the Earthquakes wore 'throwback' uniforms resembling those of the NASL Earthquakes of the '70s and '80s, while taking the field carrying a banner reading 'Keep Us in San Jose!!!' -- the current-day defending champion eased to victory in a second consecutive shutout.
A searing blast on the run from Ramiro Corrales from the left corner of the penalty area gave the Quakes a lead after just four minutes.
Corrales was then involved again as the lead was doubled through an own goal (24), Burn defender Cory Gibbs unfortunately turning a Corrales cross from a tight angle past 'keeper Scott Garlick, a 12th-minute substitute for starter Jeff Cassar after he was hit in the face on the full from a blast by Ronnie Ekelund.
The Earthquakes then capped the scoring seven minutes after the break with some wonderful stuff, Richard Mulrooney chipping the ball forward to Brian Ching, who chested down a pass to Landon Donovan before spinning to collect the return on the one-two, hammering home from inside the area for his joint league-leading 11th goal of the season.
"Maybe with all the stuff that's been going on, we had some pent-up anger,'' said Landon Donovan. Said Brian Ching: "It weighs on you, but being in last place weighs on you more.
"We felt like we needed to put something up to let the fans know we want to stay," said Troy Dayak. "This is our place, our town. If we're the orphan or the stepchild, (the on-field performance) was our way of sticking our middle finger in the air and saying, 'If you don't want us, fine, we are going to go out and win this whole damn thing again.' "
Dominic Kinnear made no changes to the team that knocked off the Kansas City Wizards 2-0 the previous weekend at Arrowhead Stadium. Here's Kinnear's team (4-4-2): Pat Onstad, Craig Waibel, Ryan Cochrane, Troy Dayak, Todd Dunivant, Brian Mullan, Ronnie Ekelund, Richard Mulrooney, Ramiro Corrales, Brian Ching, Landon Donovan (Wes Hart 89).
Central defender Eddie Robinson has returned to full duty and is available for selection. Robinson ruptured a tendon in his left hamstring on April 24, undergoing surgery three days later.
On Tuesday, the Quakes were denied in their bid to reach a first-ever U.S. Open Cup Final, losing 1-0 to the Kansas City Wizards in the semifinal at Overland Park, Kan. as Igor Simutenkov converted a penalty literally on the stroke of halftime.
Josh Wolff earned the spot kick as he strove to skip through a crowded penalty area, Quakes defender Ryan Cochrane pulling down the U.S. international as referee Kevin Terry eventually pointed to the spot.
Kinnear was left with some injury concerns out of the match. Troy Dayak was ruled out of the lineup during pre-match warmups, then after just seven minutes, Brian Ching was forced off with an ankle sprain.
Here's Kinnear's team: Jon Conway, Craig Waibel, Jeff Agoos, Ryan Cochrane (Eddie Robinson 76), Todd Dunivant, Brian Mullan, Ronnie Ekelund (Tighe Dombrowski 56), Richard Mulrooney, Dwayne De Rosario, Landon Donovan, Brian Ching (Arturo Alvarez 7) (Chris Brown 71).
The Colorado Rapids posted their second consecutive shutout in answer to a two-game losing run, claiming a 1-0 victory at home against the MetroStars on Saturday night. The Rapids solidified their hold on third place in the Western Conference with 32 points from 23 matches, now just three behind joint leaders Los Angeles Galaxy and Kansas City Wizards, and two ahead of the San Jose Earthquakes.
Jordan Cila once again rose up to torment his hometown club, slipping in to force home the rebound of a powerful long-range drive from Mark Chung that Metro 'keeper Jonny Walker failed to hold (54).
Earlier in the season, the Long Island native had scored twice in the Rapids come-from-behind 3-2 win against the MetroStars at Giants Stadium.
It was a fifth consecutive home shutout for the Rapids, who last allowed a goal in Denver on June 19, a span of 491 minutes.
"It's a little ironic, but I'll take them any way they come," Cila said. "I don't know if it's the hometown feeling or what, but for some reason I get lucky against those guys."
Rapids coach Tim Hankinson made one change to the team that defeated the Chicago Fire 3-0 at Soldier Field the previous weekend. Darryl Powell made his first start in seven matches in returning from a hamstring injury, coming for Joey DiGiamarino.
Here's Hankinson's team (4-1-3-2): Joe Cannon - Antonio de la Torre, Nat Borchers, Ritchie Kotschau, Daryl Powell (Alberto Delgado 62) (Seth Trembly 90) - Kyle Beckerman - Chris Henderson, Mark Chung, Matt Crawford - Jordan Cila, John Spencer.
The ninth clean sheet for Cannon tied the Rapids club record, equaling the mark set by Scott Garlick a season ago in 26 starts. Cannon had eight shutouts for the San Jose Earthquakes in 2002 when he led the club to the MLS Cup and was named MLS Goalkeeper of the Year.
Chung said the team has finally started to show the level it's capable of because of a change in approach. "I've been saying it all season, if this team tries to play long ball, we're the worst team in the league," Chung said. "We have plenty of guys who can create and draw two or three defenders. We just started to play possession ball. Imagine if we had done that at the start of the season. We'd be at the top of the league."
He added: "John Spencer and Jordan Cila are our forwards now and they can control the ball," Chung said. "If you play the ball to their feet, they'll send it back out to you. That draws the whole team forward. We've just been playing the ball into (open) space. All we do is chase it. And the end of the game, we were knackered. We were completely drained. At the end of this last game, I felt great. The best thing to do is make the ball sweat."