Quakes battle to draw with L.A.

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Quakes battle to draw with L.A.

STATS: Galaxy 2, Quakes 2

A spirited match between the San Jose Earthquakes and theLos Angeles Galaxy ended in a 2-2 draw as twice the home side came from a goaldown. The draw preserved the Earthquakes' season-long unbeaten streak at BuckShaw Stadium.The 2012 Supporters Shield winners, playing a game that hadno consequence on their final regular-season record, countered Galaxy goals byRobbie Keane and Edson Buddle through a Marvin Chavez free kick and a Chris Wondolowskiheader. For Wondolowski, the goal was his 26th of the season,leaving him 1 goal behind the single season record set by Roy Lassiter in theinaugural 1996 MLS season.The sold out Buck Shaw Stadium crowd, many who participatedin the teams new stadium Guinness World Record setting groundbreaking ceremonyearly in the day, were treated to another in a long list of intense andexciting California Classics between the two heated rivals.The first half saw both teams looking for weaknesses intheir opponents, but neither side could find the back of the net. The Galaxyhad the best chances in the opening stanza, as Buddle and Keane had one-on-oneopportunities against Jon Busch, but the San Jose goalkeeper made important saves to keep the matchscoreless.The Earthquakes had a flurry of chance to break through atthe start of the second half. First on a through ball that had him in on goaland second on a corner kick, Wondolowski sent shots off the woodwork twice inthe span of a minute. On a subsequent corner kick, a scrum in front of goalseemed destined to send the ball into the goal, but the Galaxy defense survivedthe onslaught and scrambled the ball to safety.The Galaxy delivered the first goal of the match in the 59thminute through Keane. The Irelandinternational pounced on a loose ball in front of goal that had originally beendelivered by Buddle, and fired it past goalkeeper Busch.The Earthquakes equalized two minutes later when Chavezcurled a free kick from 30 yards out that squeaked just inside the near post.For Chavez, it was his third goal of the season.As the game opened up, both sides began to find moreopportunities on goal. In the 69th minute, with defender SeanFranklin making an overlapping run down the right wing, the Galaxy retook thelead when Buddle climbed over Victor Bernardez to head home a cross from Franklin.In the 74th minute, Wondolowski finally found theback of the net, as he sent a diving header past Los Angeles goalkeeper Josh Saunders off acorner kick from Chavez.The match ended with both sides searching for a winninggoal, but both teams eventually had to settle for a share of the spoils.

Seattle wins MLS Cup, beating Toronto on penalty kicks

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USATSI

Seattle wins MLS Cup, beating Toronto on penalty kicks

TORONTO -- As homecomings go, the MLS Cup final is going to be hard to beat for Seattle's Stefan Frei.

Frei made critical saves in regulation and then again in the penalty-kick shootout to help the Sounders win their first championship with a 5-4 victory in the tiebreaker against Toronto FC on Saturday night.

The Swiss goalkeeper, who was drafted by Toronto in 2009 and spent five seasons with the club until he was traded in 2013, earned the game's MVP honors.

"This is what you want to be a part of," he said. "We've made Sounders history and for me it could have happened anywhere, I don't care as long as I'm with my team and my teammates."

Roman Torres scored in the sixth round of penalty kicks to clinch the trophy after 120 scoreless minutes. It was the first MLS Cup final to fail to produce a goal in regulation, setting the stage for a dramatic tiebreaker.

While Toronto's Michael Bradley and Alvaro Fernandez for Seattle had both seen their shots saved, the game went to sudden-death spot kicks. Toronto's Justin Morrow could only clatter his shot off the crossbar, setting the stage for Torres to win it with a high shot down the middle of the goal.

"You need a little bit of luck," Frei said. "Let's face it, PKs are not the prettiest thing to decide a game, and actually Roman missed a penalty in training yesterday. I'm glad he missed yesterday and not today."

Seattle became the first team in MLS Cup final history to fail to produce a shot on target throughout the game. Additionally, the Sounders' three shots overall were the fewest in an MLS title game, the first to feature two expansion franchises. Toronto was the first Canadian MLS Cup finalist.

That meant little to Bradley, who was understandably dejected after seeing his team become just the second to lose at home since MLS switched from having the final at a neutral location to the home stadium of the finalist with the most regular-season points in 2012. The Portland Timbers became the first when they won the championship in Columbus against the Crew last year.

"Every guy gave everything they had, every guy walked off the field having pored their hearts into the game and we didn't get rewarded tonight," Bradley said. "That's sports, that's life."

With the game on the line, Toronto coach Greg Vanney removed former MLS most valuable player Sebastian Giovinco in the 103rd minute in favor of Tosaint Ricketts. While Vanney said that an exhausted Giovinco "couldn't move," after the game, the gutsy call almost paid off.

Following Ricketts' cross five minutes after coming on, it looked as if Jozy Altidore was going to give Toronto the lead in the 108th minute with a looping header, but an athletic save from Frei kept it scoreless. Leaping to his left, he scooped the ball off the line with his left hand, allowing his defense to clear the ball to safety.

"Obviously Frei makes a couple big saves that keep them in it," Vanney said. "But congratulations to them."

For Seattle coach Brian Schmetzer, who took over from Sigi Schmid on July 26 with Seattle in ninth place in the Western Conference, the turnaround was complete. Posting an 8-2-4 record since then, Seattle became the first team in MLS history to make the playoffs after having 20 or fewer points through the season's first 20 matches.

"Some people say defense wins championships," he said. "You couple Roman's performance with Stefan Frei, who came up massive with that one save and then in the penalty-kick shootout made the save that he needed to make."

ONE COLD NIGHT

The temperature at kickoff was 28 degrees, making it the second-coldest MLS Cup on record. That honor goes to the 2013 edition at Sporting Park in Kansas City, where the game kicked off at 22 degrees.

ONE HOT TICKET

While the remaining tickets for Saturday's final sold out in three minutes after going on sale to the general public last Monday, there were still 90 or so tickets available on StubHub 10 minutes prior to kickoff. Prices ranged from $147 up to $2,500 for a ticket that retailed between $55 and $555 at face value.

THE POWER OF CHANGE

Schmetzer became the first coach in MLS history to take charge of a team midway through the season and lead it to a championship. Schmid (Los Angeles Galaxy) and Steve Nicol (New England Revolution) took their teams to the title match, but both came up short.

THE PRICE IS RIGHT

"I hope we get to do this every year; it's pretty fun. If we don't win the championship every year I hope everyone has to go through us to get to the championship every year and when they get here they're bloody and bruised and can barely play." — Seattle Sounders part-owner, and host of the Price is Right, Drew Carey, in the locker room after the game.

Earthquakes announce roster moves ahead of 2017 season

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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.

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