San Jose pushed their consecutive unbeaten streak to 6-0-1 with a 2-0 win against FC Dallas at Pizza Hut Park on goals from Ronald Cerritos and Alejandro Moreno in the second half.
"I thought we moved the ball well and played smartly at the end," said San Jose's head coach Dominic Kinnear. "Ronald's finish was excellent. It was a great ball by [Mark Chung] Chungy and he played a great ball in. He just put something good on it. We all know Ronald is good in the air in the box and he can be elusive and can pull away, it was a great goal, great finish."
Said Cerritos with a smile: "It was a good cross and I had a talk with him [Mark Chung] because I was wide open all the time at the far post. I said, 'Just take one touch and do it. Don't look at me. Just do it,' and he did it.
"For me, it was a special goal because I used to play in Dallas, but for me in the end it was good because the team was fighting hard."
There were short glimpses of FCD controlling the game but all in all the Earthquakes put a stamp on first place and gave the Hoops something to think about.
"What you see from our team is 11 guys working hard for each other and I think that is the reason why we have been successful up to this point," said Kinnear.
Players like Ricardo Clark played key roles, as he had to step up his play with Dwayne De Rosario away with the Canadian national team.
"I usually play in the defensive midfield role, but today with Dwayne De Rosario gone I had to push up a little bit," said Clark. "I got to create some more chances and be a little more dangerous. I created a couple of chances and should have finished a couple of them, but our forwards took care of that and we got the win."
Even though San Jose is the first team to clinch a playoff spot, the team continues to surge forward and build off every opportunity to improve the team.
"If you look at it points wise, we have a good little lead here, but there are still seven games left and 21 points available and a lot of them are in-conference games," Kinnear said. "We play Dallas again and L.A. again, so we are happy where we are but there is no way can we sit and be content. We have to continue to keep doing what we are doing."
Ron Goode is a contributor to MLSnet.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.