's goal just before the hour was their first after 327 scoreless minutes, just a half-hour shy of the longest goalless streak to open a season.
The goal was a terrific individual effort, Ralph turning past one defender in the middle of the field some 35 yards from goal then simply outrunning a pair of defenders before slotting the ball home from 12 yards out. It sent United to defeat for a second consecutive week after opening the season with a win and a draw.
A week after going down to defeat for the first time in a 3-2 loss away to the MetroStars, United coach Peter Nowak made just one change to his team, Nick Rimando returned to goal in place of Doug Warren.
Here's Nowak's team (3-1-4-2): Nick Rimando - Bryan Namoff, Ryan Nelsen, Mike Petke - Brian Carroll - Earnie Stewart (Joshua Gros 72), Dema Kovalenko, Ben Olsen, Bobby Convey - Alecko Eskandarian (Ronald Cerritos 62), Jaime Moreno (Freddy Adu 72).
"We're all over every team we've played so far. It's just finishing out for ninety minutes," Nowak said. "We continue to make strides. But on the day, today, we had more chances, but, in the game of soccer, it's who puts them away. They executed, we didn't."
A troubling sign to United was another game where they dominated possession in the first half, came away with nothing, then faded after the halftime interval.
"I don't know. We come out flying and, I don't know if it's a fatigue issue or what, but there's a little bit of lapse in the second half. But, if we do the job in the first half, and finish our chances, it changes the whole game," Ben Olsen said.
It was the first time United was shut out this season, and Nowak is considering whether to start his front-line attack. Moreno and Eskandarian have started all four games this season, and while Nowak seems committed to Moreno as a starter, he indicated there could be changes this weekend.
"Right now, we have to consider what we have to do better and try to find the best combination," Nowak said. "Is it going to be Jaime [Moreno] and Freddy, or Jaime and Ronald [Cerritos]? I don't know."
Still, Nowak has shown that he will not rush the maturation process of the 14-year-old Adu, whose 72nd-minute entrance last weekend was his latest in four substitute appearances.
"I'm not sure if he's ready for (starting)," Nowak said. "If he plays 90 minutes, it's a different pace, believe me. You see in his physical behavior how he grows up right now. We have to be really patient. It's not like we're going to throw him on the field and say. 'Here you go, this is it,' doing whatever he wants. It's not the way this works."
D.C. United lost for the second consecutive week and the first time on home turf, falling 1-0 to the Chicago Fire at RFK Stadium on Saturday afternoon. The loss left United with four points from four matches, three points adrift of the Eastern Conference-leading MetroStars and a point behind the Fire.