Chivas latest assailant in Quakes' winless streak


Chivas latest assailant in Quakes' winless streak


The Earthquakes just cant seem to find their way around Chivas USA. The team came out flat in their midweek road trip to Southern California, falling 2-0 thanks to two second half strikes from the home team. The result gives Chivas USA the season series over San Jose, having also won 2-1 in the Bay Area following another flat Quakes performance. This time, San Jose never really threatened Chivas USA goalkeeper Dan Kennedy, while two well-taken goals punctuated an otherwise lackluster matchup between the California rivals. Neither team was able to gain a foothold in the first half, though Chivas was able to find some soft points in the San Jose defense and bring a few saves out of Quakes goalkeeper Jon Busch. Steven Lenhart and Chris Wondolowski looked to test Kennedy from long range, but neither presented any serious threat. To be honest, I thought the first half was really poor; no life in it, Earthquakes head coach Frank Yallop said. Maybe its from the weekend games, and our travel on top of that sort of adds to the tiredness. But we, or me myself, dont make excuses about why we dont play well. For whatever reason we just couldnt string it together.
RECAP: Earthquakes skunked by Chivas USA 2-0
Indeed, the Earthquakes found themselves frustrated in the middle of the field and often struggled to get the ball forward to Lenhart and Wondolowski, playing together at forward after Wondolowskis stint on the right wing the previous Saturday against New York. The Earthquakes also fielded three new faces from Saturdays 2-2 draw and gave season debuts to Tim Ward and Omar Jasseh, who have been struggling to overcome injuries. Yallop insisted that it wasnt necessarily the quick turnaround that hampered his team on Wednesday evening, saying, I think all of us collectively struggled tonight. Guys that played in the weekend, guys that had come in to the team, it was just one of those nights. Yeah, absolutely, Wondolowski said, asked if he felt the team was disjointed. To be honest, I think both offensively and defensively our whole team was on a different page from each other. We couldnt connect any passes, and couldnt defend well together as a team defensively. The disjointedness was evident when second half substitute Simon Dawkins found himself surrounded by three Chivas USA players with no San Jose player offering the support. Dawkins was easily dispossessed, and the ball found its way to Chivas USA midfielder Ben Zemanski, who thumped the ball home from 30 yards out. Meanwhile, the Earthquakes managed eight shots, but only three of them came from inside the penalty area, and only one of those was on target. Even more damning was the fact that the team completed just two of 15 crosses and made three successful passes into the Chivas USA area. Given that Lenhart and Wondolowski are the type of forwards that thrive on accurate service in the box, it is easy to see how the Quakes offense couldnt get it going on the evening. We were just losing it on our first and second pass way to often, and I think thats been one of our better points this season keeping the ball, said Ward, who replaced the injured Steven Beitashour just prior to halftime.
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Despite the teams struggles, Wondolowski was positive that the team could bounce back from the poor performance and get back in the win column after four games winless.I think its just one of those games thats a one-off, he said. I still think our team is doing well and is headed in the right direction, tonight was just one of those off-nights, but its a quick turnaround and we want to get out there and try to get a win as soon as possible. The Earthquakes will have the opportunity to deliver a positive result, but will face a tough challenge in doing so on Saturday. The Philadelphia Union, who have lost just one of their last eight MLS games, will come to Buck Shaw Stadium looking to plug ahead with an excellent season. No matter the opponent, though, the Earthquakes will have to come out with a little more energy in the beginning of a potentially trying month.For more Earthquakes, MLS and soccer musings, you can follow Nick Rosano on Twitter: @nicholasrosano

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from Quakes' lopsided loss to Red Bulls


Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from Quakes' lopsided loss to Red Bulls


The San Jose Earthquakes had one big thing going for them when they took on the New York Red Bulls Wednesday evening — they were on 10 days rest having last played a truly competitive match on July 10 in U.S. Open Cup action.

Unfortunately for the Quakes, they failed to take advantage of that in losing to the Red Bulls 5-1 — definitely not the return to the pitch they were hoping for.  

Here are five takeaways from a Wednesday evening, lopsided loss to NYR. 

— The Quakes had no answer for Sacha Kljestan. The Red Bulls midfielder, who frequented the U.S. Men’s National Team roster at one point, was not called to international duty for the ongoing FIFA Gold Cup and San Jose paid the price for that — the man finessed the Quakes to death on Wednesday evening, factoring in three New York goals with his use of spacing in the Red Bulls midfield. 

— There were a couple of big debuts for San Jose. First, newly signed designated player Valeri Qazaishvili — who the MLS world is calling Vako — made his league debut when in he came as a substitute for Danny Hoesen at halftime. The Georgian native showed flashes with his early touch, but never really factored in the game until the 88th minute when he scored the Quakes’ lone goal on a volley tap courtesy of a nifty Jahmir Hyka cross. It’s a nice debut on the scoresheet, but San Jose is expecting DP-esque things from the Georgian. 

— And second, welcome back, Quincy Amarikwa. The forward has been sidelined since September of 2016 when he suffered ACL and LCL damage that required surgery. Amarikwa has been documenting his recovery on social media and surprised Quakes fans when he make his on-pitch return last week in a friendly against Germany’s Eintracht Frankfurt. On Wednesday, he made his official return in the 76th minute. Amarikwa has nine goals and seven assists in 41 career appearances with the Quakes. 

— It definitely wasn’t the homecoming head coach Chris Leitch was hoping for. Leitch played for five seasons over with the New York club. He made 101 appearances for the Metrostars/Red Bulls, assisting on five goals during his career. 

He’s now 0-1-0 as an opposing head coach. 

— It’s unfair to nitpick on a single defensive effort, given that soccer is a team sport, but the Red Bulls attacked center back Andres Imperiale often Wednesday afternoon — and more often than not, they were rewarded with a scoring opportunity. It’s the second straight poor showing on the road for the Quakes defense as a whole after surrendering a four-spot to Atlanta United FC on Independence Day.

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from Quakes' historic US Open Cup win over Galaxy

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from Quakes' historic US Open Cup win over Galaxy

It was a historic night over at Avaya Stadium. 

For the first time in U.S. Open Cup history, the San Jose Earthquakes have beaten their bitter rivals, the Los Angeles Galaxy -- 3-2. 

The win also propels the Quakes to just their second appearance in the tournament's semifinals. 

Chris Wondolowski scored a brace to lead the way while Danny Hoesen added the insurance. 

Here are a handful of things to know about Monday's win over the Galaxy. 

-- The sixth time was the charm as the Quakes had lost five previous meetings against their rivals. But the night began with some doubts when Jelle Van Damme scored in just the third minute. His header was goal No. 2 in the last two games against the Quakes.

But Wondolowski equalized courtesy of Tommy Thompson in the 16th minute and then put the San Jose up for good six minutes in the second half -- once again, thanks to Thompson. 

Hoesen scored a breakaway goal about ten minutes later.  

-- If you tried to find Wondolowski on the pitch using his regular number, you were unsuccessful. 

Wondolowski was sporting No. 38 Monday night in honor of Matheus Silva, the Quakes midfielder playing for Reno 1868 on loan who suffered swimming accident July 4 in Lake Tahoe. 

Silva was in a coma until July 6. 

Fittingly, the forward scored twice. Wondolowski's goal is the sixth of his U.S. Open Cup career. He's now tied for the all-time lead in Earthquakes history.  

-- Pregame, the Quakes introduced their latest acquisition, Designated Player Valeri ‘Vako’ Qazaishvili, to the press. 

Qazaishvili began his career in his native Georgia with FC Saburtalo in 2010, spending time on loan with Metalurgi Rustavi and Sioni Bulnisi. 

He then moved on to Vitesse in August of 2011 at just 18 years old, tallying one goal in four appearances for the first team in his debut season.

-- Speaking of Georgia, the Bay Area now boasts two of the nation's very best athletes. Zaza Pachulia, the starting center of the NBA Champion Golden State Warriors, was in attendance MOnday night. 

The center kicked the ceremonial first goal. 

He also swapped jerseys with Vako -- as per usual in soccer circles. No word on Pachulia's footy game. 

-- The Quakes have already equaled their best ever finish in Cup history. They'll now try to surpass that when they face either Sporting Kansas City of FC Dallas -- who play Tuesday night.