Earthquakes fall to Impact, 3-1


Earthquakes fall to Impact, 3-1

BOX SCORENever an easy place to play, Stade Saputo was a house of horrors for the San Jose Earthquakes as they lost 3-1 to the Montreal Impact. A penalty kick goal from Chris Wondolowski was cancelled out by Impact strikes from Marco Di Vaio, Denny Neagle, and Patrice Bernier in the Earthquakes worse loss of the season.

An altercation between Steven Lenhart and Montreal defender Hassoun Camara early in the first half led to red cards to both players. The Earthquakes dropped down another man in the second half when Jason Hernandez was shown red later in the match. The match was already 2-1 in favor of the Impact at the second red, and it only got worse for the visitors at that point.

The Earthquakes dropped only their sixth game of the season, their third to an Eastern Conference opponent, but they did not drop in the standings despite the loss.

The first goal of the game did not come without controversy, as a penalty kick was awarded against Montreal for the Camara karate chop on Lenhart, all while the ball was still in play. And even though Lenhart had instigated the fracas, and the double red was shown to both participants, the Earthquakes were still gifted the penalty.

Wondolowski slotted home the penalty in the 23rd minute with a low kick to the left that easily eluded Impact goalkeeper Troy Perkins. For Wondolowski, it was his 18th goal of the season which matches his career high set in his Golden Boot winning season of 2010.

Montreal did not waste any time in equalizing, as a through ball to Felipe in the Earthquakes area sprung the midfielder just inside of Justin Morrow and he pushed toward the endline. Crossing the ball through the six-yard box, Di Vaio snuck in at the back post to stab it home to make the score 1-1.

With both teams a man down, the game became much more wide open. Montreal seemed to have the better of the run of play, and in the 62nd minute, took the lead for good. With some skilled work on the ball at the top of the Earthquakes area, Bernier created enough space to lay the ball off to Neagle 20 yards from goal. The midfielder unleashed a right-footed blast that bulged the back of the net for the Impact goal.

The game went from bad to worse in the 71st minute, when a quick counterattack by Montreal saw Di Vaio collect the ball behind the Earthquakes defense and race toward goal. Hernandez, the last defender on the play, was forced into fouling the Italian striker inside the area. Hernandez was shown a red card for the foul and the Impact was awarded a penalty kick. Bernier converted from the spot to give the home side a 3-1 lead.

With the result no longer in doubt and up a man on San Jose, Montreal played an effective game of keep-away for the remaining 20 minutes of the match, and the Impact extended their winning streak to 4 games as they topped the Supporters Shield leading Earthquakes.

After best start in franchise history, Quakes' rough season ends on low note


After best start in franchise history, Quakes' rough season ends on low note


A San Jose Earthquakes season that began with the best start in franchise history ended on Sunday with an all-too-familiar result and feeling.

A Sporting Kansas City first half penalty shot and 89th minute-goal was more than enough offense to finish the Quakes' season on a low note in what was a 2-0 loss at Children's Mercy Park in Kansas City.

The Earthquakes finished the 2016 campaign with an 8-14-12 record -- their 12 losses are tied for second most since returning to San Jose after a two-year hiatus in 2008.

The shutout is also the 12th the Quakes suffered this season and San Jose has now missed the playoffs four straight years.

San Jose pressed Sporting Kansas City in the first half and was almost rewarded with a goal on both occasions.

But it was Kansas City who made the most of their opportunities and those don’t come much better than a penalty shot. 

Benny Feilhaber stepped up to the spot in the 27th minute after an awkward bounce hit Cordell Cato in the arm, forcing the referee to call for the penalty. Feilhaber beat David Bingham to the keeper's left for his seventh goal of the season.

The second half was noteworthy for its chippiness more than any real threat by San Jose to try and equalize. Referee Drew Fischer handed out five yellow cards in the half -- three to the Quakes. 

Sporting KC left the game way beyond reach for San Jose when Feilhaber found a streaking Dominic Dwyer on the right side who emphatically finished past Bingham for the 2-0 result. 

Man of the Match: Feilhaber gave San Jose fits the entire match and the Quakes had no answers for the midfielder. Feilhaber and Dwyer almost connected on a couple of other occasions that might have made the result worse for the Quakes. 

Attendance: 20,371 watched Sporting KC advance to the MLS Cup playoffs. 

Up Next: It's back to the drawing board for the Quakes who will reconvene in Tucson next season for preseason camp. 

Neymar to sign extension with Barcelona through 2021


Neymar to sign extension with Barcelona through 2021

MADRID — Neymar will sign a three-year contract extension with Barcelona on Friday, a deal that will keep the Brazil forward with the Spanish club until 2021.

Barcelona and Neymar had made the announcement of the agreement in July.

The previous contract was to end in 2018. The new deal will run through June 2021, Barcelona said Monday.

The club's announcement in July ended speculation that Neymar was unhappy in Spain and was looking to move to another club. Paris Saint-Germain was among the clubs reportedly trying to sign him.

At the time, the club said the contract's buyout clause would be fixed at 200 million euros ($219 million) for the first year of the new contract, 222 million euros ($243 million) for the second, and 250 million euros ($274 million) for the final three years.

Neymar has been with Barcelona since moving from Brazilian club Santos in 2013. He has scored 90 goals in 149 matches, including five goals in eight matches this season.

A key player in Barcelona's potent attack along with Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez, Neymar helped the team win nine titles: two Spanish league titles, two Copa del Reys, two Spanish Super Cups, the Champions League, the European Super Cup, and the Club World Cup.

The trio of attacking players scored 122 goals in the 2014-15 season and 131 goals last season, both record figures.

Neymar and his father, who acts as his agent, are likely to face trial for fraud in Spain in a case into alleged irregularities regarding his transfer from Santos to Barcelona. A Brazilian investment group which was entitled to 40 percent of the transfer claims it received a smaller compensation than it should have because part of the fee was concealed.

Barcelona also confirmed that defender Javier Mascherano will be staying with the club until 2019. That deal also had been announced in July.