Weekly update: Two matches ahead

This Week's Match-Up
The Earthquakes continue the home stretch of the season with a busy week, hosting the top team in the Eastern Conference, the Columbus Crew on Wednesday, Sept. 8 at 7:30 p.m. at Spartan Stadium and then traveling to Los Angeles for a huge game against the top team in the Western Conference, the Los Angeles Galaxy on Saturday, Sept. 11 at 7:00 p.m. at The Home Depot Center. This Wednesday's game is a special night with discounted tickets and $1 hot dogs and soda. The first 5,000 fans will receive water bottles courtesy of Gatorade. The Quakes-Crew game will be broadcast live on 1590 AM KLIV and KZSF 1370 AM (Spanish). The Quakes road match vs. the Galaxy will be broadcast live on Fox Sports Net and 1590 AM KLIV.

Earthquakes All-Time Record vs. Columbus Crew
MLS Regular Season: 9-14-1
Home: 8-3-1
Away: 1-11-0
Shootout: 3-2 (1996-99)
Overtime: 1-1-1 (2000-2003)
Playoffs: 2-2-0; U.S. Open Cup: 0-0-0
All-Time Scoring: San Jose - 46, Columbus - 52

Earthquakes All-Time Record vs. Los Angeles Galaxy
MLS Regular Season: 9-19-4
Home: 6-8-2
Away: 3-11-2
Shootout: 1-4 (1996-99)
Overtime: 0-0-5 (2000-2003)
Playoffs: 3-3-0; U.S. Open Cup: 0-3-0
All-Time Scoring; San Jose - 50, L.A. - 65

Injury Report/Suspensions Out: Chris Ronér (R - ankle surgery); Probable: Troy Dayak (L - calf strain)

Last Match
Earthquakes 1, New England Revolution 0; Saturday, September 4, 2004; Gillette Stadium; Foxboro, Mass.

Jon Conway helped the San Jose Earthquakes to their fourth straight shutout and extended the team's unbeaten streak to four games with a 1-0 victory over the New England Revolution at Gillette Stadium. Chris Brown scored on a header in the 48th minute off a cross from Ian Russell, and the Quakes (9-7-7, 34 pts.) held on despite a ferocious second-half Revolution (5-10-9, 24 pts.) attack for the win. With the win the Quakes extended their winning streak against New England to ten games. Playing without Landon Donovan and Brian Ching, who each scored for the U.S. National Team in a 2-0 World Cup Qualifying win over El Salvador earlier in the day, and Dwayne De Rosario and Pat Onstad, who were with the Canadian National Team, the short-handed Quakes were able to put the pressure on New England early. Brown and the Quakes were able to score the only goal they would need in the 48th minute. After a nice build-up that saw Craig Waibel pass to Ian Russell on the right side, Russell lofted a perfect cross over the New England box to an open Brown. Brown then headed the ball into the far post for the 1-0 lead, giving him his first goal since he scored on May 8 against the MetroStars. In just his third MLS start of the season, Conway came up with some huge saves to preserve the San Jose win after New England began to pressure down the stretch. In the 58th minute, Conway stuffed Clint Dempsey on a breakaway after Dempsey trapped a free kick down just outside of the six-yard box. Dempsey shot the ball and Conway slid to stop it with his foot before falling on top of it. Conway saved the Quakes again in the 69th minute on an incredible play. Brian Kamler received the ball on the left side for the Revolution after a nice cross, and found himself alone with Conway. As Kamler ripped a shot toward the near post, Conway stretched to get across the goal, falling into the net on his back, but still managing to kick the ball away from danger with his foot to preserve the shutout.

Last Match vs. Columbus
Crew 1, Earthquakes 0; Saturday, May 29; Crew Stadium; Columbus, OH

The San Jose Earthquakes had their four-game unbeaten streak snapped as they lost to the Columbus Crew 1-0 at Crew Stadium. The Crew's Jeff Cunnigham scored a second half goal to keep San Jose winless at Crew Stadium in its history (0-8-0). Quakes goalkeeper Jon Conway made his first start of the season, while midfielder Tighe Dombrowski made his first MLS appearance in the match. The Crew jumped onto the scoreboard first with a goal by Cunningham in the 69th minute. Former Quakes midfielder Manny Lagos received the ball in the penalty box played the ball out to Eric Denton on the left wing. Denton then hooked a cross into the front of the goal to Cunningham, who nodded the ball past Conway into the net. Donovan had a long-range effort in the 74th minute to try and even the score. He picked up the ball 40 yards from goal and made a run at goal before unleashing a left-footed blast that Busch snared out of upper right corner.

Last Match vs. Los Angeles
Galaxy 2, Earthquakes 1; Sunday, July 4; The Home Depot Center; Carson, CA

A first half Dwayne De Rosario goal was not enough to keep the San Jose Earthquakes from suffering a 2-1 loss to the Los Angeles Galaxy Sunday night at The Home Depot Center. Despite De Rosario's goal in the 41st minute that gave the Quakes 1-0 lead, San Jose lost as Carlos Ruiz scored two goals for the Galaxy in a physical match that featured a total of eight yellow cards and the ejection of Brian Mullan, which forced San Jose to play the final seven minutes down a man. The Earthquakes took the lead in the 41st minute on a Dwayne De Rosario goal. The Quakes cleared a Galaxy corner kick and caught Los Angeles in transition, with Arturo Alvarez and Landon Donovan quickly bringing the ball up the middle of the field. Alvarez found Donovan streaking into the Galaxy half of the field, and Donovan carried the ball into the penalty area, where he cut back and passed it to Brian Ching in the middle of the box. Ching dished off to De Rosario on the right side, and Hartman saved his point blank blast. The rebound deflected back out do De Rosario, who then worked the ball back around to Landon Donovan, who sent a wicked shot toward goal from nearly 18 yards out. The ball ricocheted off a diving Hartman and landed at the feet of Ching in the middle of the area. Ching then hit De Rosario with a pass on the left post, and he slipped the ball into the goal for a 1-0 lead. The Quakes advantage would only last four minutes, however, as Los Angeles battled back with a goal in the 45th minute. Chris Albright headed down a Galaxy corner kick, sending the ball bouncing to the left post, where Carlos Ruiz was able to get a foot on it and push it past a diving Onstad to tie the match at 1-1.The Galaxy took a 2-1 lead in the second half on another goal by Ruiz in the 55th minute. Ned Grabavoy received a pass on the left side and dribbled past the San Jose defense into the right side of the penalty area. Grabavoy hit an open Ruiz with a pass near the 18-yard box, and his low shot beat Onstad to the left corner. The rivalry picked up intensity late in the game, when Mullan was whistled for a red card on a tackle near midfield, leaving the Earthquakes to play the final seven minutes of the game down a man. Mullan will be suspended for the Quakes next MLS game against the Dallas Burn.

Misc. Notes

In September
The Earthquakes all time record in the month of September is 18-17-0.

Donovan, Ching Dominate For U.S. In Victory, Will Miss Wednesday
Earthquakes forwards Brian Ching and Landon Donovan once again showed why they are two of the top attackers for MLS, as the pair each scored a goal for the United States National Team in a 2-0 victory over El Salvador on Sept. 4 in World Cup Qualifying. Both Ching and Donovan started for the U.S., and Ching scored his second international goal in the fifth minute on a header, and Donovan scored in the 69th minute for the final tally. In scoring in his second-consecutive World Cup qualifier, Ching became the seventh player in U.S. history to accomplish that feat. Willie Roy scored in three straight qualifiers, scoring four goals in three games during the 1954 World Cup qualifying phase. Donovan is now the United States overall point leader in 2004, with three goals and four assists for 10 points. His 17th-career tally moved Donovan into a tie for 5th place on the all-time U.S. scoring charts, equaling Earnie Stewart. Both Ching and Donovan will miss the Quakes game on Wednesday against Columbus as they face Panama in another World Cup Qualifier at Estadio Rommel Fernandez in Panama City, Panama at 6:00 p.m. PT on September 8. The Panama match will air live on Fox Sports World and on tape delay on Telemundo at 11:30 p.m. PT.

De Rosario And Onstad Help Canada To A Tie
Quakes goalkeeper Pat Onstad and forward Dwayne De Rosario helped the Canadian National Team to a 1-1 tie against Honduras on Sunday, Sept. 5 in Edmonton. Onstad and De Rosario both started for Canada, who took a 1-0 lead late in the game, only to see Honduras tie the match in the 88th minute. Both Onstad and De Rosario will also miss the Quakes match against Columbus as they travel to San Jose, Costa Rica to face Costa Rica on Wednesday, September 8 at Saprissa Stadium at 6:00 p.m. PT. The pair will return to the Quakes on September 9.

Shutout Streak
Following their 1-0 win against New England, the Earthquakes have posted four consecutive shutouts to set a new club record and are currently on a 369 minute shutout streak. The Quakes last allowed a goal in MLS play in the 81st minute on Aug. 11. Last season, San Jose had two separate three-game shutout streaks, April 26 - May 10 and July 26 - August 16.

Winning Ways
The Quakes have been playing good soccer recently, putting together a 5-3-2 record in their last ten games. Only the Kansas City Wizards (5-4-1) have won more games in their last ten, while the Columbus Crew have not lost (3-0-7). The Earthquakes are now on a four-game MLS unbeaten streak and have won four of their last six MLS games, with one loss and one tie.

Conway In Control
Earthquakes goalkeeper Jon Conway recorded his first MLS shutout since Oct. 10, 2003 when he helped blank the Revolution 1-0 on Sept. 4. Conway continued the Quakes shutout streak and improved his MLS record to 2-1-0 on the season and lowered his goals against average to 0.67. Conway last saw MLS action on June 12 in a 3-1 win over the MetroStars, but the fifth-year goalkeeper put together a 2-1-0 record in the 2004 U.S. Open Cup. Conway now has four career MLS victories.

Brown Is Back
Earthquakes forward Chris Brown started on Sept 4. for the first time since May 15, and Brown delivered, scoring the game-winning goal in the 48th minute. The goal was Brown's first since May 8, as the former Revolution forward appeared in his first game since July 10. Brown is likely to start for San Jose again on Wednesday.

Assist For Ian
Midfielder Ian Russell recorded the assist on Brown's game-winning goal, the first assist for Russell since he added a tally in the Western Conference Championship match on Nov. 15, 2003 against Kansas City. Russell started on Sept. 4 for the first time since July 7, as the midfielder played 67 minutes on Saturday for the Quakes.

Walker Returns
Earthquakes forward Jamil Walker entered the game on Sept. 4 as a substitute in the 67th minute, getting his first MLS action since he played on July 17 at Spartan Stadium vs. Colorado. Walker managed one shot on goal in his return to the lineup.

Revolution Domination
The Quakes are now 14-8-3 all-time against the New England Revolution in the regular season, and recently have dominated the series. The Quakes have not lost to New England in their last ten games, following the 1-0 win on Sept. 4, putting together an 8-0-2 record since May 5, 2001. The Revs have not beaten the Quakes since July 22, 2000. San Jose has outscored New England by a 50-35 all-time total. The Quakes have never lost at Gillette Stadium, posting a 4-0-1 record there since 2002.

Donovan, Ching Among Leaders
Landon Donovan and Brian Ching are both in the top 10 in scoring in MLS. With 11 goals and four assists, Ching is second in MLS with 26 points, while his 11 goals places him in a tie for first. Donovan is eighth in scoring with six goals and nine assists for 21 points and his nine assists are second. Donovan is now one assist shy of his career high of 10, set in 2001.

Dangerous Duo
Earthquake forwards Brian Ching and Landon Donovan have been an unbeatable pair up top for the Quakes in 2004. The Quakes are undefeated in the seven games the two have started together as forwards, posting a 4-0-4 record. In six of those eight games, Ching and Donovan have both registered at least one point. The duo has combined for a total of 33 points in their eight games up top together this year, Donovan with six goals and seven assists and Ching with six goals and three assists. All six of Donovan's goals in 2004 have come with Ching as his partner. When both Ching and Donovan missed the July 10 match vs. the MetroStars to train with the U.S. National Team, the Quakes lost by two goals, their largest goal deficit this year.

Home Field Advantage
The San Jose Earthquakes and the Columbus Crew have had a history of home field advantage during their matches. In the past two seasons, the home team in every Earthquakes vs. Crew regular season match-up has been victorious, with the visiting team not winning in the series since August 2, 2000 when the Crew defeated the Quakes 2-1 at Spartan Stadium. The Quakes did pull through with a 3-1 win at Crew Stadium on September 22, 2001 during an MLS Cup Playoff match, but they have not managed to win a regular season game in Columbus since July 20, 1996. The Crew beat the Quakes 2-1 at Spartan Stadium in the 2002 MLS Cup Playoffs.

Earthquakes - Crew Connections
Crew midfielder Manny Lagos recently played for the Earthquakes from 2001-2003 and is ranked sixth all-time in scoring with 45 points (14 goals and 17 assists)...Columbus forward/midfielder Devin Barclay, a Nike Project-40 signee, was a member of the San Jose team during the 2002 season...Eric Denton, a defender for the Crew, grew up in Manteca, California and played college soccer at near-by Santa Clara University...Columbus midfielder Simon Elliot and rookie defender Chad Marshall attended Stanford University.

History vs. Crew
The last duel between the Crew and the Quakes ended in a 1-0 loss for San Jose at Crew Stadium on May 29, 2004...The Earthquakes and the Crew have met in a total of 28 games, including MLS regular season and MLS Cup Playoff matches...Columbus leads the all-time series between the two teams 14-9-1...The Earthquakes won their first-ever playoff series against the Crew in 2001 on the road to their eventual MLS Cup Championship...Earthquakes defender Chris Ronér made his MLS debut against Columbus on May 18, 2002 in a 2-0 loss...San Jose midfielder Ian Russell made his MLS debut against the Crew on March 25, 2000...The Earthquakes won the 2001 MLS Cup Championship at Columbus Crew Stadium in a 2-1 overtime victory over the Los Angeles Galaxy.

Earthquakes Leaders vs. Crew
Midfielder Ronnie Ekelund is currently the top Quakes player against the Crew with five points on two goals and one assist. Jeff Agoos and Brian Mullan also each have two goals vs. Columbus. Agoos, Landon Donovan, and Mullan have four points against the Crew.

Crew Leaders vs. Earthquakes
Jeff Cunningham is the Crew's current leading scorer vs. the Earthquakes with 26 points on ten goals and six assists over 16 career games. Brian Maisonneuve follows with nine points on two goals and five assists, while Edson Buddle has also been a major contributor for the Crew against San Jose with three goals.

Quakes Finding the Net At Home
The Earthquakes have done well finishing at home in 2004, scoring 25 goals in just 12 appearances at Spartan Stadium this year to lead MLS in scoring at home. The club record for all-time goals scored at home is 33, set in 2002, when the Quakes posted a league record 12-1-1 home mark.

Quakes Lead the League
The Earthquakes have scored the most points in MLS in 2004 as a team, leading the league with 114 points on 37 goals and 40 assists. The Quakes 40 assists are also the most in the league. San Jose is the league leader in three-goal games with six games.

Quakes Set Unbeaten Streak Record At Home
The Earthquakes set an MLS record with their August 7 win against D.C. United, extending their unbeaten streak at home to 46 games when scoring first. That streak now stands at 47 games after San Jose's win over the Burn. It started on April 3, 1999.

Slim Losses
In all but one of their seven losses this year, the Earthquakes have only lost by one goal. The only game decided by more than one goal was on July 10 against the MetroStars in a 2-0 loss. However, forwards Landon Donovan and Brian Ching, the teams leading scorers, missed the game while traveling with the U.S. National Team.

Mulrooney Is Quakes Only Constant
Earthquakes midfielder Richard Mulrooney is the only member of the San Jose roster who has started and played 90 minutes in all 23 games for the Quakes in 2004. In his 2,070 minutes of play, Mulrooney has scored one goal and notched eight assists for ten points, which is fifth highest for points on the Quakes.

Quakes Closing In On .500
The Earthquakes are closing in on bringing their all-time regular season MLS record to the .500 mark. The Quakes all-time regular season MLS record is 116-118-33.

Halftime Success
If the Earthquakes enter the half-time break with the lead, recent history suggests they will keep it. Since the beginning of the 2000 season, the Earthquakes are 42-0-5 in games when leading at the half, including 8-0-1 in 2003 and 7-0-1 in 2004.

Making The First One Count
The Earthquakes were 25-2-2 in 2001 and 2002 when finding the back of the net first. The Quakes only gave up leads two times in 2002, losing 2-1 to Los Angeles on July 4 and falling 2-1 to Kansas City on July 27. The team continued that trend in 2003, possessing an 11-0-1 mark in the regular season when they scored the first goal. In 2004, the Quakes are 8-1-1 when scoring first. The Quakes gave up their lead to Los Angeles on July 4, 2004 for the first time since July 27, 2002 against Kansas City. Dating back to the 2000 season, the Earthquakes own a 47-3-4 record in their last 54 matches when they score the first goal of the game. The Quakes are also impressive in the playoffs when scoring first, posting a 6-0-0 record.