but disheartening -- refrain for the Earthquakes. The Fire took the lead in the 58th minute when a Justin Mapp cross on the left intended for Nate Jaqua was headed over San Jose goalkeeper Pat Onstad by teammate Craig Waibel for an own goal.
But the Quakes drew level with seven minutes left through some hard work. Ronald Cerritos found Brian Ching in the penalty area, and after he was bundled over to the turf, he somehow managed to shield the ball before rising and slipping a nifty little pass to substitute Alejandro Moreno, who drove the ball under Fire 'keeper Matt Pickens.
Yet there was one more bit of late magic: Substitute Chad Barrett jinked his way down the right flank before driving a low cross into the heart of the six-yard box where Thiago slid in to poke the ball past Onstad for the match-winner (91+).
It was the third time in three games the Quakes saw points lost after a late goal, after two second-half goals canceled a two-goal lead in their opener against New England, and a stoppage-time equalizer gave Chivas USA a 3-3 draw a week later.
Earthquakes boss Dominic Kinnear made one change to the team that tied Chivas USA 3-3 a week earlier at home, Eddie Robinson returning from suspension to central defense in place of Ryan Cochrane.
Here's Kinnear's team (4-4-2): Pat Onstad - Craig Waibel (Alejandro Moreno 77), Troy Dayak, Eddie Robinson, Wade Barrett - Brian Mullan, Ricardo Clark (Dwayne De Rosario 70), Danny O'Rourke, Brad Davis - Brian Ching, Ronald Cerritos
"I'm disappointed,'' Earthquakes head coach Dominic Kinnear said. "I'm disappointed for the guys. I'm a little bit numb the way the game finished up.''
The Quakes have now allowed seven goals in their first three games, an uncharacteristic run for a team known for its tight defense. "It just seems we're getting punished for every mistake we make,'' goalkeeper Pat Onstad said. ``We played a pretty good road game Saturday and we made three, four mistakes. We got punished for two.''
Said Kinnear: "Chicago came out with a lot of fire. They were putting the ball in dangerous areas, but we defended well. Pat had only one really good save in the first half.''
Striker Brian Ching underwent surgery Monday to repair a fracture in the middle finger of his right hand. He is expected to return to full training Thursday and should be available for the Kansas City match.
KANSAS CITY WIZARDS
The Kansas City Wizards came off their off week with a trip to New Jersey, and after taking an early lead saw the MetroStars bounce back to claim a 2-2 draw at Giants Stadium last Saturday. The draw left the still-unbeaten Wizards with four points from their two matches, one of four teams with four points in the Eastern Conference, two behind the Columbus Crew and two ahead of the MetroStars.
The Wizards jumped out to an early lead but again allowed a pair of goals as the MetroStars came back to claim a share of the spoils.
Jack Jewsbury scored his second goal in as many games to give the Wizards a 20th-minute lead, neatly turning home the deflection of a Davy Arnaud shot that hit a defender in front of goal. Then 11 minutes later Chris Klein doubled the advantage when he finished off a lovely passing sequence by hammering home a low drive over Metro goalkeeper Zach Wells from inside the area.
But Sergio Galvan Rey scored two goals -- after scoring two all of last season -- to pull the MetroStars all the way back. He hit for his first just before the halftime break, John Wolyniec slipping a square pass inside the box for the Colombian to drive past Bo Oshoniyi (43).
Then on the hour, Galvan Rey hit again, with Wolyniec again the provider. He ran down a long ball from the center circle from Youri Djokaeff -- who made his MLS debut -- and after holding off a defender in the penalty area laid it back for the oncoming Galvan Rey, who made no mistake with his low finish.
Wizards head coach Bob Gansler made one change to the team that defeated the Colorado Rapids 3-2 two weeks earlier in the season opener. Sasha Victorine was out with a hamstring injury, meaning Alex Zotinca came in on the right of the back four.
Here's Gansler's team (4-4-2): Bo Oshoniyi - Alex Zotinca, Jimmy Conrad, Nick Garcia, Jose Burciaga Jr. - Chris Klein, Diego Gutierrez, Kerry Zavagnin, Jack Jewsbury (Scott Sealy 70) - Josh Wolff, Davy Arnaud
It was a second consecutive week of allowing two goals for the Wizards, who had the league's best defensive record a year ago. "For us to be averaging two goals against, it's not acceptable," Gansler said. "We don't put anybody on a platform, and we don't throw anybody on the bus.Quite often, the best way to defend is to continue the attack."
INJURIES & SUSPENSIONS
After missing out last weekend with a hamstring injury, Sasha Victorine said he could be available to play this weekend in San Jose. He did not even make the trip to New Jersey. "I've made progress since last week," Victorine said. "Last week, I was pushing too hard to get back and had a setback. I've been working twice a day this week getting treatment and running."
41-year-old Preki played the entire match for the Wizards reserve side in their scoreless draw against the MetroStars on Sunday morning. "I needed minutes," said Preki. "I needed game fitness. I'm always looking for a game. I feel good, ready to play. Hopefully, I'll get my chance."
Midfielder Diego Gutierrez was held out of full training during the week after suffering a collision with Michael Bradley during the MetroStars match. "My right side, from my waist to mid-shoulder, is pretty sore," Gutierrez said. "It's all soft tissue. I just have to wait a couple days, let all the soreness work itself out. Coach just decided to keep me away from contact, give me another day to recover. You know, it takes a little longer when you're 32," he told The Kansas City Star."