Quakes-Red Bulls: What to watch for

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Quakes-Red Bulls: What to watch for

One of the few lasting memories of the 2011 season was Steven Lenharts spectacular header for a goal July 2nd against the New York Red Bulls in front of 40,000 fans at Stanford Stadium. He celebrated by doing a chin up on the crossbar of the goal post as the place went berserk. Sadly, he will not get a chance to repeat the feat this week as the San Jose Earthquakes will cross the country without him or his still injured hamstring to take on New York.The Red Bulls and Earthquakes have played some spectacular matches in recent years. Earthquake fans will not soon forget since departed Bobby Conveys effort in the visiting half of the playoffs in 2010. The match on Saturday has the potential to be even better.The leagues 3 leading goal scorers will be featured in this clash. French international Thierry Henry and his 7 goals continue to build on his legend. Kenny Cooper has found a home as his target forward for the Red Bulls as they have scored 13 goals in their last 3 matches. That is the first time in MLS history a team has been able to do that. After dropping their first two matches to Dallas and Real Salt Lake, New York has won their last three matches scored 4 against Colorado, 5 against Montreal, and 4 against Columbus. Those 13 goals are the most scored in three consecutive games in MLS history. Now granted, Colorado, Montreal and Columbus havent proven to be world beaters, but the league just hasnt seen scoring like this.My guess is San Jose will try to counter defensively with the same back line that has started every game. Victor Bernardez and Justin Morrow will continue to anchor the central defense with Steven Beitashour and Ramiro Corrales policing the right and left sides respectively. It will be interesting to see if Corrales and Beitashour will be able to join in offensively as much as they did last week against Vancouver or if they take a more conservative approach.The Earthquakes are literally hamstrung a bit at the striker position. Lenhart and Goal of the Week Nominee Alan Gordon are nursing hamstring issues and are doubtful for the trip east. This will provide an opportunity for someone, whether it is Simon Dawkins, Khari Stephenson or someone else, is yet to be seen.Fortunately Marvin Chavez has recovered from the ankle issue that he suffered in the first half of last weeks match with Vancouver. The midfield will be challenged severely this week so it is good that all are healthy and ready to go. The more they are able to control and dictate the play, the fewer chances Henry will have to get the ball to Cooper. If things dont start well defensively, perhaps well see Marc Jean Alexanders debut in the defensive mid position. His physicality may be of use against the Red Bulls offensive attack.This match is a great test for the team right now. Coming home with a point would be a positive, but when a team starts this well, anything less than three is disappointing. It is being televised at 4pm on Comcast SportsNet California. It will be a feed of the New York Red Bulls telecast, so be forewarned. The following week is another steep challenge for the Quakes as Real Salt Lake comes to Buck Shaw Stadium. RSL has become what Columbus used to be; a team that fears nobody and has a swagger that an MLS cup can fuel. Tickets are still available. It should be some very exciting soccer.

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

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USATSI

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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USATSI

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.