Two teams going in opposite directions of late will meet at Buck Shaw Stadium when the San Jose Earthquakes entertain the Columbus Crew. The Quakes haven’t won in their last four games, pulled back into a draw by a late goal from Vancouver Whitecaps FC at midweek. The Crew haven’t lost since the opening game of the season, coming back for a 1-1 draw last weekend at home against Seattle Sounders FC.
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REFEREE: Jorge Gonzalez. SAR (bench): Greg Barkey; JAR (opposite): Jeff Hosking; 4th: Allen Chapman MLS Career: 57 games; FC/gm: 24.5; Y/gm: 3.4; R: 17; pens: 16
INJURY REPORT: SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES – OUT: MF Simon Dawkins (R/L bilateral fasciotomy); MF Andre Luiz (L knee injury); DF Tim Ward (R hamstring strain) …
COLUMBUS CREW – OUT: MF Danny O'Rourke (L knee surgery); DF Josh Williams (R hip labral tear); FW Santiago Prim (R ankle sprain); QUESTIONABLE: DF Shaun Francis (L hamstring strain)
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: none
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: SJ: Sam Cronin … CLB: Kevin Burns; Julius James
ALL-TIME (33 meetings): Earthquakes 12 wins, 49 goals … Crew 18 wins, 60 goals … Ties 3
AT SAN JOSE (17 meetings): Earthquakes 9 wins, 31 goals … Crew 6 wins, 32 goals … Ties 2
RETURN MATCH: 7/16: Columbus Crew vs. San Jose Earthquakes, 7:30 p.m. ET
LAST YEAR (MLS):
6/2: SJ 2, CLB 2 (Alvarez 6; Wondolowski 79 – Gaven 5; Marshall 70)
10/2: CLB 0, SJ 0
• The teams played to draws in both meetings a season ago, a 2-2 result at Buck Shaw Stadium and a scoreless tie in Columbus.
• The Crew are unbeaten on their last four visits to take on San Jose. The 3-0 victory in 2009 came in the first MLS game played at San Francisco’s Candlestick Park.
• Coaches record: Frank Yallop v CLB: P18 W6 L8 D4 … Robert Warzycha vs. SJ: P5 W2 L1 D2
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES
The San Jose Earthquakes saw their winless run extended to six games in heartbreaking fashion, Vancouver Whitecaps FC scoring a late goal for a 1-1 draw Wednesday at Empire Field. The Quakes have 6 points from 8 games on the season, sitting in ninth place in the Western Conference.
• San Jose broke through in the 39th minute. After Vancouver goalkeeper Jay Nolly did well to save a long-range shot from Brad Ring, Ryan Johnson got to the rebound first and sent the ball back towards goal, finding Wondolowski for a backheel goal from inside the six.
• But seconds after the 90th minute passed, Davide Chiumiento picked up the ball along the right touchline and swung in a left-footed cross toward the back post that somehow snuck through the entire penalty area and beat San Jose goalkeeper Jon Busch inside his right-hand post.
• Earthquakes boss Frank Yallop made five changes to the team that lost 1-0 to Philadelphia Union at PPL Park. In came Steven Beitashour, Ike Opara, Ramiro Corrales, Sam Cronin and Ryan Johnson, replacing Chris Leitch, Jason Hernandez, Justin Morrow, Anthony Ampaipitakwong and Brandon McDonald.
• SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES (4-1-3-2): Jon Busch - Steven Beitashour, Ike Opara, Bobby Burling, Ramiro Corrales - Brad Ring - Scott Sealy (Khari Stephenson 64), Sam Cronin, Ryan Johnson - Chris Wondolowski, Steven Lenhart.
• While the Earthquakes were able to come away with a point and end a three-game losing run, they thought they were going to take the full three points and leapfrog over Vancouver in the Western Conference table.
• "[I'm] very disappointed we didn't come away with three points tonight," said Quakes head coach Frank Yallop. "I told the guys in there that in a game like that, you've just to go put the second one in. I think we had chances do that. ... I think to get that second one would've sealed the match. But we let it slip away. It's disappointing."
• Chris Wondolowski is showing no signs that his 2010 season was an anomaly – he has four goals on the season, two behind MLS leader Charlie Davies, and the majority of the seven goals the Quakes have scored.
• After two games coming off the substitutes’ bench, Ryan Johnson returned to the lineup and created the Earthquakes goal, his first assist of the season.
• “I think Ryan Johnson was good tonight, he played wide left and I thought he had some good chances to score,” Yallop said.
• It’s now three games in a row without a win on the road for the Quakes – but they also have yet to win at home this season, the only team still without a home victory this year (Sporting KC still have yet to play at home, while their new stadium is being completed).
• “They are at home and pushing guys forward trying to put us on their heels and at the same time weathering the storm trying to bunker in,” defender Bobby Burling said. “We are on the road, trying to get a road win which is tough in this league, and as shown tonight, it comes down to the last minute and nothing is ever certain.”
• After scoring four goals over two games March 26-April 2, the Quakes have managed just three goals over their last five games.
• "The thing about it, each game you go into, you can win and you can lose," said Yallop. "You have to be positive. (In Vancouver) we could've had three points, but we didn't get them so we can't harp on it now. We've just got to get ready for our next game."
The Columbus Crew extended their unbeaten run to seven matches, coming back for a 1-1 draw with Seattle Sounders FC on Saturday evening at Crew Stadium. The Crew have 13 points from 8 games on the season, starting the week in a tie for second place in the Eastern Conference.
• Sounders FC took the lead after seven minutes. Erik Friberg flighted in a cross from 35 yards out on the right to the center of the box, where Fredy Montero slipped between Crew defenders Chad Marshall and Julius James and flicked a header past goalkeeper William Hesmer.
• But the Crew pulled level after the break, again from the penalty spot. Referee Mark Kadlecik ruled Patrick Ianni pulled down Chad Marshall on a corner kick, and Emilio Rentería sent the resulting spot down the middle for the equalizer.
• Crew head coach Robert Warzycha made one change to the team that held on for a 2-1 win against Vancouver Whitecaps FC at Crew Stadium. Rich Balchan returned for Josh Gardner at fullback.
• COLUMBUS CREW (4-4-1-1): William Hesmer - Sebastian Miranda, Chad Marshall, Julius James, Rich Balchan - Eddie Gaven, Kevin Burns (Emmanuel Ekpo 73), Dejan Rusmir, Robbie Rogers - Dilly Duka (Andres Mendoza 61) - Emilio Renteria.
• Emilio Renteria has scored the last four goals for the Crew, over the last three games, as the club has extended its unbeaten streak to seven games.
• Renteria’s goal was his second from a penalty kick, and the fourth for the Crew this season out of eight total goals. The four penalty kicks lead MLS, one more than D.C. United; only Seattle Sounders FC (with two) have also scored more than once from the spot.
• “We started the game pretty well. We had good balance,” Crew coach Robert Warzycha said. “The second half it was a different game. We pushed for the goal. We got one and almost had another one. We didn’t get lucky.”
• Warzycha has continued to search for the right tactical scheme. After using Eddie Gaven as an underneath striker, Dilly Duka performed in the role against Seattle, with Warzycha going to a twin-striker set-up for the final half-hour with the addition of Andres Mendoza.
• “I think we had the most chances we had since the beginning of the season in the last 30 minutes,” Renteria said. “It would have been nice to get the three points but I am happy with the point all things considered.”
• The Crew still have not scored a goal in the first half this season. The MLS record for failing to score in the first half from the start of a season is nine games, set by the Houston Dynamo in 2009. The all-time MLS record for consecutive games failing to score in the first half is 15 games, set by New England (2007-08).
• “The most important thing is the result,” Warzycha said. “You play for 90 minutes, so obviously we’d like to score first, whether it is the first half or the second half. But the result is over 90 minutes.”
• While the Crew allowed a goal for a third consecutive game, they still have not allowed more than one in any contest since the season-opening 3-1 loss to D.C. United.
• “I think in the first half we were getting beat to a lot of 50-50 balls. In the second half, we were a lot sharper we were winning more balls especially in higher spots on the field and I think that is what made the difference,” said fullback Rich Balchan.