Rapids vs. Earthquakes preview

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  • Where: INVESCO FIELD at MILE HIGH, DENVER, Colo.
  • When: 7 p.m. MT
  • TV: FSW; FSN-BA

    Two teams that can look at their 2004 season in both positives
    and negatives face off in Denver in a Western Conference showdown.
    The Colorado Rapids are unbeaten on the young campaign and have
    owned considerable stretches of their games so far – yet twice
    they’ve failed to hold a lead in playing to two draws. It
    took the San Jose Earthquakes more than 450 minutes to find the
    back of the net from run-of-play (scoring once from the penalty
    spot) – yet they showed a sign of last year’s championship
    form when hit for three goals in the second half last weekend.

    REFEREE: Ali Saheli. SAR (bench): George Gansler;
    JAR (opposite): Steven Taylor; 4th: Baldomero Toledo

    MLS Career: 54 games; FC/gm: 33.0; Y/gm: 3.8; R: 9; pens: 13

    Games involving Rapids: P12 W7 L5 T0; FC/gm: 30.3; Y/gm: 3.5; R:
    1; pens: 2

    Games involving Earthquakes: P11 W6 L4 T1; FC/gm: 35.3; Y/gm: 3.9;
    R: 5; pens: 5

    INJURY REPORT: COLORADO RAPIDS – OUT: DF
    Jeff Stewart (R knee); DOUBTFUL:MD Seth Trembly (L knee); PROBABLE:
    FW Zizi Roberts (R knee); DF Pablo Mastroeni (L hip pointer) …
    SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES – OUT: DF Chris Roner (R ankle surgery);

    DOUBTFUL: DF Todd Dunivant (L quad strain); QUESTIONABLE: MD Brian
    Mullan (L ankle sprain); PROBABLE: DF Ryan Cochrane (L torn meniscus);

    INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none

    SUSPENDED: none

    YELLOW PERIL: none

    HEAD-TO-HEAD

    ALL-TIME (32 meetings): Rapids 15 wins (2 shootout), 52 goals …
    Earthquakes 15 wins (1 shootout), 52 goals … 2 draws


    • This is the first of four meetings between the two clubs
    this season, the first of two in Denver, in a series that is absolutely
    even after eight seasons.


    • The next two meetings will be in San Jose – on July
    17 and Aug. 28 at Spartan Stadium – before they play for the
    final time in the league campaign on Oct. 2 in Denver.


    • A year ago, the Rapids won both meetings in San Jose, the
    ‘Quakes winning once in Denver with the other match a scoreless
    draw.


    • The Earthquakes won the season-opening match between the
    two clubs at Invesco Field on April 12 (Roberts 46 – Ching
    1, Dunivant 22), but the Rapids won the next two, both at Spartan
    Stadium. They won 2-0 on July 12 (Kotschau 34, Chung 49), then 2-1
    on Aug. 30 (Mullan 59 – Chung 21, Spencer 67), before the
    scoreless draw in San Jose on Oct. 10.


    • The victories in San Jose for the Rapids last year snapped
    a four-match winless streak (three consecutive losses) for Colorado
    away in the series. The Rapids loss at home to San Jose in the season
    opener last year snapped a three-match home winning streak for Colorado
    in the series.


    • Mark Chung leads current Rapids players with 5 goals, 5
    assists in his career v San Jose, but only 4 goals, 1 assist have
    come while with Colorado. Chris Henderson has 3 goals, 7 assists
    v San Jose, with 1 goal, 6 assists while with the Rapids. John Spencer
    and Ritchie Kotschau have 3 goals each v San Jose, Spencer also
    with four assists.


    • Landon Donovan has 3 goals, 5 assists v Colorado, leading
    all active ‘Quakes and second on the club’s all-time
    list (behind Ronald Cerritos). No other current Earthquakes player
    has more than 1 goal v Colorado, though Brian Mullan has four assists,
    and Jeff Agoos and Richard Mulrooney have three each (all of Agoos’s
    assists with D.C. United). Ian Russell has 0 goals, 5 assists.


    • Coaches record: Tim Hankinson v SJ: P18 W10 L6 T2 …
    Dominic Kinnear vs. COL: first meeting

    COLORADO RAPIDS

    The Colorado Rapids settled for a share of the spoils for a second
    successive week, once again taking a lead before being pulled back,
    this time in a 1-1 draw with Los Angeles Galaxy in their home opener
    at Invesco Field. The Rapids haven’t lost on the young season
    yet are in last place in the Western Conference with two points,
    three behind the pace-setting Galaxy.


    • Haiti international Jean-Philippe Peguero headed home a
    corner kick in the ninth minute to give the Rapids the lead, but
    Carlos Ruiz pounced on a pullback by Jovan Kirovski after a neat
    bit of skill in the corner to pull the Galaxy even in the 20th minute.


    • The Galaxy were greatly aided by the woodwork, Kevin Hartman
    happy to see both on a John Spencer bicycle kick and a long-range
    effort from Antonio de la Torre almost at the center stripe come
    back off the crossbar.


    • Rapids coach Tim Hankinson made just a single change to
    the team that played in the season-opening 1-1 draw in Dallas, forced
    when Chris Henderson was sent off for a second bookable offense
    in that contest. Matt Crawford replaced Henderson on the right side
    of the Colorado midfield.


    • Here’s Hankinson’s team on the night (4-4-2):
    Joe Cannon – Antonio de la Torre, Nat Borchers, Gary Sullivan
    (Zach Kingsley 56), Ritchie Kotschau – Matt Crawford, Kyle
    Beckerman, Darryl Powell, Mark Chung – John Spencer, Jean-Philippe
    Peguero (Zizi Roberts 86).


    • "The biggest thing, in the last two games, that keeps
    us from creating better chances more often is the lack of possession.
    It seems like we're happy with two or three passes and then sending
    it towards goal, hoping that someone gets on the end of it,"
    said Hankinson.


    • Despite not having lost, the Rapids are in last place. Yet,
    they haven’t been happy with their performances thus far.
    "What I'm pleased about is that we all came in the changing
    room and nobody was happy," midfielder Darryl Powell said.
    "The captain (Spencer) had a little go at everybody and said
    we didn't pass the ball well enough. I thought we were more assertive
    than them and looked more dangerous on the attack. On another day,
    we would have had two or three more goals. We just need to be a
    little more patient."


    • Powell has fit into a slightly more advanced central midfield
    position, ahead of Kyle Beckerman, with the main attacking thrust
    still coming from Chris Henderson and Mark Chung from wider positions.
    "He's what we call a box-to-box runner," Hankinson said
    of Powell. "There's a lot of north-south running, not really
    as a playmaker, but to disrupt their short passing attack."


    • Center back Pablo Mastroeni is still far from certain for
    a return this weekend from a hip pointer. "It's still day to
    day. I'm still not 100 percent," Mastroeni said. "It will
    be another game-time decision, but with a sense of optimism."

    SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES

    The San Jose Earthquakes finally found the back of the net from
    run-of-play as they came from behind in dramatic fashion against
    the New England Revolution for a 3-1 victory at Gillette Stadium
    on Saturday. The ‘Quakes are now on four points from three
    matches on the season, one of three teams tied for second place,
    a point behind Los Angeles.


    • Taylor Twellman tapped home a pass from Joe-Max Moore when
    both got behind the Quakes' back four to give the home side the
    lead just after the break (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, the ‘Quakes first goal
    from run-of-play this season. Arturo Alvarez then slotted home a
    Landon Donovan cross just two minutes after that to give the Quakes
    the lead.


    • San Jose goalkeeper Pat Onstad kept the Revs at bay with
    a number of quality saves, then 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.


    • Earthquakes boss Dominic Kinnear made one change to the
    team that battled to a scoreless draw with Chicago Fire at home
    the weekend before, the suspended Ramiro Corrales replaced by Ian
    Russell on the left side of the midfield.


    • 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).


    • It was Kinnear’s first win as head coach after taking
    for Frank Yallop during the offseason, when Yallop left to take
    over the Canadian national team after winning the MLS Cup. “It
    feels good to get that first win. You want to start the season out
    winning and after the first two games we were looking up at the
    rest of the teams in the West. I am glad we got a win and pulled
    ourselves out of that position,” Kinnear said.


    • Kinnear pointed to a pair of point-blank saves Onstad made
    on Twellman shortly after the ‘Quakes second goal as the key
    to the match. “I think that really was the turning point because
    it was a great save,'' said Kinnear. “He pulls off the saves
    he needs to, especially the important ones, and that's all you can
    ask of a keeper.''


    • Landon Donovan and Richard Mulrooney were named to the U.S.
    national team for their April 28 friendly against Mexico at the
    Cotton Bowl in Dallas.


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