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SAN JOSE, Calif.
7:30 pm PT (HDNet; FSN-SW)
A pair of teams who are in danger of losing contact with the top of the Western Conference come together searching for a vital three points at Spartan Stadium. The San Jose Earthquakes haven't won in three matches after winning three of four games, and have sunk to fourth place in the West. The Dallas Burn also haven't won in three games after a modest two-game winning streak, and have fallen to last place in the conference, though they are trailing the Quakes by just a point in the battle for the last playoff spot.
REFEREE: Hector Tobon. SAR (bench): Craig Lowry; JAR (opposite): Chip Reed; 4th: Ricardo Valenzuela
MLS Career: 4 games; FC/gm: 27.3; Y/gm: 3.7; R: 1; pens: 1
Games involving Earthquakes: first game
Games involving Burn: P1 W0 L1 T0; FC/gm: 17.0; Y/gm: 2.0; R: 0; pens: 0
INJURY REPORT: SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES - OUT: DF Chris Roner (R ankle surgery); DF Eddie Robinson (L hamstring rupture); DOUBTFUL:DF Troy Dayak (upper back sprain); QUESTIONABLE: FW Jamil Walker (R ankle sprain); DF Jeff Agoos (R calf strain); PROBABLE: MD Ramiro Corrales (R knee sprain); DF Craig Waibel (R quadriceps contusion). ... DALLAS BURN - OUT: FW Bobby Rhine (R knee MCL sprain); GK Scott Garlick (R ankle sprain); FW Eddie Johnson (L ankle sprain); DOUBTFUL: MD Oscar Pareja (groin strain)
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none
SUSPENDED: SJ: Brian Mullan (through July 7) ... DAL: Jason Kreis (through July 7)
YELLOW PERIL: SJ: Landon Donovan (9 CP in 2 gms) ... DAL: Chris Gbandi (20 CP); Simo Valakari (16 CP)
ALL-TIME (29 meetings): Earthquakes 13 wins (4 shootout), 52 goals ... Burn 16 wins (3 shootout), 33 goals ... 0 draws
AT SPARTAN STADIUM (14 meetings): Earthquakes 10 wins (4 shootout), 30 goals ... Burn 4 wins (2 shootout), 13 goals ... 0 draws
The teams play in the second of their four meetings this season, the first in San Jose. They'll meet next on Aug. 21 at Spartan Stadium before playing for the second time at the Cotton Bowl on the final day of the regular season (Oct. 16).
The Earthquakes won 2-1 at the Cotton Bowl on May 15 in their first meeting this season, scoring two opportunistic goals then riding the goalkeeping of Pat Onstad to escape with a victory.
Landon Donovan potted a rebound (13) to give San Jose the lead, after Brian Mullan hit the post with only Burn 'keeper Scott Garlick to beat from close range. Then in first-half stoppage time, Brian Ching got in front of a defender to stab home a Mullan cross from the right corner to double the lead at the break.
Eddie Johnson got free for a clear header on a Bobby Rhine cross from the right flank at the three-quarter mark (66) to pull a goal back for the home side, but they could get no more past Onstad, who recorded 10 saves on the night.
Here's Colin Clarke's team (4-4-2): Scott Garlick - Philip Salyer, Matt Behncke, Steve Jolley, Chris Gbandi (Jason Kreis 60) - Ronnie O'Brien, Simo Valakari, Brad Davis (Ramon Nunez 85), Eric Quill (Oscar Pareja 60) - Eddie Johnson, Bobby Rhine.
Earthquakes coach Dominic Kinnear put out this team (4-4-2): Pat Onstad - Wes Hart, Ryan Cochrane, Jeff Agoos, Ramiro Corrales - Brian Mullan, Richard Mulrooney, Ronnie Ekelund (Dwayne De Rosario 67), Chris Brown (Ian Russell 44) - Brian Ching, Landon Donovan
A year ago, the Earthquakes won all four meetings, the first time one club had swept the season series. A late winner gave the 'Quakes a 2-1 victory on June 14 at Dragon Stadium (Kreis 25 - Mullan 49, Alvarez 87), then San Jose won 3-0 at home on July 26 (Mullan 25, Lagos 37, Agoos 90 pen).
The Earthquakes won again by a 3-0 scoreline in Southlake on Aug. 13 (Ching 11; Donovan 23, 44), then they won 5-2 at Spartan Stadium on Sept. 27 (DeRosario 1, 11, 48; Donovan 24, 35 - Hendrickson 8, Curtis 14).
The Earthquakes have now won seven consecutive meetings between the two teams (including the final two of the 2002 season), and they've won nine of the last 10.
Six of the last 10 San Jose victories have been by shutout, and in two of those victories, the 'Quakes have scored five goals (Apr. 22, 2000: SJ 5, DAL 0; Sept. 27, 2003: SJ 5, DAL 2).
Jason Kreis leads the Burn's all-time scoring leaders against San Jose with 6 goals, 4 assists. The only other current Burn player with more than one goal is Bobby Rhine (3 goals); Oscar Pareja also has 3 assists.
Landon Donovan leads current Earthquakes players with 8 goals, 3 assists against Dallas; he's tied with Ronald Cerritos atop the club's all-time list v Dallas. Dwayne DeRosario also has 7 goals (and 1 assist). Jeff Agoos and Brian Mullan have scored 3 goals against the Burn; while in San Jose, Agoos has 1 goal, 1 assist, while Mullan has 2 goals, 4 assists.
Coaches record: Dominic Kinnear vs. DAL: P1 W1 L0 D0 ... Colin Clarke v SJ: P2 W0 L2 D0
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES
The San Jose Earthquakes lost for just the second time in more than two months, but still saw their winless streak run to three matches in a ill-tempered 2-1 loss to the Los Angeles Galaxy at The Home Depot Center on Sunday night. The Earthquakes fell to fourth place in the Western Conference with 17 points from 13 matches, now four points behind the third-place Colorado Rapids and a full 10 points out of first place.
The Galaxy took over top billing in the West in a game that saw Carlos Ruiz return to league play with a double - and referee Kevin Stott hand out nine bookings, including sending off San Jose's Brian Mullan with seven minutes remaining for a second yellow card.
Dwayne DeRosario slotted home in the 41st minute after the Galaxy failed to clear their end on a number of occasions, but Ruiz pulled the home side four minutes later when he bundled over a corner kick from almost on the goal line. Ruiz then finished off a flowing counterattack 10 minutes after the restart, side-footing home from the heart of the area to provide the margin of victory.
After Mullan was sent off the Galaxy desperately held on, Craig Waibel seemingly hitting for the equalizer only for substitute Ricky Lewis to clear off the line.
Earthquakes coach Dominic Kinnear made just one change to the team that played to a 1-1 draw against the Kansas City Wizards at home the previous weekend. Arturo Alvarez came in on the left side of midfield for Brian Mullan.
Here's Kinnear's team (4-3-1-2): Pat Onstad, Wes Hart (Ronnie Ekelund 72), Ryan Cochrane, Craig Waibel, Ramiro Corrales, Brian Mullan, Richard Mulrooney, Arturo Alvarez (Ian Russell 62) - Landon Donovan - Dwayne De Rosario, Brian Ching.
There was considerable consternation over Mullan's second booking, for a foul on Carlos Ruiz. ''I think he's a cheater,'' said defender Craig Waibel, who played on the Galaxy in 2001. ''I was able to overlook what he did when I was on his team. But I'm pretty much close to losing most of my respect for him.''
And Landon Donovan entered into the fray, walking over to Ruiz while he was on the ground after the Mullan challenge, the Guatemalan international pushing him twice. "It's amazing how hurt he was and yet he was still able to roll over and hit someone," Donovan said. "I was standing right there by the play and everyone in the stadium saw that but one guy."
Ruiz called Donovan his friend after the match but added: "He's a great player but there are certain things he doesn't realize that he does that bothers some people. That play involved a clear foul on (Mullan's) part."
The Earthquakes are expected to have captain Jeff Agoos again available, after he's missed two matches - one through suspension and the Galaxy match through a calf strain.
The Dallas Burn saw their four-game unbeaten run come to an abrupt end, ripped apart for four goals in the second half in a 5-1 loss to the Kansas City Wizards at Arrowhead Stadium. Now winless for the last three matches, the Burn fell to last place in the Western Conference with 16 points from 13 matches, a point behind the San Jose Earthquakes for fourth and now 11 points adrift of the Los Angeles Galaxy.
Davy Arnaud hit for his first career hat trick as the Kansas City Wizards scored four goals over the final 18 minutes against a 10-man Dallas Burn.
Arnaud rifled the Wizards into the lead in the 22nd minute, finishing off a lethal counterattack from just inside the area. Jason Kreis then scored the 90th goal of his MLS career, neatly scoring after a turn left his marker in his wake to equalize for the visitors.
But then just before the half Kreis was sent off by referee Richard Heron after appearing to elbow Kerry Zavagnin, and though it took a while, the Wizards took full advantage. Chris Klein hit the back of the net with a 20-yard rocket (72), then three minutes later Josh Wolff headed home to finish off a goalmouth scramble.
Arnaud then got the Wizards' fourth in the 79th minute, dribbling around a pair of defenders at the top of the box before slipping a low past Burn 'keeper Jeff Cassar, before finishing off his night with another fine low strike off a solo after taking advantage of a poor clearance (90).
"It's always difficult to play a man down," Dallas coach Colin Clarke said. "But we always felt that we could get something going the other way, even with nine men."
Clarke made two changes to the team that drew 1-1 at home with D.C. United the previous Saturday. Simo Valakari returned from suspension, coming in for Oscar Pareja in the center of midfield. Eric Quill came in on the left side of midfield for Brad Davis.
Here's Clarke's team (4-4-2): Jeff Cassar - Philip Salyer (Brad Davis 76), Cory Gibbs, Steve Jolley, Chris Gbandi - Ronnie O'Brien, Carey Talley, Simo Valakari (Ramon Nunez 84), Eric Quill (Milton Reyes 67) - Jason Kreis, Toni Nhleko.
The four-goal burst came just after Wizards 'keeper Tony Meola saved a deflected shot from Toni Nhleko. "The first 20 minutes of the second half, we really possessed the ball," Burn defender Steve Jolley said. "We had our one chance, and unfortunately we didn't capitalize on it. And then the rest of it was kind of fatigue."
With Kreis sent off, Clarke will have some real selection issues this weekend. Bobby Rhine is a week or two away from returning, and Eddie Johnson could be out for the next month. That leaves Nhleko and Jason Thompson as the only true out-and-out strikers in the squad, though Thompson has also been regularly fighting injuries and has not made a league appearance this season.
"It won't be difficult [to turn it around]," Clarke said. "We pick ourselves up and give it everything we've got. We're just getting short of forwards at the moment."
Before he was sent off, Kreis scored for the fourth consecutive week in raising his all-time record MLS goal-scoring total. That's one game shy of the Dallas Burn club record, a share of which he holds (last equaled in 2002).