Weekly update: End of the line
The Earthquakes concluded the 2004 season with a 3-0 loss to the Kansas City Wizards in Game Two of their two-game home-and-home aggregate goal Western Conference Semifinal series on Saturday night. The Quakes fell 3-2 overall on total goals, after winning Game One 2-0. San Jose finished the season with a 10-11-11 record including the playoffs.
Wizards 3, Earthquakes 0; Saturday, October 30, 2004; Arrowhead Stadium; Kansas City, Mo.
The San Jose Earthquakes fell 3-0 in Game Two of their Western Conference Semifinal series to the Kansas City Wizards and lost the two-game aggregate goal series 3-2. The Wizards scored two second half goals, including one in the 92nd minute by Jack Jewsbury to overcome a 2-0 first leg deficit and win the series. Landon Donovan nearly put San Jose on the board after a nice pass from Ramiro Corrales midway through the first half. Corrales controlled the ball and slipped it past two defenders to Donovan, who then beat Jimmy Conrad off the dribble. Donovan fired a low shot to the near post that Wizards goalkeeper Bo Oshoniyi tipped just past the post. The Wizards scored the first goal of the match and cut the total goal deficit to 2-1 in the 26th minute. Davy Arnaud started the play on the right side of the box by beating his defender and then dropping a pass back to Jewsbury at the top of the 18-yard box. Jewsbury drove a low ball into the middle of the box, where it found Khari Stephenson, who beat one defender and fired a shot past Onstad. The Wizards took a 2-0 lead in the game and tied the series on aggregate in the 48th minute on an own goal. The Wizards Alex Zotinca played the ball into the penalty area from the left side, aiming for a charging Jimmy Conrad. Before Conrad could get to the ball, the Quakes Brian Ching attempted to clear it, but kicked the ball into his own net to the left of a stunned Onstad, evening the series at 2-2. Jewsbury scored in the 92nd minute after a pass from Igor Simutenkov got him free at the edge of the penalty box. Jose Burciaga Jr. started the scoring sequence with a pass from the left wing that found Simutenkov, who touched the ball through to Jewsbury. Jewsbury then slammed a shot off the near post and into the net for the winning goal.
Ching Finalist for Comeback Player of the Year
Earthquakes forward Brian Ching continued to earn accolades for his impressive 2004 season. The Earthquakes Budweiser Scoring Champion and Honda Most Valuable Player was named a finalist for the MLS Comeback Player of the Year award. The other nominees for the award are D.C. United's Jaime Moreno and the Dallas Burn's Ronnie O'Brien. The winner of the MLS Comeback Player of the Year Award will be announced in the week leading up to MLS Cup 2004, which is set for Sunday, November 14 at The Home Depot Center. Ching, 26, enjoyed a true breakout season in 2004, picking up right where he left off after his 2003 season was cut short by a ruptured right Achilles tendon. Ching recovered from the devastating injury and exploded for a league-leading 12 goals and four assists to become the Quakes Budweiser Scoring Champion. Ching earned MLS Player of the Week honors for his two-goal effort on July 17 vs. Colorado. Ching was rewarded with his first selection to the Sierra Mist MLS All-Star game, where he scored a goal, and also played in his first World Cup Qualifying matches with the United States National Team. Ching impressed at the international level as well, scoring two goals in his first two World Qualifying appearances for the U.S.
Donovan Named Finalist For 2004 Honda Player of Year
Earthquakes forward Landon Donovan was revealed as one of three finalists for the 2004 Honda Player of the Year Award during the Honda Symposium in Los Angeles last week. Two hundred and four sports journalists from across the country selected Donovan along with DaMarcus Beasley and Carlos Bocanegra. Two years ago, Donovan became the youngest Honda Player of the Year Award winner, and last year he became the first player to win the award two years in a row. This year he joins Claudio Reyna, Alexi Lalas and Kasey Keller, as the only players who have been selected as finalists in at least three consecutive years. Up to this point, Landon is the leading scorer on the National Team this year with five goals. The previous winners of the Honda Player of the Year Award are: Landon Donovan (2003 and 2002), Earnie Stewart (2001), Claudio Reyna (2000), Kasey Keller (1999), Cobi Jones (1998), Eddie Pope (1997), Eric Wynalda (1996, 1992), Alexi Lalas (1995), Marcelo Balboa (1994), Thomas Dooley (1993) and Hugo Perez (1991). In 2000, Eric Wynalda was named the Honda Player of the Decade. For more information, please call (415) 441-9800 or visit Fútbol de Primera on the internet at www.LaRadioDelMundial.com.
Quakes Announce 2004 Award Winners
The Earthquakes announced their 2004 Season Award winners prior to the Oct. 24 2-0 win over the Kansas City Wizards. Brian Ching is the Quakes Budweiser Scoring Champion and Honda Most Valuable Player. Pat Onstad is the Quakes Defensive Player of the Year, and Todd Dunivant and Craig Waibel are the co-winners of the U.S. Soccer Humanitarian of the Year. Eddie Robinson was named the winner of the Geneva McAlavey Community Outreach Award and Richard Mulrooney won the California Customs award.
Road Playoff Games
The Earthquakes have a struggled a bit on the road in the playoffs, compiling a 2-6 postseason record away from Spartan Stadium, including Saturday's 3-0 loss to the Kansas City Wizards. The Quakes last won a road playoff game on October 17, 2001 when they defeated the Miami Fusion 1-0 in the MLS Cup Playoff Semifinals. The Quakes have also won two MLS Cups at neutral sites.
Donovan's Playoff Numbers
Landon Donovan registered an assist on the Quakes first goal in Game One of their series with the Wizards, now giving him six assists in 14 playoff games and a total of 26 playoff points including 10 goals. Donovan is currently fifth all-time in points (26), fourth in goals (10) and fifth in points per game (2.00) in MLS postseason history. In 2001, Donovan led the Quakes to the MLS Cup Championship by scoring five goals and dishing out two assists in six games. The following season, he notched a goal and an assist in two games, but San Jose was swept 2-0 by the Columbus Crew. In 2003, the two-time Honda U.S. Soccer Player of the Year scored four goals and notched two assists as he again led San Jose to the MLS Cup Championship.
Earthquakes midfielder Richard Mulrooney returned to the Quakes for Saturday's game against the Wizards and played the full 90 minutes. The two-time all-star midfielder joined the team in Kansas City on Thursday. He was unavailable for the Quakes on Sunday, October 24 in Game One of the Western Conference Semifinals due to personal reasons.
Quakes captain Jeff Agoos is one of the most experienced performers in MLS Cup Playoff history as he is second all-time in games played (37), games started (37) and minutes played (3377).
Quakes in Playoffs
San Jose has been one of the best offensive and defensive teams in MLS postseason history. As a team, the Quakes have scored 30 playoff goals and allowed 19. They are third in goals per game (1.76) and fourth in goals against average (1.29).
Playoff Iron Men
During the Quakes playoff runs the past four seasons only three players have played in all 14 playoff matches - Jeff Agoos, Landon Donovan and Ian Russell.