Garza's brace leads Earthquakes to U.S. Open Cup win


Garza's brace leads Earthquakes to U.S. Open Cup win

U.S. Open Cup success had not come for the San JoseEarthquakes in almost a decade, but on Tuesday evening at Cagan Stadium on thecampus of Stanford University the Quakesdispatched of NASL side Fort Lauderdale Strikers to advance to the fourth roundof the tournament. A pair of goals from rookie Sam Garza was enough to countera wonder strike from Strikers forward Mark Anderson and send the intrepid 1,271fans in attendance home happy.As is often the case when two teams meet for the first timein nearly three decades, the Earthquakes and the Strikers played tentativelyfor the matchs first ten minutes. Fort Lauderdalerarely ventured past the centerline, and San Jose seemed content to control possession across thedefensive back four. It wasnt until the 15th minute that eitherteam even had a shot attempt, when the Quakes' Ike Opara headed a free kick fromthe foot of Tressor Moreno wide of the goal. However, the venture into the attacking third began to occurat an accelerated rate over the ensuing minutes. In the 17th minute,following a deflected pass from Sam Garza intended for Sercan Guvenisik, StevenLenhart found himself alone at the top of the area with only Strikersgoalkeeper Matt Glaeser to beat. His hard shot to the keepers left was kickedaway from danger. A minute later, Lenharts strike partner Guvenisik nearlyput the Earthquakes on top, but his headed ball from Josh Suggs bounced up inthe six-yard box and was deflected over the crossbar for a corner kick. The Earthquakes were almost caught out on a Strikerscounterattack in the 21st minute when, on a through ball to the topof the area, defender Justin Morrow slipped and allowed Walter Restrepo a pathon goal. However, goalkeeper David Bingham rushed forward to neutralize theball and clear it to safety. The match settled down and both teams traded fruitless tripsinto the attacking third over the next quarter hour. Perhaps the lack of actionlulled Bingham into a sense of calm because in an unfortunate moment of poorpositioning, he was made to pay by the opportunistic Strikers. Following a well timed tackle from the Strikers, the ballrolled into the path of forward Mark Anderson just inside his own half of thefield. Taking a small touch to settle himself after looking to be surprised atreceiving the ball, Andersonspied Bingham well off his goal line, and uncorked a shot from the Strikersside of the centerline. Bingham could only back peddle and thrust his armsskyward in an attempt to save the shot, but his efforts were for naught and theball settled into the net on the fly. The Earthquakes looked shocked by the Strikers goal andimmediately switched to a higher gear on offense. The team tried to breakthrough over the final five minutes of the half, but instead retreated to thelocker room at halftime trailing 1-0. The second half began with the Earthquakes clearly burned bythe actions of the first half, and they poured forward in numbers looking forthe tying goal. In the 47th minute, it looked like the goal had beenfound, when a slick pass from Morenowas received by Garza on the right wing and crossed across the front of goal.Guvenisik met the ball at the far post and sent the ball on target, but theStriker goalkeeper just managed to keep the ball from crossing the goal line. The sustained pressure by San Jose appeared to have paid dividends inthe 61st minute, as Garza found a deflected ball at his feet just inside theright corner of the area. However, his shot was well off target and soared highinto the evening air. In the 63rd minute, the Earthquakes finallyequalized, as Garza made amends for his earlier miss with a well placed balllow inside the post. The goal was justly deserved, and the Earthquakes continuedto press the Strikers on the restart. In the 70th minute, followinga giveaway from the Fort Lauderdale defense in adangerous area, San Josetook the lead. Not looking to do anything fancy, Lenhart redirected theloose ball back into the path of Garza. The Earthquakes rookie one-timed a shotinto the back of the net to put the home side up 2-1. Trailing by a goal and with time running out on theirtournament life, the Strikers looked for every opportunity to get into theattacking third. In the 72nd minute and again in the 74thminute, goal scorer Anderson had the chance to level the score, but twice hewas denied by excellent saves from goalkeeper Bingham. The danger past, the Earthquakes again restored theirdominance in possession and poured forward looking to salt the match away.Second half substitutes Simon Dawkins and Steven Beitashour brought afirst-team feeling to the proceedings, and the final 15 minutes of the matchwas played almost exclusively in the Strikers' end. Just once was Bingham tested in that time, when in the 85thminute he was called to parry away a fierce strike from defender Scott Lorenzplaying in an advanced position on a restart, but that was all the Florida sidewas able to muster. As the fans rose to their feet during the three minutes ofstoppage time, the referee blew his whistle to signal the end of the match andthe Earthquakes celebrated their 2-1 victory.

Earthquakes suffer first home loss of season, drop Cali Clasico to Galaxy


Earthquakes suffer first home loss of season, drop Cali Clasico to Galaxy


SAN JOSE -- Cali Clasico fans have come to expect fireworks on the pitch every time the San Jose Earthquakes and Los Angeles Galaxy face off in one of Major League Soccer’s best rivalries.

And the first affair of 2017 was no exception. Five goals in the first half got the match off to a roaring start but, much to the chagrin of San Jose fans, L.A. handed the Earthquakes their first Avaya Stadium loss of the season with a 4-2 final.

Giovani Dos Santos notched a pair of goals including the backbreaking tally 20 minutes into the second half.

Chris Wondolowski got the first half flurry going with an easy-money strike on a volley after a perfect backpost cross from Danny Hoesen in the 10th minute.

Saturday’s match was Hoesen’s best performance of the season, by far.

Los Angeles equalized nine minutes later when Joao Pedro took advantage of a sneaky ball between two defenders from Dos Santos. The Brazilian turned and struck the ball true to beat David Bingham.

It was the first sign of the San Jose nightmare that is the Mexican national.

The Galaxy took their first lead of the match in the 35th minute when Dos Santos finished a penalty kick earned after Kofi Sarkodie clothelined Bradley Diallo in the box.

But two minutes later, it was Hoesen getting off the proverbial schneid by notching his first goal as an Earthquake. It was a classy finish off a low cross inside the box from Tommy Thompson, who picked up his second assist of the season on the play.  

Disaster struck one minute before halftime though, when a diving Victor Bernardez deflected a Diallo cross after the defender found himself back in the San Jose 18. The ball beat a shocked Bingham.

San Jose came out aggressive in the second half and Los Angeles made them pay on the counterattack to put the game away. Romain Alessandrini raced down the left flank, took a look up and struck gold on a left-footed cross to Dos Santos on the back post that could not have been hand-placed any better. Dos Santos arrived perfectly to head the ball past Bingham.

The loss moved San Jose’s home record to 3-1-3.

Turning point: The final marker gave L.A. a two-goal win, but any momentum San Jose had after Hoesen equalized evaporated on the Bernardez own goal. Not only did the goal somewhat deflate the home team, but put San Jose in the position of aggressor – and it’s a position the Galaxy exploited to score the fourth goal.

San Jose’s Man of the Match: The pressure has been on Hoesen since the forward arrived on loan from the Netherlands. In 12 previous games, the man from Heerlen only had one assist to show for his efforts. On Saturday, Hoesen assisted on the first goal with a world-class cross and picked up his first goal of the season on an equally exquisite finish.

History watch: Wondolowski’s first half strike was his eighth goal against the Los Angeles side and 127th all-time in MLS. He is now just six behind Jaime Moreno, who sits third on the MLS’ all-time list.

Attendance: As expected, the San Jose Earthquakes announced a sell out for the marquee match on their schedule.

Up next: The Earthquakes head north to take on the Portland Timbers. The June 2nd matchup is scheduled for an 8 p.m. start. 

Earthquakes hand FC Dallas first loss of season, win 1-0


Earthquakes hand FC Dallas first loss of season, win 1-0


FRISCO, Texas -- Jahmir Hyka scored on a spectacular move in the 81st minute and the San Jose Earthquakes handed FC Dallas its first loss of the season, 1-0 on Saturday night.

Hyka took a pass from Marco Urena and touched the ball straight up over defender Matt Hedges as he raced by before putting the ball in off the post for his third goal.

David Bingham made three difficult saves for his fifth shutout, the 25th in his seven seasons with San Jose (5-4-4). The Earthquakes, who played Wednesday night, had just one win in their previous 12 road games and had been shutout six times and outscored by 13.

Hyka's goal also ended a string in which Chris Wondolowski had scored or assisted on the last seven Quakes goals.

Dallas (5-1-4) was unbeaten in its previous eight games with San Jose, outscoring the Quakes 12-4 with five clean sheets.

Dallas dominated most of the game with 62.3 percent possession and Jesse Gonzalez only made one save.