Early Sunday, a medium-sized earthquake jolted southern California. As it turned out, it was not the only tremor to cause little damage in the region. Chivas USA battled back against the visiting San Jose Earthquakes and finished with a 1-1 draw against their intrastate rivals.
Alejandro Moreno scored in the 45th minute for San Jose but Chivas USA's Ezra Hendrickson answered with a 66th-minute goal, helping the Red-and-White earn just their sixth point of the season.
Chivas USA boss Hans Westerhof gave the starting goalkeeper nod to rookie Brad Guzan and sent veteran Martin Zuniga to the bench. In four starts, Zuniga surrendered 13 goals. Guzan, meanwhile, had turned around his shaky start and had allowed five goals in his last four matches before then-coach Thomas Rongen sat the Illinois product in favor of the Mexican veteran.
The club also got a boost from the return of Costa Rican international Douglas Sequeira, who manned the midfield along with team captain Ramon Ramirez. Francisco Mendoza also got the starting nod for the first time in the last three games, while heading to the bench were Hector Cuadros and Francisco Gomez.
Chivas USA came out in its standard attacking mode and had the game's first clear scoring chance. Thiago Martins launched a good opportunity well over the crossbar just six minutes in. The slippery Mendoza floated into the left side of the penalty area and slid a well-placed ball in front of the goal, and Martins slid but his point-blank shot at a wide-open goal rocketed over the crossbar.
San Jose tested Guzan in the 18th minute and the rookie stood firm. Alejandro Moreno's close-range header fell to the ground in front of a sliding Ronald Cerritos but Guzan calmly scooped up the ball.
On their next trip into San Jose's defensive third, Mendoza found some space. Instead of unloading a 15-yard shot, however, Mendoza tried to shake his way past a pair of San Jose defenders but the defensive pressure overcame him and he fell harmlessly to the turf. Antonio Martinez ran onto a loose ball and fired a shot on goal but San Jose's Pat Onstad made the save.
Guzan again came up big in the 22nd minute. With San Jose on a counterattack, Mark Chung found space on the left side of the field. He deftly passed the ball to the center of the penalty area where Cerritos ran onto it. The Salvadoran's first-touch shot was stopped by Guzan and the counterattack was thwarted.
Mendoza caused problems for San Jose throughout the first half. In the 28th minute, Mendoza again found space on the left flank and ripped a shot from the corner of the penalty area. The blast however grazed the crossbar.
Guzan continued to shine. In the 39th minute, Brad Davis found space some 40 yards out. He sent Cerritos on what appeared to be a wide-open run inside the penalty area. But Guzan charged off his line, and when Cerritos turned around to shoot, the 6-foot-4 goalkeeper had shut off every angle and blocked Cerritos' shot. On the ensuing corner kick, Guzan punched the ball clear.
At the tail end of the first half, however, Guzan proved to be human. San Jose's Dwayne De Rosario chipped a pass from the center circle over Chivas USA's Sequeira and Armando Begines into Moreno's path. The former Galaxy striker ran into the area alone and slotted the shot into the right corner of the goal.
After the restart, Chivas USA and Isaac Romo had a bit of bad luck in the 53rd minute. His point-blank header rattled the woodwork after Romo had beaten Onstad to the far post.
Mendoza continued to create scoring chances for Chivas USA. In the 64th minute, the diminutive midfielder drew a foul just outside for San Jose's penalty area. Cuadros, who came on for Martinez two minutes earlier, then banged the 23-yard free kick off the crossbar.
The Chivas persistence finally paid off in the 66th minute. Mendoza took the ball on the left flank and found Ramirez open in the middle of the field. Ramirez dribbled right, then cut back to his left and beat Ricardo Clark to the penalty area. He sent a cross to the opposite side of the area. Hendrickson slammed his shot past a helpless Onstad.
With just under 20 minutes remaining, Chivas USA sacrificed some defense for a little offense. Westerhof took out defender Ryan Suarez in favor of Arturo Torres. The move nearly paid instant dividends for San Jose, who took advantage of Suarez's absence and pieced together some passes and got near the goal. However, the Earthquakes attackers could not get off a shot on goal.
De Rosario nearly gave the visitors a late game-winner but Guzan stopped the Canadian international's 15-yard rocket. Then, in the 90th minute, Guzan again kept the score even when he plucked Julian Nash's 18-yard blast out of midair.
In stoppage time, Mendoza nearly set up the game-winner but a cross from the left side to the far post was sent wide by Romo even though Martins appeared to have had a better angle on the shot.
San Jose's apparent stoppage-time game-winner was disallowed after De Rosario was called offside. He buried a shot off Moreno's cross but the linesman ruled the midfielder offside.
MLSnet.com Man of the Match: Brad Guzan (CD Chivas USA)
Luis Bueno is a contirbutor to MLSnet.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.
San Jose Earthquakes (3-3-5) vs. CD Chivas USA (1-9-2)
June 12, 2005 -- The Home Depot Center
SJ -- Alejandro Moreno 4 (Dwayne De Rosario 5) 45
CHV -- Ezra Hendrickson 2 (Ramon Ramirez 4) 66
San Jose Earthquakes -- Pat Onstad, Chris Aloisi, Danny Califf, Eddie Robinson (Ryan Cochrane 75), Wade Barrett, Mark Chung (Julian Nash 76), Ricardo Clark, Dwayne De Rosario, Brad Davis, Ronald Cerritos (Wes Hart 81), Alejandro Moreno.
Substitutes Not Used: Jon Conway, Danny O'Rourke.
TOTAL SHOTS: 15 (3 tied with 3); SHOTS ON GOAL: 8 (Ronald Cerritos 3); FOULS: 19 (Chris Aloisi 5); OFFSIDES: 3 (3 tied with 1); CORNER KICKS: 3 (Brad Davis 2); SAVES: 2 (Pat Onstad 2)
CD Chivas USA -- Brad Guzan, Alfonso Loera, Ryan Suarez (Arturo Torres 76), Armando Begines, Ezra Hendrickson, Ramon Ramirez (Orlando Perez 84), Douglas Sequeira, Antonio Martinez (Hector Cuadros 61), Francisco Mendoza, Isaac Romo, Thiago Martins.
Substitutes Not Used: Francisco Gomez, Aaron Lopez, Matt Taylor, Martin Zuniga.
TOTAL SHOTS: 13 (Ezra Hendrickson 3, Thiago Martins 3); SHOTS ON GOAL: 3 (3 tied with 1); FOULS: 18 (Alfonso Loera 4); OFFSIDES: 2 (Thiago Martins 1, Isaac Romo 1); CORNER KICKS: 6 (Antonio Martinez 5); SAVES: 7 (Brad Guzan 7)
SJ -- Ricardo Clark (caution; Pushing, Holding) 15
CHV -- Antonio Martinez (caution; Reckless Foul) 32
CHV -- Isaac Romo (caution; Pushing, Holding) 62
SJ -- Chris Aloisi (caution; Tackle from Behind) 63
CHV -- Armando Begines (caution; Pushing, Holding) 70
CHV -- Arturo Torres (caution; Delaying a Restart) 93+
Referee: Michael Kennedy
Referee's Assistants: -Thomas Supple; Jose Corro
4th Official: Baldomero Toledo
All statistics contained in this boxscore are unofficial.