Earthquakes

Earthquakes Drop MLS Playoff Opener to N.Y. 1-0

Earthquakes Drop MLS Playoff Opener to N.Y. 1-0

Oct. 30, 2010EARTHQUAKES PAGENEW YORK PAGE MLS SCOREBOARD
MATCH SUMMARY

SANTA CLARA (AP) -- Joel Lindpere picked up the slack with Thierry Henry and Tony Tchani out with injuries.

Lindpere scored in the 55th minute and the New York Red Bulls beat the San Jose Earthquakes 1-0 on Saturday night in the opener of the two-game, total-goals Eastern Conference semifinal.

The Red Bulls, the top team in the Eastern Conference during the regular season, had to make do without international star Henry and midfielder Tchani. They still had enough firepower to beat the Quakes, who were the lowest-seeded team to make the MLS playoffs.

"I think we played really well," New York coach Hans Backe said. "It's probably one of our best away games. (We were) so composed."

Game 2 is Thursday night in Harrison, N.J., where the Red Bulls went 10-3-2 this season, including a 2-0 win against the Earthquakes on Aug. 28.

"It's a great, great win to start with, but it's only the first half," Backe said. "If we can play so composed as today, I think we will be hard to beat."

Lindpere scored after the Earthquakes were unable to clear a cross from Juan Pablo Angel. The ball fell to the feet of Lindpere, who carefully placed a low shot to the far post to beat goalkeeper Jon Busch.

"Often, the difference between who goes on and who doesn't are the plays in front of goal," Earthquakes defender Jason Hernandez said. "They got a goal, and we were chasing it, looking for it and couldn't find it."

New York was an MLS-best 14-0-1 when scoring first in the regular season.

Lindpere almost put New York ahead in the 44th minute when he got the ball 9 yards away from net with Busch off his line, but San Jose's Jason Hernandez was able to clear Lindpere's low strike off the line.

San Jose nearly tied it the 83rd minute when leading scorer Chris Wondolowski banged a volley off the ground. Eduardo had a good look at the uncovered rebound, but his shot caromed off the post.

"We said we have to try to stress them high, force them as much as possible to long passes," Backe said. "Don't give them time and space. The work ethic was great today, the pressing game from the whole team, and that's the key to the defense."QUOTESSAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES HEAD COACH FRANK YALLOPOn the result:
I think it was an even game, I thought we played well tonight. We had our chances to score, but it felt like one of those games where youre going to get one. A couple fell to (Chris Wondolowski) Wondo in the second half where he is usually going to bury that, but he didnt. I think a draw would have been a fair result, I dont feel we deserved to lose.

On the second leg in New York:
New York are happy to come away with the win, but at least its only one goal down. We can head into New York and come away with a two-nil win and go through, so at least its not way out of reach, and we have that to hang on to. Right now, we are one-nil down at halftime.
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES DEFENDER JASON HERNANDEZOn the result:
I thought first of all, that the crowd was fantastic tonight, they really got behind us. We came out on top of them, and theyre a good team. We had some good opportunities, they had some good opportunities, and what it comes down to with who moves on are plays in front of goal. They got one, and we were chasing and looking for a goal, but we couldnt find it. I think we can take a lot of positives out of the game. It came down to efficiency in the final third.

On the second leg:
We have played well on the road all season, so we will just go do it. Ive never come in during halftime of a game and started celebrating like the game is won, so its just a break right now, its halftime. We will come out in New York with the same mentality and hopefully the ball will bounce our way a bit and we will get the result over there.

SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES GOALKEEPER JON BUSCHOn the 1-0 result:
Theyre a dangerous team and have a lot of dangerous weapons. They had a lot of opportunities and we had a few where we could have tied it up, but unfortunately we didnt. We know what we have to do now and luckily, its only one.

Looking Ahead:
We said when we walked out, (Ramiro Corrales) Rams and I were talking, saying remember, its a two-game series. You dont want to kill yourself in game two. You need to give yourself an opportunity in game two. Would we like to go to New York with a lead? Absolutely, but it didnt happen. Theres a whole ninety minutes left to play. We have to go for it, its the playoffs and we have to go for it. We will never give up, battle to the end and see what happens in New York now.

Road woes continue, Quakes fall to Dynamo

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USATSI

Road woes continue, Quakes fall to Dynamo

BOX SCORE

HOUSTON  — Alberth Elis and Vicente Sanchez each had a goal and an assist, and the Houston Dynamo blanked the San Jose Earthquakes 3-0 on Saturday night.

Houston (10-7-7) joined Seattle and Sporting Kansas City at the top of the Western Conference standings by improving to 9-0-3 at home.

Elis got his head on a corner kick by Boniek García to open the scoring with his seventh goal in the 21st minute. It was the Dynamos' league-leading 17th goal off a set piece.

Elis helped ice the game in the 86th minute with a nifty touch to get around a defender before Sanchez beat his defender and the goalkeeper to the centering pass for his first goal.

Sanchez gathered a loose ball just before it crossed the end line and centered it to Mauro Manotas for his eighth goal in stoppage time.

Tyler Deric had three saves for his fourth shutout.

San Jose (9-10-5) has lost five straight on the road and remains one point up on Vancouver for the final playoff spot.

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from Quakes' 2-1 win over Columbus

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Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from Quakes' 2-1 win over Columbus

BOX SCORE

It appears that stretches at Avaya Stadium for the San Jose Earthquakes are showing up on the schedule at just the right times. 

Not too long ago, the Quakes were reeling after a miserable stretch of soccer on the road. But now, after two straight wins at Avaya -- the latest a 2-1 victory over Columbus Crew SC on Saturday -- San Jose is once again knocking on MLS' playoff door. 

Marco Ureña scored in the 42nd minute and Chris Wondolowski added the eventual game-winner in the 56th. 

It's going to make for a nail-biting latter part of the season for sure in the super tight Western Conference. But for now celebrate with these five takeaways from the Earthquakes' ninth win of the season. 

-- Don't look now, but the win on Saturday means the Quakes have already surpassed their total from last year. The victory jumps their point total to 32, good for fifth in the Western Conference as of this article's publication. Dallas' loss and more importantly Vancouver's draw were huge results for San Jose as the season turns to the scoreboard-watching phase with eight teams jockeying for six playoff spots. 

-- Have a game, Tommy Thompson. Columbus controlled the first 20-25 minutes but it was around that time that the midfielder began to put his stamp on the match -- much to the appreciation of his San Jose teammates. He gave Columbus fits purely with his work rate and along with his assist, he came within inches of his second goal of the season. It was undoubtedly one of Thompson's most complete matches. Not only did he facilitate Wondolowski's goal, but defensively, Thompson was a visible and noticeable force. One has to wonder if he's turned the corner with that aspect of the game -- it was his defense that many speculated was keeping him out of the lineup during Dominic Kinnear's time as the head coach. 

-- Marco Ureña scored his third goal of the season and his first since a 2-1 win over Real Salt Lake on June 24. Ureña was a mainstay in Kinnear's lineup and hasn't really gotten the opportunity to earn the trust of new head coach Chris Leitch -- with a lot of his time spent on international duty since the Leitch was hired. Keep an eye out on that relationship. 

And, it's also time to acknowledge another round number for Wondolowski. With his goal in the 56th minute, the forward has hit the 130 career goals mark -- 123 of those have come since 2010. 

Wondolowski is still fourth on the all-time list but now he's only three behind Jaime Moreno and four behind Jeff Cunningham. 

-- That's now back-to-back impressive performances for David Bingham. And that has to feel super good for the former Cal keeper considering the defensive disaster that was San Jose's most recent road trip. 

-- After years of research and MLS flirting with the idea, Video Replay is here. And like most new things that are introduced into a sport rich in tradition, there is plenty of chatter -- for and against the change -- floating around. 

There will be four main areas of focus for MLS' new VAR: goals, penalty calls, direct red-card incidents and cases of mistaken identity (when it relates to yellow and red cards). 

On Saturday, the system was not truly tested except for the couple of minutes it took to analyze Adam Jahn's goal for Columbus.