Earthquakes Oust Red Bulls, Reach East Final


Earthquakes Oust Red Bulls, Reach East Final

Nov. 4, 2010

HARRISON,N.J. (AP) Chris Wondolowski scored in the 81st minute, giving the SanJose Earthquakes a 3-1 victory over the New York Red Bulls and ThierryHenry on Thursday night and a 3-2 aggregate win in the MLS EasternConference semifinal series.Bobby Convey scored twice, connectingin the sixth and 77th minutes, to help San Jose rebound from a 1-0first-leg loss in California on Saturday night. Juan Pablo Angel, inlikely his last game for the Red Bulls, scored in the 78th minute.New York, with Henry, Rafael Marquez and Angel, became perhaps the most expensive failure in MLS history."I can't be disappointed with thenumber of chances we had," Red Bulls coach Hans Backe said. "We couldnever forgive ourselves if we just played back (after Angel's goal) andjust defended. We had to just give it a go. Our mindset was to win."The Earthquakes will face the Columbus-Colorado winner in the conference final."Obviously, we need a couple of balls to bounce our way," Wondolowski said. "But I'm liking our chances."On the series winner, Convey floatedin a long pass toward the goal corner, Wondolowki broke in and headedthe ball into the short side past goalkeeper Bouna Coundoul."Bobby and I read each other realwell," Wondolowski said. "I started shifting inside and Bobby liftedhis head and saw me. I saw Bouna was coming out, so I just put it onthe frame."The match ended the first season at200 million Red Bull Arena. While New York improved from a last-place5-19-6 record last year to an Eastern Conference-best 15-9-6 thisseason under new coach Hans Backe, the Red Bulls were hoping for morethan a mere playoff appearance after the midsummer additions of Henry,the former French national team star, and Marquez, the Mexican nationalteam captain.Henry is second only to DavidBeckham on the MLS salary list at 5.6 million this year and Marquez isnext at 5.54 million. The 35-year-old Angel, who says he doesn'texpect to be back with the Red Bulls after four seasons in New York, isat 1.92 million."Everyone wanted New York to win this," Convey said. "We came in under the radar. But we're hard to beat."

Dempsey hat trick lifts US over Honduras in statement win


Dempsey hat trick lifts US over Honduras in statement win


SAN JOSE — Bruce Arena's return as U.S. coach reignited American confidence, and his players responded with an emphatic rebound in World Cup qualifying.

Clint Dempsey returned from an irregular heartbeat to score his second international hat trick, 18-year-old phenom Christian Pulisic had one goal and set up three others, and the U.S. routed Honduras 6-0 Friday night to get right back in contention for an eighth straight World Cup berth.

Surprise starter Sebastian Lletget got his first international goal in the fifth minute after Pulisic's shot deflected off the goalkeeper, Michael Bradley doubled the lead in the 27th and Dempsey scored off Pulisic's perfectly weighted chip in the 32nd.

Finding room to maneuver in a central midfield role, Pulisic made it 4-0 just 12 seconds into the second half with his fourth international goal, Dempsey rounded the keeper to score following a Pulisic feed in the 49th, and Dempsey got another on a 23-yard free kick in the 54th. With 55 international goals, Dempsey moved within two of Landon Donovan's American record.

In its first competitive match since Arena replaced Jurgen Klinsmann, the U.S. moved from last to fourth in the final round of the North and Central American and Caribbean region, tied at three points with Honduras but ahead on goal difference, Mexico leads with seven points, followed by Costa Rica with six and Panama with four.

The top three nations qualify for next year's tournament in Russia, and the fourth-place nation advances to a playoff. With a victory at Panama on Tuesday, the Americans could move into the top three.

The U.S. had never before won a hexagonal game by more than three goals.

And oh how the American Outlaws and others among the lively home crowd loved every second of this long-awaited showing, chanting "Michael Bradley!" and "Demp-sey! Demp-sey!" through the Bay Area rain and cool March air.

Then, it was "Bruce Arena! Bruce Arena!"

Gloom descended upon the Americans in November when they opened the hexagonal with a 2-1 home loss to Mexico and a 4-0 wipeout at Costa Rica. The defeats caused the U.S. Soccer Federation to fire Klinsmann, who had coached the Americans since 2011, and bring back Arena, who lead the team from 1998-2006.

Dempsey, 34 and hoping to reach a fourth World Cup, was sidelined from August until this month by an irregular heartbeat and likely was starting only because of injuries to Bobby Wood and Jordan Morris. Tim Howard, the Americans' 38-year-old goalkeeper, got the shutout after returning only two weeks ago from a leg injury sustained in the loss to Mexico.

Geoff Cameron, back from a knee strain that had sidelined him for fourth months, was shifted to right back from central defense because of injuries to others, and Jorge Villafana was inserted on the left.

But there were yet more injuries. Lletget hurt his left ankle on Ever Alvarado's tackle and was replaced in the 18th minute, and defender John Brooks was stretchered off the field, hand over his face, in the 69th due to dehydration.

From the opening whistle, the U.S. played more aggressively than in the latter years of Klinsmann's reign. Arena revamped the midfield, giving a prominent role to Pulisic, who last week became the youngest American to score in the Champions League. He inserted Lletget and Nagbe, who were largely overlooked by Klinsmann last year, on the flanks.

The U.S. went ahead when Jozy Altidore picked up a loose ball and on his second try poked the ball ahead to Pulisic. His left-footed shot that went off goalkeeper Donis Escobar, and Lletget tapped in the ball with his right foot from 2 yards.

Bradley, given his debut by Arena in 2006, doubled the lead when he took a pass from Alejando Bedoya, cut to his left, took four touches and cut the ball back to beat Escobar with one-hopper from about 25 yards.

Showing poise beyond his years, Pulisic created the third goal when he lofted a pass to Dempsey, who allowed the ball of bounce off his right shoulder. Dempsey held off Henry Figueroa and while falling scored with his right foot from 8 yards.

What they’re saying: Let’s go USMNT against Honduras


What they’re saying: Let’s go USMNT against Honduras

The United States Men's National Team faces a critical match against Honduras. 

With an 0-2 record, and currently in last place, the USMNT is on the brink of not qualifying for the 2018 World Cup.

Motivation across the sports world is pouring in for the Red, White and Blue.