Quakes notes: A must-win game

After the Fourth of July holiday weekend, the San Jose Earthquakes returned to the practice field at Spartan Stadium on Tuesday in preparation for Wednesday night's match against the Dallas Burn.

The Earthquakes fell to the Los Angeles Galaxy on Sunday in what Earthquakes forward Dwayne De Rosario described as a "scrappy game" that quickly got overly physical. With the 2-1 loss to the Galaxy, the Earthquakes now sit in fourth place in the Western Conference with a 4-4-5 record.

Coming off the tough loss to archrival Los Angeles, the Quakes are determined to get three points over Dallas on Wednesday. Just one point away from the bottom of the Western Conference standings, San Jose is in dire need of a win Wednesday night when they take on the last-place Burn at 7:30 p.m. PT at Spartan Stadium.

"This is a huge game against Dallas," said De Rosario. "It's like playing in a Cup final right now. Unfortunately, we lost against Los Angeles, but that game is done with. Dallas is definitely our main focus now. We have to win that game and get three points tomorrow. We don't deserve to be in fourth place. The whole team will be going out there to get the win."

The Quakes hope their recent success against the Dallas Burn will continue during Wednesday night's game. San Jose has dominated the season series against the Burn with an all-time record of 17-12 and they are currently on a seven-game winning streak over the Texas team. In the last 10 meetings between the two teams, the Earthquakes have outscored the Burn 27-7. Another advantage for the Quakes is they are playing at Spartan Stadium, where they remain unbeaten in 2004 with a 2-0-4 record and have scored 13 goals in the past four home games. The Quakes have not lost at home to Dallas since April 14, 2001. Despite all of the past success against the Burn, De Rosario says the past will "most definitely not" influence the match-up on Wednesday.

"We have to go into the game against Dallas with a mentality that they have more wins than us," said the Quakes forward. "We have to think that they have beaten us seven games and we haven't won, instead of the other way around. We need to start grinding our teeth against other teams. The only way we can go into this game right now is by getting hungry to win."

Watch the fired-up Quakes in their quest to move up in the standings when they take on the Burn on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. at Spartan Stadium, or follow the game live on the radio on 1590 KLIV (English) or 1370 AM KZSF (Spanish). It will be an intense and passionate match as the Quakes try to rebound and reclaim their prominence in the Western Conference standings.

Donovan, De Rosario on fire against Burn
Midfielder Landon Donovan has been a leader in the Earthquakes seven-game winning streak against the Dallas Burn. Donovan has scored at least one goal in his last five games against Dallas, with a total of seven goals and three assists for a career total of 17 points vs. the Burn. The last time Donovan did not record a point against Dallas was on July 13, 2002.

De Rosario has also led the Quakes in their success against Dallas. He has scored seven goals over the last seven games vs. the Burn for a career total of seven goals and one assist for 15 points against Dallas.

"Really? I have seven goals in the last seven games?" laughed De Rosario. "I'll try to make it eight or nine tomorrow. I guess things just tend to go my way when I play against them, so hopefully they'll fall that way again tomorrow."

The match-up against Dallas on September 27, 2003, was a huge game for both Donovan and De Rosario, where the two combined for a total of five goals. Donovan scored twice in the first half, while De Rosario registered a hat trick for the Earthquakes, as well as scoring the fastest goal in the history of MLS just 11 seconds into the game.

Ronér visits practice
Injured Earthquakes player Chris Ronér visited Spartan Stadium during practice on Tuesday. The defender/midfielder was placed on the injured reserve for the entire season after undergoing allograft surgery on his right ankle during the offseason. Despite the long recovery process, the outlook looks good for Ronér, who just began rehabilitation this week.

"Even though it just started two days ago, rehab is coming along fine," said Ronér. "My ankle is feeling pretty good. The doctor says my recovery is looking positive, so I'm excited about that."

The Quakes defender and midfielder has spent his recovery time off the field working part-time for an advertising company. Ronér should only have to wear a boot on his right foot for one more week, and then he should be able to start walking normally.

Ronér's recovery looks like it is on schedule and he is excited to eventually begin running so he can begin getting back into shape for the 2005 season.

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