Weekly update: Quakes go for knockout

The Quakes hope to celebrate another playoff victory on Saturday.

Photo Credit: 
John Todd/MLS/WireImage.com

This Week's Match-Up

The Earthquakes opened the playoffs with a 2-0 victory over the Kansas City Wizards in Game One of the two-game home-and-home aggregate goal Western Conference Semifinal series. The Quakes next head to Kansas City's Arrowhead Stadium for Game Two on Saturday, October 30 at 5:30 p.m. PT. The game will be broadcast live on Fox Sports Net Plus and 1590 AM KLIV. The Earthquakes will advance to the Western Conference Championship with a win, tie or a loss of less than two goals in Game Two of the series.

Earthquakes All-Time Record vs. Kansas City Wizards
MLS Regular Season: 16-14-6
Home: 9-4-5
Away: 7-10-1
Shootout: 3-4 (1996-99)
Overtime: 0-0-4 (2000-2003)
Playoffs: 2-0-0; U.S. Open Cup: 0-1-0
All-Time Scoring (Including playoffs and Open Cup): San Jose - 50, Kansas City - 44

Injury Report/Suspensions
Out:

Chris Ronér (R - ankle surgery)
Doubtful:

Eddie Robinson (L - LCL sprain)

Ronnie Ekelund (L - hamstring strain)
Probable:

Troy Dayak (R - shoulder sprain)

Arturo Alvarez (R - hip strain)

Last Match
Earthquakes 2, Wizards 0; Sunday, October 24, 2004; Spartan Stadium; San Jose, Calif.

The San Jose Earthquakes opened the 2004 MLS Cup Playoffs with a 2-0 victory over the Kansas City Wizards in Game One of the Western Conference Semifinals at Spartan Stadium. A first half goal by Dwayne De Rosario and an early second half goal by Craig Waibel provided the difference for San Jose, as Quakes goalkeeper Pat Onstad recorded his first career playoff shutout. The Quakes relentless attack finally paid off in the 40th minute when De Rosario put the Quakes up 1-0. Donovan received a pass in the middle of the field and promptly popped a pass up to a streaking De Rosario on the left side of the field. Guarded closely by Nick Garcia, De Rosario dribbled up the left sideline and created space for himself before unleashing a curving shot that went over Garcia and a stunned Bo Oshoniyi to give the Quakes the lead. The Quakes made it 2-0 in the 53rd minute on Craig Waibel's first career playoff goal. Agoos sent a perfect corner kick over the defense to the far post, where a charging Waibel was able to re-direct the ball into the net with his left foot.

Misc. Notes
Television and Radio for Game Two

The San Jose Earthquakes announced that Game Two of the home-and-home aggregate goal Western Conference semifinal playoff series against the Kansas City Wizards will be broadcast live on Fox Sports Net Plus on Saturday, October 30 at 5:30 p.m. PT. The match will also be available live on the radio on 1590 AM KLIV. The Quakes long-time broadcast partner, Fox Sports Net, will air the game live on the Plus channel, which will be channel 33A or 77 in the immediate San Jose area. For a full listing of the Fox Sports Net Plus channel listing, log onto http://www.fsnplus.com. The game will also be available via DirectTV on channel 655 and Dish Network on channel 446.

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 today 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.

Playoffs Against the Wizards

The Quakes and Wizards have now met twice in the MLS Cup Playoffs, squaring off in the 2003 Western Conference Championship on Nov. 15, 2003 at Spartan Stadium prior to Sunday's 2-0 San Jose win. Despite falling behind by a goal twice in the 2003 Western Conference Championship, the Quakes came back to win on Landon Donovan's golden goal in the 27th minute of overtime. Manny Lagos and Brian Mullan also scored in the match for the Quakes, while Igor Simutenkov and Chris Klein netted goals for Kansas City.

Playoff Format

A total of eight teams advanced to the MLS Cup Playoffs, with the top four teams from the Eastern and Western Conference pairing off within their own Conference. The top team in each group will face the fourth place team, while the second and third place squads will square off. The Conference Semifinal series will be conducted under a home-and-home, aggregate goal format to determine which two teams will advance to the single elimination Conference final match. The higher-seeded team will host both the Conference Semifinal Game Two and the Conference Championship. Game One of the Conference Semifinal ends after 90 minutes ... If teams tied on aggregate after Game Two, 30-minute, golden-goal overtime period follows (played in two equal 15-minute halves), then by penalty kicks (if necessary) to determine Series winner ... Higher seed holds home-field advantage for Game Two ... Conference Championship Games and MLS Cup 2004, if tied after 90 minutes, determined by 30-minute, golden-goal overtime (two equal halves) ... If neither team scores during that time, the series will be decided via penalty kick shootout held according to FIFA regulations.

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 today's Honda Symposium in Los Angeles. Donovan was selected along with DaMarcus Beasley (22) and Carlos Bocanegra (25) by 204 sports journalists across the country. 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 http://www.LaRadioDelMundial.com.

OT in the Playoffs

The San Jose Earthquakes have been involved in four overtime games in their postseason history and the team is a perfect 4-0-0 in those matches. In 2001, the Quakes won two straight overtime games to win the MLS Cup. They defeated the Miami Fusion 1-0 on Oct. 17 in the MLS Cup Playoff Semifinals in Game 3 and then won the MLS Cup Final 2-1 in overtime over the Galaxy. Last season, the Quakes pulled off two OT wins also, defeating the Galaxy 5-2 in overtime in Game Two of their Western Conference Semifinal series to win the series 5-4 on total goals. The Quakes then defeated Kansas City 3-2 in overtime in the Western Conference Championship.

Quakes Announce 2004 Award Winners

The Earthquakes announced their 2004 Season Award winners prior to Sunday's 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.

Playoff Games At Spartan Stadium

The Earthquakes have been at the top of their game at home in the playoffs. Since 1996, the Quakes have posted a 6-1 record at Spartan Stadium and outscored opponents 19-6 in those six games.

Road Playoff Games

The Earthquakes have a struggled a bit on the road in the playoffs, compiling a 2-5 postseason record away from Spartan Stadium. 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.

Slim Losses

In all but one of their nine losses this year, the Earthquakes have only lost by one goal. The only game decided by more than one goal was on July 10 against the MetroStars in a 2-0 loss in which the Quakes conceded a penalty kick goal in second half injury time. However, forwards Landon Donovan and Brian Ching, the teams leading scorers, missed the game while traveling with the U.S. National Team. The Quakes own a 2-9-0 record in one-goal games.

Donovan Continues Playoff Performance

In his fourth trip to the MLS Cup Playoffs, Landon Donovan continued his incredible postseason play. Donovan registered an assist on the Quakes first goal, now giving him six assists in 13 playoff games and a total of 26 playoff points including 10 goals. Donovan is currently fifth all-time in points (26), second in goals (10) and second 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.

Waibel Finds A Way

Earthquakes defender Craig Waibel scored his first MLS postseason goal on Sunday, hammering home a corner kick from Jeff Agoos in the 52nd minute to give San Jose a 2-0 lead. In his tenth postseason game, Waibel scored just his second career MLS goal. Waibel scored his first career MLS goal earlier this season, when he scored on May 8 against the MetroStars.

Mulrooney Out

Earthquakes midfielder Richard Mulrooney was unavailable for the Quakes on Sunday in Game One of the Western Conference Semifinals due to personal reasons. Mulrooney's status for Game Two is undecided at this time. Mulrooney was the only member of the San Jose roster who started and played 90 minutes in all 30 games for the Quakes in 2004. He tied for first in MLS in minutes played with three other players. In his 2,700 minutes of play, Mulrooney scored one goal and notched eight assists for ten points, which was the fifth highest point total on the Quakes.

De Ro Strikes Again, Break Through At Spartan Stadium

Earthquakes forward Dwayne De Rosario made his third postseason start on Sunday and came through with the first goal of the game for the Quakes. It was De Rosario's first playoff goal since 2001, when he scored the game-wining golden goal in the MLS Cup Championship game against the Los Angeles Galaxy. The goal was the first for the Quakes at Spartan Stadium since Aug. 21, a 3-0 win over the Burn. The Quakes had been held scoreless for four straight games at home before breaking out with two goals vs. the Wizards.

Onstad On In The Playoffs

Earthquakes goalkeeper Pat Onstad upped his record to 4-1 in the MLS Playoffs and recorded his first career postseason shutout on Sunday against the Wizards. Onstad made two saves as the Wizards only managed five shots in the game.

Brown Joins Postseason Party

Earthquakes midfielder Chris Brown made his first playoff appearance for the club on Sunday, coming on as a late substitute for Ian Russell. It was Brown's 11th career postseason game, but first since 2002, when he scored a goal and registered two assists for the Wizards in the 2002 playoffs.

Ching Shoots For Record

Quakes forward Brian Ching appeared in his first playoff game for the club, after missing the postseason in 2003 due to a ruptured right Achilles tendon. Ching played in just his third career playoff game on Sunday, and tied an Earthquakes playoff record with his three shots on goal. Ching had previously played just six playoff minutes, all with the Los Angeles Galaxy in 2001.

Getting Physical

The Earthquakes set a club playoff record with 24 fouls committed on Sunday against the Wizards. Two Quakes players received cautions, as Jeff Agoos and Brian Ching led the way with five fouls committed each.

Agoos Experienced

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 (36), games started (36) and minutes played (3287).

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 first in goals per game (1.88) and third in goals against average (1.19).

Playoff Iron Men

During the Quakes playoff runs the past three seasons only three players have played in all 13 playoff matches, Jeff Agoos, Landon Donovan and Ian Russell.

Mulrooney And Donovan Playoff Assist Leaders

Quakes midfielder Richard Mulrooney and Landon Donovan are the club's all-time leaders in playoff assists with six.

Streaking vs. The Wizards

Including the playoffs, the Earthquakes are now unbeaten in nine of their last 11 matches vs. Kansas City, despite dropping a 1-0 decision to the Wizards on Sept. 18 at Arrowhead Stadium. The last time the Wizards won in San Jose was on Aug. 16, 2000 in a 3-0 win.

Top Wizards Players vs. Quakes

Wizards midfielder Preki has scored a total of 31 regular season points against the Quakes in 27 games, but he is injured and out for the playoffs...Josh Wolff has three goals and two assists in 14 career regular season games...Chris Klein has one goal and six assists in 24 career regular season games vs. the Quakes, but he is out injured for the playoffs...Francisco Gomez has one goal and two assists for four points against the Quakes in 18 regular season games.

Donovan Quakes Top Performer vs. Wizards

Earthquakes forward Landon Donovan has dominated the Wizards, scoring six goals and registering two assists in 12 career regular season games...Donovan scored the game-winning goal against Kansas City in the 2003 Western Conference Championship game...Brian Mullan has three goals and three assists in 12 regular season games.

Quakes vs. Wizards History

The Quakes lead the all-time regular season series between the two teams 16-14-5...The Earthquakes eliminated the Wizards in the 2003 Western Conference Championship game in overtime on Nov. 15, 2003 on a Landon Donovan goal...Earthquakes defender Eddie Robinson scored his first career MLS goal against the Wizards on July 27, 2002...Earthquakes midfielder Ramiro Corrales was ejected for the first time in his MLS career against the Wizards on June 20, 1999 while with the MetroStars...Corrales scored the game-winning goal against the Wizards in a 2-1 Quakes win on June 29, 2002... Brian Ching scored his first career goal and notched his first career assist against the Wizards on June 13, 2001 while with the Galaxy...Landon Donovan scored the Quakes first-ever hat trick on Sept. 20, 2003 in a 4-1 win at Arrowhead Stadium.

Earthquakes vs. Wizards Match-Up

The Earthquakes and Wizards split the season series in 2004 1-1-2...The Earthquakes own a 10-4-5 all-time record over the Wizards at Spartan Stadium...Kansas City last won a game at Spartan Stadium on August 16, 2000 in a 3-0 win... Since 1996, San Jose has out-scored Kansas City 45-41 in regular season games...The Earthquakes out-scored the Wizards 6-2 in four regular season games in 2003...The Wizards topped the Quakes in the semifinals of the 2004 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup 1-0 on August 24.

Earthquakes - Kansas City Connections

Earthquakes forward Dwayne De Rosario played for the A-League's Richmond Kickers in 1999 under current Wizards General Manager Curt Johnson, who served as the GM for the Kickers...Kansas City defender Jimmy Conrad played in 84 games in four seasons with San Jose before joining the Wizards in a trade in January, 2003...Kansas City midfielder Francisco Gomez is from Watsonville, Calif...Earthquakes defender Jeff Agoos and Wizards goalkeeper Tony Meola were teammates at the University of Virginia in the late 80's and were long-time teammates on the U.S. National Team.

Defense Holding Strong

Since the all-star break, the Earthquakes defense has been strong, allowing just nine goals in 13 regular season games and they finished fourth in MLS in fewest goals allowed with 35. The playoffs started off well as the team posted its first postseason shutout since October 17, 2001 vs. the Miami Fusion. The team posted seven shutouts in those final 13regular season games, including four in a row from Aug. 14 - Sept. 4.

Earthquakes In The Community
When: Tuesday, October 26 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm
What: Halloween Heroes
Where: Zeum, San Francisco
Details: Q, Pat Onstad, Troy Dayak, Ronnie Ekelund & Jeff Agoos* will be at Halloween Heroes at the Zeum in San Francisco. Halloween Heroes is the "Ultimate Trick or Treat Party". This event is a fundraiser that benefits the Jr. Giants. For more information, please visit http://www.wenderweis.org/halloween.html.

Quakes Set Unbeaten Streak Record At Home

The Earthquakes set an MLS record with their August 7 win against D.C. United, extending their unbeaten streak at home to 46 games when scoring first. That streak now stands at 47 games after San Jose's win over the Dallas Burn on August 21. It started on April 3, 1999.

Halftime Success

If the Earthquakes enter the half-time break with the lead, recent history suggests they will keep it. Since the beginning of the 2000 season, the Earthquakes are 43-0-5 in games when leading at the half, including 8-0-1 in 2003 and 7-0-1 in 2004.

Making The First One Count

The Earthquakes were 25-2-2 in 2001 and 2002 when finding the back of the net first. The Quakes only gave up leads two times in 2002, losing 2-1 to Los Angeles on July 4 and falling 2-1 to Kansas City on July 27. The team continued that trend in 2003, possessing an 11-0-1 mark in the regular season when they scored the first goal. In 2004, the Quakes are 8-1-1 when scoring first, the top mark in MLS. The Quakes gave up their lead to Los Angeles on July 4, 2004 for the first time since July 27, 2002 against Kansas City. Dating back to the 2000 season, the Earthquakes own a 47-3-4 record in their last 54 matches when they score the first goal of the game. The Quakes are also impressive in the playoffs when scoring first, posting a 7-0-0 record.


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