Late free kick lifts Earthquakes over Galaxy

932497.jpg

Late free kick lifts Earthquakes over Galaxy

BOX SCORE

As they have all season, the San Jose Earthquakes left itlate to find a game winner, but a winner they found, as a Victor Bernardez 35yard free kick gave the visitors a 1-0 victory over the LA Galaxy at the Home Depot Center.With aggregate goals over the two legs of the semifinalseries determining which team will advance to the Western Conference finals,the Earthquakes will need only a draw when the two teams return to Buck ShawStadium Wednesday night to move in their march to the MLS Cup.The Galaxy were the aggressors for much of the affair, withDesignated Players Landon Donovan and Robbie Keane both having golden scoringopportunities go wanting. Meanwhile, the Earthquakes defense stayed resolutethroughout the 90 minutes, cutting down most Galaxy efforts in the attackingthird, and earned their first shutout since a 2-0 win against Chivas USA inSeptember.The Bernardez goal was the Earthquakes' ninth stoppage timegoal of the season and their sixth game winning goal scored after regulationtime had elapsed.Chris Wondolowski came close to stunning the capacity crowdat the Home Depot Center in the 2nd minute when he stabbed at a ballin the Galaxy penalty area after goalkeeper Josh Saunders and defender TommyMeyer failed to communicate on a clearance attempt, but the shot attempt wasdeflected wide of the post.A free kick opportunity for LA in the 8th minutenearly propelled the home side to the lead, as David Beckham curled anin-swinging cross into the area that split the Quakes defense, but Keane wasnot able to direct his snap header on target.The Galaxy had another pair of scoring chances go wantingduring a first half that saw them slowly assert their control over the match. A32nd minute shot from Donovan was comfortably saved by goalkeeperJon Busch and a 38th minute cross from the Galaxy captain justmissed Keane at the back post.The Earthquakes, having weathered the Galaxy storm in thefirst half, began to see their fortunes improve in the second stanza.Substitutes Simon Dawkins and Alan Gordon provided a lift to the San Jose offense, whileShea Salinas provided relief for speedster Marvin Chavez.The changes helped push the game more into the midfield, buta turnover near the center line almost proved costly for the Quakes, as Keanelatched onto a loose ball and drove toward goal. From 25 yards, the Irelandinternational fired a low, hard shot, but it was right into the grasp of Busch.Keane nearly scored in the 86th minute aftercollecting a back-pass from Donovan at the top of the area, but his shotrocketed off the crossbar after soaring over Busch.Bernardez captured the improbable win for the Earthquakes inthe 94th minute when his free kick from 35 yards eluded the defensewall and squirted out of the grasp of Saunders. The Earthquakes will carry a 1-0 aggregate lead back to BuckShaw Stadium where they will face the Galaxy Wednesday night at 8:00 p.m.

Earthquakes announce roster moves ahead of 2017 season

meredith-kepper.jpg
AP

Earthquakes announce roster moves ahead of 2017 season

The San Jose Earthquakes announced today that the club has exercised 2017 contract options on six players: goalkeeper David Bingham, defenders Victor Bernardez, Kip Colvey and Andres Imperiale, and midfielders Fatai Alashe and Matheus Silva.

The Earthquakes will not exercise options on nine players, including goalkeeper Bryan Meredith, defender Clarence Goodson, midfielders Marc Pelosi and Tommy Thompson, and forwards Chad Barrett, Henok Goitom, Innocent, Steven Lenhart and Mark Sherrod.

In addition, the following players are under contract for the 2017 season: goalkeeper Andrew Tarbell, defender Shaun Francis, midfielders Cordell Cato, Darwin Ceren, Simon Dawkins, Anibal Godoy and Shea Salinas, and forwards Quincy Amarikwa and Chris Wondolowski.

Stage One of the Re-Entry Draft will take place on Friday, Dec. 16 at 12 p.m. PT and Stage Two of the Re-Entry Draft will take place on Thursday, Dec. 22 at 12 p.m. PT. The two drafts will take place via teleconference with all 22 clubs represented. MLS will release the results following each of the calls. Both of the Re-Entry Drafts will be conducted in the same order as the traditional Waiver Draft.

San Jose Earthquakes media services
 

Plane carrying a Brazilian soccer team crashes in Colombia; 75 dead

brazilian-planecrash-colombia-ap.jpg
AP

Plane carrying a Brazilian soccer team crashes in Colombia; 75 dead

LA UNION, Colombia -- A chartered plane carrying a Brazilian soccer team to the biggest match of its history crashed into a Colombian hillside and broke into pieces, killing 75 people and leaving six survivors, Colombian officials said Tuesday.

The British Aerospace 146 short-haul plane, operated by a charter airline with roots in Venezuela, declared an emergency and lost radar contact just before 10 p.m. Monday (0300 GMT Tuesday) because of an electrical failure, aviation authorities said.

The aircraft, which had departed from Santa Cruz, Bolivia, was carrying the up and coming Chapecoense soccer team from southern Brazil for Wednesday's first leg of a two-game Copa Sudamericana final against Atletico Nacional of Medellin - the continent's second-most-important championship.

"What was supposed to be a celebration has turned into a tragedy," Medellin Mayor Federico Gutierrez said from the search and rescue command center.

The club said in a brief statement on its Facebook page, "May God accompany our athletes, officials, journalists and other guests traveling with our delegation."

Expressions of grief poured in from all over the soccer world. South America's federation canceled all scheduled matches in a show of solidarity, Real Madrid's squad interrupted its training for a minute of silence and Argentina legend Diego Maradona sent his condolences to the victims' families over Facebook.

Rescuers working through the night were initially heartened after pulling three passengers alive from the wreckage. But as the hours passed, heavy rainfall and low visibility grounded helicopters and slowed efforts to reach the crash site.

At daybreak, dozens of bodies were quickly collected into white bags while rescuers scavenged through pieces of the plane's fuselage strewn across the muddy mountainside.

Images broadcast on local television showed three passengers arriving to a local hospital in ambulances on stretchers and covered in blankets connected to an IV. Among the survivors was Chapecoense defender Alan Ruschel, who doctors said suffered spinal injuries.

Two goalkeepers, Danilo and Jackson Follmann, as well as a journalist traveling with the team and a Bolivian flight attendant, were found alive in the wreckage. But Danilo was later reported as dead, and authorities said another defender, Helio Zampier, had survived amid a confusion of sometimes conflicting early reports.

The aircraft is owned by LaMia, a company with roots in Venezuela and that has a close relationship with several premier South American squads.

Argentina's state-run news agency said the plane involved in the crash had transported Barcelona striker Lionel Messi and the national team this month from Brazil to Colombia between World Cup qualifier matches. The airliner also reportedly transported Venezuela's national squad and several top teams from Bolivia in the past.

LaMia's website, which is no longer online, said it operated three 146 Avro short-haul jets made by British Aerospace and with a maximum range of around 2,965 kilometers (1,600 nautical miles) - about the same as the distance between Santa Cruz and Medellin, the route it was flying when it went down.

Alfredo Bocanegra, the head of Colombia's aviation authority, said initial reports suggest the aircraft was suffering electrical problems although investigators were also looking into an account from one of the survivors that the plane had run out of fuel about five minutes from its expected landing at Jose Maria Cordova airport outside Medellin.

Bolivia's civil aviation agency said the aircraft picked up the Brazilian team in Santa Cruz, where players had arrived earlier in the day on a commercial flight from Sao Paulo, Brazil. Spokesman Cesar Torrico said that the plane underwent an inspection before departing for Colombia and reported no problems.

British Aerospace, which is now known as BAE Systems, says that the first 146-model plane took off in 1981 and that just under 400 were built in total in the U.K. through 2003. It says around 220 of are still in service in a variety of roles, including aerial firefighting and overnight freight services.

A video published on the team's Facebook page showed the team readying for a flight earlier Monday in Sao Paulo's Guarulhos international airport. Photos of team members in the cockpit and posing in front of the plane ahead of departure quickly spread across social media.

The team, from the small city of Chapeco, was in the middle of a fairy tale season. It joined Brazil's first division in 2014 for the first time since the 1970s and made it last week to the Copa Sudamericana finals - the equivalent of the UEFA Europa League tournament - after defeating two of Argentina's fiercest squads, San Lorenzo and Independiente, as well as Colombia's Junior.

"This morning I said goodbye to them and they told me they were going after the dream, turning that dream into reality," Chapecoense board member told TV Globo. "The dream was over early this morning."

The team is so modest that tournament organizers ruled that its 22,000-seat arena was too small to host the final match, which was moved to a stadium 300 miles (480 kilometers) to the north in the city of Curitiba.

"This is unbelievable, I am walking on the grass of the stadium and I feel like I am floating," Andrei Copetti told the AP. "No one understands how a story that was so amazing could suffer such a devastating reversal. For many people here reality has still not struck."