Quakes fall to Union 1-0 on late penalty kick


Quakes fall to Union 1-0 on late penalty kick

Saturday, April 30, 2011
Posted: 6:14 p.m. Updated: 8:16 p.m.MATCH STATS MLS SCOREBOARD

Ryan Bright
CSNPhilly.com Contributor


CHESTER, Pa. -- Down a man, thanks to a first-half red card to Jordan Harvey, the Union easily could have sat on the one-point and tie or even worse, crumble and suffer the loss. Instead, they decided to show off their mettle at the expense of the struggling San Jose Earthquakes.

Pushing the visiting Earthquakes to their defensive limit all contest, the Union finally got on the board with a penalty kick earned by midfielder Amobi Okugo in the 76th minute. Sebastien Le Toux lined up and fired the ball high over the left-diving Jon Busch to give the Union the 1-0 lead and eventual victory, Saturday afternoon at PPL Park.

We fought like warriors, Okugo said. We fought hard and we played really well in the second half. It didnt even seem like we were down a man. The most important thing is that we got the win.

The win is their fourth of the season and the Union have banked seven of a possible nine points in their last three games and remain in a battle with the New York Red Bulls for the top spot in the Eastern Conference. It also marked the Union and goalie Faryd Mondragons fourth shutout of the season. They recorded only two in the entire 2010 season.

Its just refreshing, to be honest, said defender Danny Califf. I dont think its surprising, really. But I think we were getting there last year. Its a commitment to defending in order to keep ourselves in games.

With just 15 minutes left in the contest and the Union only fielding 10 men, 20-year-old Okugo decided to make a difference. Finding a seam down the left side of the Earthquakes box, the young prospect carried the ball between defenders and to the goal line. Looking to make a cross and while stumbling, Okugo launched the intended pass into the hands of recovering defender Jason Hernandez, earning the penalty kick on a handball.

Carlos Ruiz made a good layoff, I thought I was going to shoot it, said Okugo. There was a space down the line so I just took it down the line. Luckily, the way he slid, his arm was out.

His hand was out and it hit it, clearly

Hernandez claimed the hand ball was less than intentional.

I had a guy get through, kind of break down the defense, and I went over to try and make a tackle to block the cross. And honestly I didnt even know about it. I kind of just felt it, and the ref pointed to the spot.

While the referees gave the Union an opportunity to win in the second half, they took a chunk out of the home teams hopes in the first. In the 41st minute of a Union-heavy opening half, Earthquakes defender Chris Leitch attempted a tackle on Harvey near midfield. Unable to remove the ball, Leich, who was on the ground, became tied up at the legs with Harvey, who was still standing. Harvey high-stepped out of the tangle and out of nowhere, received a straight red card from referee Mark Geiger.

According to Peter Nowak, the card was unjustified and will be appealed to the league in hopes that Harvey will not be suspended for teams next game against the Portland Timbers on May 6.

I think everyone saw the replay, said Nowak. I think the replay created very clearly what was the case. And for me, I saw the replay I think we are going to review this and make the right decision.

Forced to play with a man-down roster, Nowak replaced Danny Mwanga with more defensive-minded midfielder Stefani Miglioranzi and Roger Torres for Michael Farfan, who made his MLS debut. Yet, the Union still managed the majority of the offense in the second half, highlighted by two corner kicks and a Ruiz and Le Toux exchange in the opposition's box that was snuffed out by the defense.

I cant praise this group enough, said Nowak. This group plays great, physically and they prepare mentally. They know that at the end of the game they have the points and go home the champions. Its a good thing and its really important for this group to overcome the obstacles that we have with the red card.

The physical contest began to get chippy in the 30th minute, after Okugo was charged a yellow card for a hard foul on on Steven Lenhart. Moments later, Mondragon, who is never short on emotion, got into a jawing match with Quakes midfielder Brandon McDonald, a confrontation that led to a pushing match between the two squads. Both players received a yellow card.

But the match didnt start out bogged down by referee interjection.

The Union began the contest looking to push the offense with both Mwanga and Torres in the lineup and midfielders Miglioranzi and Justin Mapp on the bench -- a high-powered setup typically used by Nowak late in games when his team needs to milk a goal.

And for the early going, it worked, as the Union held the majority of possession and pressure.

Coach changed up our tactics a bit with Roger Torres, Keon Daniel and Seba (Sebastien Le Toux) in front of us to try and exploit their weaknesses a little bit, said Okugo. I thought we did a fairly good job of maintaining possession and playing our game.

The Earthquakes pushed back in the 21st and 22nd minute, earning consecutive corner kicks. However, taking both, Anthony Ampaipitakwongs attempts into the Union box were both turned away with ease. Mondragon made just one save in the shutout, as the Quakes lacked sustained pressure or any good chances on goal.

E-mail Ryan Bright at ryanbright13@gmail.com

Earthquakes announce roster moves ahead of 2017 season


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


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."