Earthquakes look for second win against Rapids

Earthquakes look for second win against Rapids
May 7, 2014, 2:30 pm
Share This Post

The Earthquakes (1-3-3) posted the worst start in team history before getting by Chivas USA 1-0 on April 26. (USATSI)

Programming note: For all the day’s sports news, tune in to SportsNet Central tonight and every night at 6, 10:30 p.m. and midnight on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area

After closing last month with their first win, Chris Wondolowski and the San Jose Earthquakes opened May with another disappointing result.

Though they've struggled in the early going this season, the Earthquakes have enjoyed plenty of success against the Colorado Rapids of late.

San Jose tries to extend its eight-game unbeaten streak against the visiting Rapids, who are expected to get Dillon Powers back Wednesday night.

The Earthquakes (1-3-3) posted the worst start in team history before getting by Chivas USA 1-0 on April 26. They saw their problems resume, though, in a 3-2 defeat at Vancouver on Saturday.

San Jose fell behind 3-0 in the first 20 minutes before Wondolowski scored twice, including once in stoppage time.

"Wondo kept plugging away," coach Mark Watson told MLS' official website. "Wondo will always compete and give you everything he has. He did that right until the end and got his second goal."

The two-time Golden Boot winner has tallied five of the team's eight goals, second fewest in the league.

"I would have rather won the game and not scored," he said. "We did not come out with a good mindset. Going down 3-0 against a very quality team, it's way too big a hole to climb out of.

"We didn't do things right. ... (The late rally) was too little, too late. We can't be doing that. This loss is unacceptable."

The Earthquakes will try to get back on track against the Rapids (4-2-2), whom they've outscored 15-6 during a 5-0-3 stretch thanks in part to six goals from Wondolowski. The teams played to a scoreless draw April 19.

Powers felt discomfort in his knee in that game and went on to miss the next two, but it's looking like he'll be able to play Wednesday.

"His fitness at this point is still up in the air, but I'm excited to have him back as an option, a guy that I think will inject a bit of life into the group," coach Pablo Mastroeni said of the 2013 rookie of the year.

Powers' return could prove especially key for a Rapids team that will be without Vicente Sanchez. The Uruguay native scored his team-leading fifth goal in the 20th minute of Saturday's 1-0 win over Los Angeles before exiting with a knee injury.

"Vicente is a game changer," Mastroeni said. "He's an important piece to the movement of this team moving forward."

Colorado has gone 3-1-1 in its last five games, with the loss in that stretch coming by a 4-1 score at MLS-leading Seattle on April 26. The Rapids went 2-0-1 while allowing two goals in their first three road matches.

"I think the gritty performances that we've put forth this year is something to build on," Mastroeni said. "You earn what you get in life. You earn what you get in games. There's no (soccer) gods. You are moving parts and ways that the ball falls in your favor or it doesn't."

More Team Talk