SJvSKC, 8-18-2013

San Jose Earthquakes vs. Sporting Kansas City | MLS Match Preview

BUCK SHAW STADIUM, Santa Clara, Calif.
August 18, 2013 (WEEK 25, MLS Game #230)
8 p.m. PT (UniM·s; CSN-CA; KSMO)

The San Jose Earthquakes and Sporting Kansas City meet for the only time this season as the clubs face off Saturday evening at Buck Shaw Stadium. The Earthquakes are looking to haul themselves back into the Western Conference playoff positions, coming off a 2-0 loss at Vancouver Whitecaps FC last weekend. Sporting are back on top of the Eastern Conference, after their 3-0 home win against the New England Revolution last weekend.


REFEREE: Juan Guzman. AR1 (bench): Eric Proctor; AR2 (opposite): Mike Kampmeinert; 4th: Jesus Cisneros
MLS Career: 32 games; FC/gm: 24.6; Y/gm: 3.5; R: 9; pens: 6

DISABLED LIST: SJ: Ty Harden, Peter McGlynn
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: SJ: Rafael Baca, Steven Lenhart - KC: Seth Sinovic, Oriol Rosell, Peterson Joseph
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: SJ: Chris Wondolowski, Sam Cronin - KC: Lawrence Olum, Aurelien Collin, Benny Feilhaber, Claudio Bieler

ALL-TIME (47 meetings): Earthquakes 20 wins (3 shootout), 57 goals-Sporting 20 wins (4 shootout), 58 goals-Ties 7
AT SAN JOSE (23 meetings): Earthquakes 13 wins (1 shootout), 34 goals - Sporting 4 wins (2 shootout), 19 goals - Ties 6

5/27: KC 2, SJ 1 (Sapong 5; Kamara 39 ñ Dawkins 72)
*    The teams are meeting for the only time this season in league play.
*    The MLS original clubs have evenly split their all-time series over the years, each winning 20 times, with seven draws.
*    The last time a road team won in the series came all the way back in 2004, when San Jose won at Arrowhead Stadium. Last year, Sporting KC extended their home winning streak vs. San Jose to seven games with a 2-1 win at Sporting Park in the only meeting between the teams.
*    Kansas City has not won in San Jose since Aug. 16, 2000, a 3-0 win at Spartan Stadium. The Quakes have won eight of the 13 meetings since in northern California, with five draws.
*    Coaches record: Mark Watson v KC: first game - Peter Vermes vs. SJ: P6 W3 L2 D1

The San Jose Earthquakes saw their three-game winning streak come to an end following a 2-0 defeat by Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Saturday afternoon at BC Place. The Quakes sit in eighth place in the Western Conference with 30 points from 24 matches.

*    Whitecaps FC finally took the lead on the hour. Nigel Reo-Coker made a lung-busting run from his own half before sliding the ball forward into the area where Camilo slid ahead of defender Steven Beitashour to poke home inside the left post.
*    The lead was doubled in the 74th minute. Russell Teibert slipped a neat ball into the box and Reo-Coker all but whiffed as the ball went past, allowing Kenny Miller to step into space and drive a right-footed effort to the back of the net.
*    Quakes interim head coach Mark Watson made no changes to the team that claimed a 2-0 victory against Chivas USA at Buck Shaw Stadium.
*    SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES (4-4-2): Jon Busch - Steven Beitashour, Clarence Goodson, Victor Bernardez, Jordan Stewart - Cordell Cato (Jaime Alas 76), Sam Cronin, Rafael Baca (Adam Jahn 90), Shea Salinas - Chris Wondolowski, Steven Lenhart (Alan Gordon 68).

*    The Earthquakes saw their three-game winning streak come to an end. They've lost their last four road games in MLS play; they've won four in a row at Buck Shaw Stadium.
*    "We knew there was a lot on the line, so we're obviously disappointed," Quakes interim coach Mark Watson said. "We had a couple opportunities to score. One or two [goals] early on, it may have changed the game. ... That's the game, right? The team that scores its chances wins."
*    It was the second consecutive match away from home where the Earthquakes have been shut out; they've been held without a goal in eight of their 11 games away from Buck Shaw Stadium. Their seven road goals are third-fewest in MLS (behind Toronto FC, 6, and D.C. United, 2).
*    "We played at certain times but you got to play the full 90 minutes. We connected some good passes and created some good chances; we didn't finish any of them, they finished two of them and that's soccer," said Chris Wondolowski.
*    After the visit by Sporting KC, five of the next eight games for the Quakes are away from Buck Shaw Stadium.
*    "Until you're out, there's always a chance," goalkeeper Jon Busch said. "You've got to keep going. We know how important these last 10 [matches] are and how important the points are. There's plenty of points on the table. We've just got to keep working."
*    For the first time since taking over as interim head coach in place of Frank Yallop, Watson kept an unchanged side.
*    "For 60 or so minutes, on both sides of the ball, we played well," Busch said. "We were very organized defensively. ... We did very well with their counterattacks. And on the offensive side, I thought we did some very good things."
*    After a two-match ban, Alan Gordon came off the substitutes' bench for the final 22 minutes in relief of Steven Lenhart, who made a fourth consecutive start after missing two consecutive matches.
*    "I think we started off well, we had good stretches in the game. They scored a couple good goals and we didn't get a result," Gordon said. "We did some good things during the game so it's about building on the positives and eliminating the negatives so that's what we'll try to do next week."

Sporting Kansas City put an end to their two-game losing skid, rolling to a 3-0 win against the New England Revolution on Saturday evening at Sporting Park. Sporting are now in first place in the Eastern Conference with 39 points from 24 matches.

*    Sporting opened the scoring in the 27th minute. Soony Saad skipped down the left touchline and lofted a cross into the area. Kei Kamara outjumped a defender near the penalty spot and looped a header over 'keeper Bobby Shuttleworth.
*    Sporting then doubled the lead in the 50th minute through similar circumstances. Saad sent in a diagonal cross from the left wing, and Kamara outran a defender to the edge of the 6-yard box to nod it home.
*    The Revolution went a man down in the 64th minute, when forward Dimitry Imbongo was given his second yellow for elbowing Oriol Rosell in the throat. They went down to nine in the 86th minute, when Andy Dorman was given a straight red card for a foul
*    SKC's Benny Feilhaber put an exclamation point on the win in stoppage time, bending a free kick from just outside the box over the ball and inside the left post.
*    Sporting manager Peter Vermes made no changes to the team that fell 3-2 to the New York Red Bulls at Sporting Park.
*    SPORTING KANSAS CITY (4-1-2-3): Jimmy Nielsen - Chance Myers, Aurelien Collin, Matt Besler, Seth Sinovic - Oriol Rosell - Peterson Joseph (Lawrence Olum 57), Benny Feilhaber - Kei Kamara, Claudio Bieler (Dom Dwyer 83), Soony Saad (C.J. Sapong 77).

*    Sporting ended their losing skid at two games, coming off back-to-back league losses for the first time since April 20-27, when they suffered defeats vs. LA and Portland.
*    "We didn't really give anything away. I thought we worked very hard in the middle of the park. Our midfield sort of drove the team," said SKC manager Peter Vermes. "Tactically, we made some adjustments to deal with New England. They changed their formation to the same formation we play. In regards to that, we were very intelligent and pretty balanced.  To get three goals, it's good for us. Obviously, it catapults us back into first place, which is a good place to be."
*    Kei Kamara scored two goals in a game for the second time in his return to MLS from the English Premier League. Kamara has three goals in his last two games and has seven in 14 appearances this season.
*    "One of the tiebreakers is most goals scored and right now I think we're tied in the Eastern division, so it's an important aspect as we move through the rest of the season," said Vermes. "You don't want to keep your opponents hanging around. I think we're getting better at clinically finishing teams off at the end of the games."
*    Kamara could be an injury doubt for the San Jose match, forced from the field in the 86th minute with a left ankle sprain in the foul that saw the Revolution's Andy Dorman sent off with a straight red card. "He's walking. He's not on crutches any more. We'll probably take another day or two, and - then Thursday we'll see if he can maybe step it up a little more. It's just day-to-day with him as well," said Vermes.
*    Soony Saad had his first two-assist game in MLS. He has three goals and two assists since being reinserted into the starting lineup five games ago.
*    "Soony has the ability to give a final pass. It's not that he can just score. He's starting to feel himself on the field and become more of a complete player for us," said Vermes.
*    Said goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen: "I think a good part of our three guys up front is that they're so different. It's three completely different players. Soony's a different player, Bieler is a different player, and Kei is a completely different player so we got a little bit of everything up there and I think we used that extremely well today. It was two great assists and two outstanding finishes. It was very, very good."
*    Benny Feilhaber scored his second goal in six games, against his former club, SKC's first goal directly from a free kick since Kamara scored last Aug. 18 vs. Toronto FC.
*    Sporting recorded a second shutout in the last five games, after going seven games without one. They had seven defensive shutouts in the first 12 games of the season.

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