Quakes play to 1-1 draw in Colorado


Quakes play to 1-1 draw in Colorado


COMMERCE CITY, Colo. Its become all too familiar for the Earthquakes. For the seventh time in 12games this season, they took the lead, only to drop points at the final whistle. In a rematch ofthe 2010 Eastern Conference final against defending champion Colorado Rapids,the Earthquakes took a first half lead through Chris Wondolowski, only torelinquish it in the second half, leading to a second consecutive 1-1 draw. I think that the result was probably fair in the end but Ifelt for a good 55, 60 minutes that we shouldve scored more than one goal, soIm kind of disappointed we didnt, Earthquakes head coach Frank Yallop saidto reporters after the game. Despite more positive play and a series of chances to scoremore than one goal, the Earthquakes could not find a way to beat Colorado goalkeeper MattPickens again after he spilled a rebound off a dipping shot from KhariStephenson in the 18th minute, allowing Wondolowski an easy finish.Khari has a great shot and he was able to find a littlespace and hit it on frame, Wondolowski said of his strike. To be honest itcame out pretty hot, it was a pretty good rebound, but Ill take those anyday. The goal was Wondolowskis 32nd for theEarthquakes, tying him for second with Landon Donovan for second on thefranchises all-time scoring list.Its right now a little bittersweet, Wondolowski said, ofhis record. Its a true honor, Donovan is a great player and I know how muchit means to the fans and the club and I appreciate it, but I really wish Icouldve gotten another one or taken that win.On the defensive end, the Earthquakes played well in the runof play, catching the Rapids offside eight times while not conceding a corneruntil the 69th minute of the game. By playing a high defensive lineand having full backs with speed, the Earthquakes were largely able to containthe threats of fast players like Omar Cummings and Sanna Nyassi. We try to make sure were compact and we hold a high linebecause we dont want to get the game stretched, especially against teams like Colorado, Yallop saidof his teams defensive showing. I thought we did a nice job of holding ahigh-ish line, but making sure we broke back to cover them. While one of Coloradosstrengths has been quickness down the wings and up top, the speed of San Jose full backs StevenBeitashour and Justin Morrow did help the team match its opponent for speed. Theyre fast players, so you always have to be on your toesand ready to face your own goal and start a foot race, and get back, so itsnot easy, Beitashour said. Despite not conceding a corner until midway through thesecond half, the series of corners following Colorados first of the game provided thehome team with their way back. After Jon Busch made two impressive stops tokeep the Rapids out, he could do nothing to prevent Drew Moor from cleaningthings up to tie the game in the 71st minute. If it had been 2-0 I think it would have been a lot harderfor Colorado to get back in the game, but you know, give credit to them, theygot their goal and then had some chances at the end, Yallop added. But Istill think that the game all hinged on our inability to score the secondgoal. Wondolowski had an excellent chance to extend theEarthquakes lead on 36 minutes when he found himself alone in front of Pickensafter a chipped pass from Simon Dawkins. However, Pickens was quick off hisline and turned Wondolowskis effort out for a corner. In the second half, theteams best chance when Stephenson took a coat of paint off the far post with alow shot, only to see it go out for a goal kick.While Yallop and his players highlighted the teamsinability to get a second goal as a key factor in the teams struggles to holda lead, Yallop also pointed to other, more circumstantial factors in Saturdayevenings game. I think we ran out of gas in the end, at altitude and withthe third game in a week with the same unit, Yallop added. Perhaps even more frustrating than the Earthquakes beingunable to hold a lead this season not a typical phenomenon for a FrankYallop-coached team is the fact that the team has largely improved itsperformances over the past month or two with little to show for it. Weve moved the ball real well in the last seven, eightnine games really well, Yallop said. I think we played terrific in Portland on Wednesdaynight and very unlucky not get more than a point out of that one. Kind of thesame story tonight. Following two straight draws during the week, theEarthquakes now have 31 points, eight points out of a playoff spot at the timeof writing. With four games left and five teams standing in the way of the 10thand final spot, the teams playoff chances are alive only by the slimmest ofmargins, and face elimination when it hosts Sporting Kansas City on Oct.1.For more Earthquakes, MLS and world soccer musings,you can follow Nick Rosano on Twitter: @nicholasrosano

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from Quakes' lopsided loss to Red Bulls


Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from Quakes' lopsided loss to Red Bulls


The San Jose Earthquakes had one big thing going for them when they took on the New York Red Bulls Wednesday evening — they were on 10 days rest having last played a truly competitive match on July 10 in U.S. Open Cup action.

Unfortunately for the Quakes, they failed to take advantage of that in losing to the Red Bulls 5-1 — definitely not the return to the pitch they were hoping for.  

Here are five takeaways from a Wednesday evening, lopsided loss to NYR. 

— The Quakes had no answer for Sacha Kljestan. The Red Bulls midfielder, who frequented the U.S. Men’s National Team roster at one point, was not called to international duty for the ongoing FIFA Gold Cup and San Jose paid the price for that — the man finessed the Quakes to death on Wednesday evening, factoring in three New York goals with his use of spacing in the Red Bulls midfield. 

— There were a couple of big debuts for San Jose. First, newly signed designated player Valeri Qazaishvili — who the MLS world is calling Vako — made his league debut when in he came as a substitute for Danny Hoesen at halftime. The Georgian native showed flashes with his early touch, but never really factored in the game until the 88th minute when he scored the Quakes’ lone goal on a volley tap courtesy of a nifty Jahmir Hyka cross. It’s a nice debut on the scoresheet, but San Jose is expecting DP-esque things from the Georgian. 

— And second, welcome back, Quincy Amarikwa. The forward has been sidelined since September of 2016 when he suffered ACL and LCL damage that required surgery. Amarikwa has been documenting his recovery on social media and surprised Quakes fans when he make his on-pitch return last week in a friendly against Germany’s Eintracht Frankfurt. On Wednesday, he made his official return in the 76th minute. Amarikwa has nine goals and seven assists in 41 career appearances with the Quakes. 

— It definitely wasn’t the homecoming head coach Chris Leitch was hoping for. Leitch played for five seasons over with the New York club. He made 101 appearances for the Metrostars/Red Bulls, assisting on five goals during his career. 

He’s now 0-1-0 as an opposing head coach. 

— It’s unfair to nitpick on a single defensive effort, given that soccer is a team sport, but the Red Bulls attacked center back Andres Imperiale often Wednesday afternoon — and more often than not, they were rewarded with a scoring opportunity. It’s the second straight poor showing on the road for the Quakes defense as a whole after surrendering a four-spot to Atlanta United FC on Independence Day.

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from Quakes' historic US Open Cup win over Galaxy

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from Quakes' historic US Open Cup win over Galaxy

It was a historic night over at Avaya Stadium. 

For the first time in U.S. Open Cup history, the San Jose Earthquakes have beaten their bitter rivals, the Los Angeles Galaxy -- 3-2. 

The win also propels the Quakes to just their second appearance in the tournament's semifinals. 

Chris Wondolowski scored a brace to lead the way while Danny Hoesen added the insurance. 

Here are a handful of things to know about Monday's win over the Galaxy. 

-- The sixth time was the charm as the Quakes had lost five previous meetings against their rivals. But the night began with some doubts when Jelle Van Damme scored in just the third minute. His header was goal No. 2 in the last two games against the Quakes.

But Wondolowski equalized courtesy of Tommy Thompson in the 16th minute and then put the San Jose up for good six minutes in the second half -- once again, thanks to Thompson. 

Hoesen scored a breakaway goal about ten minutes later.  

-- If you tried to find Wondolowski on the pitch using his regular number, you were unsuccessful. 

Wondolowski was sporting No. 38 Monday night in honor of Matheus Silva, the Quakes midfielder playing for Reno 1868 on loan who suffered swimming accident July 4 in Lake Tahoe. 

Silva was in a coma until July 6. 

Fittingly, the forward scored twice. Wondolowski's goal is the sixth of his U.S. Open Cup career. He's now tied for the all-time lead in Earthquakes history.  

-- Pregame, the Quakes introduced their latest acquisition, Designated Player Valeri ‘Vako’ Qazaishvili, to the press. 

Qazaishvili began his career in his native Georgia with FC Saburtalo in 2010, spending time on loan with Metalurgi Rustavi and Sioni Bulnisi. 

He then moved on to Vitesse in August of 2011 at just 18 years old, tallying one goal in four appearances for the first team in his debut season.

-- Speaking of Georgia, the Bay Area now boasts two of the nation's very best athletes. Zaza Pachulia, the starting center of the NBA Champion Golden State Warriors, was in attendance MOnday night. 

The center kicked the ceremonial first goal. 

He also swapped jerseys with Vako -- as per usual in soccer circles. No word on Pachulia's footy game. 

-- The Quakes have already equaled their best ever finish in Cup history. They'll now try to surpass that when they face either Sporting Kansas City of FC Dallas -- who play Tuesday night.