MLS Playoff Preview: Earthquakes vs. New York

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MLS Playoff Preview: Earthquakes vs. New York

Nov. 4, 2010EARTHQUAKES PAGE EARTHQUAKES ROSTERMLS PAGE MLS STATISTICS

NEW YORK (AP) -- The depth of the New York Red Bulls made it easier for them to withstand the absence of three players to open the MLS playoffs.

Meanwhile, the San Jose Earthquakes are looking for another option to keep the pressure off Chris Wondolowski, the league's leading scorer.

The Red Bulls need either a win or tie to advance to the conference finals when they host the Earthquakes in the second leg of an aggregate-goal series Thursday night.

New York opened this series with a 1-0 victory at Buck Shaw Stadium on Saturday. Joel Lindpere scored in the 55th minute and Bouna Coundoul made three saves in the team's fifth shutout in six matches.

The Red Bulls were without Thierry Henry (right knee strain) for a third straight game as well as Salou Ibrahim and Tony Tchani, who were nursing hamstring injuries. Tchani and Ibrahim are expected to be available Thursday while Henry will likely be a game-time decision.

"His turning was excellent, looked really sharp," coach Hans Backe, who said Henry may be used as a sub if he's ready to go, told the Red Bulls' official website. "But just to hit the ball, to kick the ball, he feels some pain."

While winning short-handed was impressive enough, the Red Bulls also accomplished something few teams have managed to do - hold Wondolowski without a goal. Wondolowski led the league with 18 goals, notching four in the final two regular-season games, but he was held to two shots Saturday.

"The statistics don't lie: If Chris isn't scoring, we're having trouble finding goals," defender Jason Hernandez told the Earthquakes' official website. "It's a challenge for our other guys to step up and make some plays."

San Jose fell to 2-8-6 when Wondolowski fails to score. He's accounted for the team's last 10 goals, and the last player other than him to score was midfielder Geovanni on Sept. 5.

"You can't go through a number of games without somebody else coming up and scoring to help Chris out," coach Frank Yallop said. "Somebody's going to pop up and hopefully make the difference for us."

Yallop's team, which last advanced to the conference finals in 2003 when it won the MLS Cup, wants to make sure it plays good defense Thursday. But having a 1-0 deficit in goals means it's going to have to attack more than it did last weekend.

"We're definitely going to get forward," Wondolowski said. "But ... the longer that we're down by only one goal, we have a chance. If we got down by 2-0, that makes things 10 times more different."

Playing on the road might actually help San Jose. The Earthquakes were 6-5-4 away from home, going 3-1-1 in their last five. However, they lost 2-0 at Red Bull Arena on Aug. 28.

The Red Bulls, who advanced to the conference finals in 2008, haven't lost in their last five home games, posting three consecutive shutouts. While a tie would advance them, they are looking for more.

"We must go out and win," midfielder Rafa Marquez said. "I don't think we can spare any efforts. We're at home and I think the team is playing very well."

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

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

BOX SCORE

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.

 

 

Late Wondolowski equalizer keeps Quakes unbeaten at home

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Late Wondolowski equalizer keeps Quakes unbeaten at home

It’s been a season of inconsistencies for the San Jose Earthquakes. But one thing that has been certain is that in San Jose, at Avaya Stadium, the Quakes are pretty close to unbeatable. 

And they continued that trend Wednesday night thanks in large part to Tommy Thompson and Chris Wondolowski, who combined for a goal in the game’s 83rd minute to salvage a 1-1 draw.

In six home matches, the Earthquakes are 3-0-3. 

The equalizer came less than three minutes after Carlos Rivas had put Orlando on top with a goal from inside the 18-yard box. 

But it was then that head coach Dominic Kinnear reached to his bench for Thompson. 

The late substitution paid off not too long after when a Jahmir Hyka corner found its way over to Thompson just outside the penalty area. The midfielder put the ball on frame and as it was going wide, Wondolowski was there to poke the ball home. 

The goal was the fifth of the season for Wondolowski. It was also Thompson’s first point for the big club since signing San Jose’s first ever Homegrown Player contract. 

David Bingham made a huge save on Brazilian international Kaka in stoppage time to keep the game drawn. 

Turning point: You have to look to Kinnear’s substitution in the 82nd minute that brought on Thompson. The midfielder is known for his creativity on the ball, but had yet to turn that into production for the Quakes since signing his contract. On Wednesday, his first point could not have come at a bigger time. Thompson’s first point came in his 57th game with the club.  

Man of the match: Bingham has played lights out at Avaya in 2017. And when the game opened up in the last 10 minutes, it was his save that kept on Kaka that preserved the unbeaten record at home and a much deserved point for the home squad.  

Injury update: Quakes fans got some bad news before the start of Wednesday’s game when the team announced Harold Cummings, a big offseason acquisition at center back, is out of the season. The Costa Rican international suffered a foot injury while in his San Jose home. The blow is huge for the Quakes, who are already thin defensively.

Booked: Orlando: Leo Pereira (yellow, 25’); San Jose: Anibal Godoy (yellow, 44’), Marco Ureña (yellow, 62’), Nick Lima (yellow, 68’), Darwin Ceren (yellow, 70’). 

Up next: The Earthquakes head to Texas to face FC Dallas on Saturday. While the Quakes are unbeaten at home, their fortunes change significantly on the road. They’ll try to turn that around against a tough Dallas team.