Ritchie Kotschau

Rapids close out stay in Ecuador

The Colorado Rapids closed out their preseason trip to South America Tuesday in Babahoyo, Ecuador with a 2-1 loss to Emelec, a team the Rapids played to a scoreless draw nearly two weeks ago.

The Rapids led 1-0 at the half Tuesday thanks to rookie defender Guy Melamed. The former Israeli youth national team player joined the fray on a corner kick in the 18th minute and headed a goal into the upper right corner to give the Black-and-Blue the early lead.

Emelec, however, came back with two goals in a 16-minute span in the second half to reverse the Rapids' advantage. The first goal came in the 70th minute, when a miscommunication between Rapids defender Nat Borchers and goalkeeper Byron Foss led to an own goal. A well-placed shot to the far post beat Foss in the 86th minute to give the local side the victory.

The Rapids' first-year head coach Fernando Clavijo said he is happy with the club's progress over the course of their South American excursion.

"I'm pleased with what we achieved during this part of our preseason," said Clavijo. "The fitness aspect of the team is on the right track to reach the level that we want for the beginning of the 2005 season. The past three weeks we have focused on that aspect of our team, the next five weeks will be focusing on the soccer aspect of the club."

The Rapids return to the United States Wednesday, flying into Fort Lauderdale, Fla., for a five-day stay in the Sunshine State. The club will play the Haitian national team, which Clavijo previously coached, on Sunday at Lockhart Stadium in Fort Lauderdale.

Jallow hits for four goals in Quakes win: San Jose Earthquakes rookie forward Antouman Jallow scored four times in the second half Tuesday as the Quakes crushed the U.S. Under-17 national team 6-2 at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla.

Jallow, a fourth-round pick in January's MLS SuperDraft, replaced Ronald Cerritos in the 41st minute and proceeded to terrorize the U-17 defense. He opened his account in the 51st minute, slipping a shot inside the far post after latching onto a through ball from forward Roger Levesque.

Jallow notched his second and the Quakes' fourth seven minutes later by tapping a cross from rookie midfielder Chris Wondolowski into an empty net and then completed his quadruple with two goals in two minutes. In the 65th minute, the Swedish striker headed in a corner kick from Kevin Goldthwaite, and a minute later, he blasted a left-footed volley past the outstretched arms of the goalkeeper and into the upper corner.

Quakes defender Wade Barrett and forward Alejandro Moreno also got on the score sheet Tuesday. Barrett opened the scoring in the 11th minute when he finished a flick from Cerritos. Moreno made the score 2-1 eight minutes before halftime, chesting home his first goal of the preseason after defender Craig Waibel had headed a Cerritos corner kick to the back post.

The Quakes, whose preseason record is now 2-2-2, have completed their stay in Florida and will return to San Jose on Thursday to continue training.

Chivas USA defeats Loyola Marymount: Club Deportivo Chivas USA, playing their second exhibition match in the United States, defeated Loyola Marymount University Tuesday at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., behind the strong play of defender Jesús Ochoa and left-winger Alonso Sandoval.

Sandoval got Chivas USA on the board first in the 53rd minute. Ochoa was taken down in the penalty area and Sandoval stepped up to convert the ensuing kick from the penalty spot.

After Tony Chinakwe provided an equalizer for Loyola Marymount, Ochoa notched the game-winner for the Red-and-White in the 85th minute, heading home a Francisco Gomez free kick.

Wizards cruise past South Florida: Second-half substitute Edwin Ruiz scored twice to lead the Kansas City Wizards to a 3-0 win over the University of the South Florida Tuesday in Tampa, Fla.

Wizards defender Taylor Graham opened the scoring just before halftime, heading the ball home after two USF defenders had tried and failed to clear the ball with headers of their own.

In the second half, Ruiz, the Wizards' top pick in the MLS Supplemental Draft, twice scored after being sprung by balls played through the USF back line. His first goal came in the 51st minute off a pass from fellow rookie Ryan Pore and the second came seven minutes later, with another rookie, Doug Lascody, playing provider.

The Wizards return to the field Thursday night for a friendly against the Chicago Fire, which will take place on the USF campus in Tampa.

Jason Halpin is a contributor to MLSnet.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.

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