Rosano: Quakes upbeat despite Fire's comeback


Rosano: Quakes upbeat despite Fire's comeback


Nick Rosano

Its been a frustrating week for the San Jose Earthquakes.Twice they have faced the same team, twice theyve had victory in their grasp,and twice they have let it slip away.

As with most stories, there is another side to it, though.Saturday evenings 2-2 draw at Chicagoconstitutes the sixth straight game in which the team has gone unbeaten inregulation. While the Quakes still sit closer to the bottom of the WesternConference table than they'd like, the change in spirit over the past month is clearlyvisible in the teams recent play. The endeavor and the fight from the guys Ive been reallyhappy with, head coach Frank Yallop said after the game. I think theirspirits been great. Despite twice taking the lead in Chicago through Ramiro Corrales and ChrisWondolowski, the Quakes were pegged back twice by a team tied for thesecond-worst record in Major League Soccer. While there was naturally a certainlevel of disappointment with that after the game, the team is keeping apositive, open-minded outlook as it enters the month of June. We could have lost that game, well, not that we could havelost it but we may have buckled and we didnt, Yallop said. We hada goal conceded on us and we thought were not going to lose this game forsure. I felt very comfortable that theycould see the game out and they did very well. However, for all the mental fortitude shown by the team intaking a point from Chicago,the players conceded that in the long run, these kinds of results wouldntnecessarily be sustainable. We have to learn from this, said Earthquakesmidfielder Anthony Ampaipitakwong, who came off the bench and assisted on bothgoals. "The last couple of games weve been playing great as whole but we have tofinish these games off. Were playingvery well and we just have to bring that to Houston. Tactically speaking, Yallop stayed faithful to his triedand trusted 4-4-2 formation, with the caveat that Corrales, normally aleft back, switched places with Bobby Convey, a left midfielder who has oftendeputized as a left back when circumstances call for it. It proved to be an inspired change from Yallop, as Corralesaccurate crossing and passing added an extra element to the teams attack. Hisgoal from a set play was no mean feet, but the moment of brilliance came whenhis cheeky backheel opened up space for Ampaipitakwong to connect withWondolowski for the second goal. The second one, Rams Corrales drew two guys, back-heeledit to me and Wondolowski any time hes in the box, you just got to get the ballin there in a good spot and hell find it, Ampaipitakwong said. Naturally, it was Wondolowski who benefited most from theEarthquakes attacking play. His headed goal in the 74th minute cameas redemption after he had failed to connect properly with his left foot fromfollowing a well-placed cross from Ampaipitakwong. Still, he remained upbeatabout the teams endeavor, even if they ultimately failed to get all threepoints from Chicago.I thought we got some good balls in the box, scored twogoals. Usually on the road thats prettygood for us, explained Wondolowski. Were a little bummed to come home with atie, I think. While the team will have to cope without Wondolowskispresence for the next four matches as he joins the U.S. national team to play in theGold Cup, all the elements are present in the team for the Earthquakes to carrytheir positive form with them through the month of June. The foundations arethere, the execution just needs a little bit of tweaking. For more Earthquakes, MLS and soccer musings, youcan follow Nick Rosano on Twitter: @nicholasrosano

Earthquakes suffer first home loss of season, drop Cali Clasico to Galaxy


Earthquakes suffer first home loss of season, drop Cali Clasico to Galaxy


SAN JOSE -- Cali Clasico fans have come to expect fireworks on the pitch every time the San Jose Earthquakes and Los Angeles Galaxy face off in one of Major League Soccer’s best rivalries.

And the first affair of 2017 was no exception. Five goals in the first half got the match off to a roaring start but, much to the chagrin of San Jose fans, L.A. handed the Earthquakes their first Avaya Stadium loss of the season with a 4-2 final.

Giovani Dos Santos notched a pair of goals including the backbreaking tally 20 minutes into the second half.

Chris Wondolowski got the first half flurry going with an easy-money strike on a volley after a perfect backpost cross from Danny Hoesen in the 10th minute.

Saturday’s match was Hoesen’s best performance of the season, by far.

Los Angeles equalized nine minutes later when Joao Pedro took advantage of a sneaky ball between two defenders from Dos Santos. The Brazilian turned and struck the ball true to beat David Bingham.

It was the first sign of the San Jose nightmare that is the Mexican national.

The Galaxy took their first lead of the match in the 35th minute when Dos Santos finished a penalty kick earned after Kofi Sarkodie clothelined Bradley Diallo in the box.

But two minutes later, it was Hoesen getting off the proverbial schneid by notching his first goal as an Earthquake. It was a classy finish off a low cross inside the box from Tommy Thompson, who picked up his second assist of the season on the play.  

Disaster struck one minute before halftime though, when a diving Victor Bernardez deflected a Diallo cross after the defender found himself back in the San Jose 18. The ball beat a shocked Bingham.

San Jose came out aggressive in the second half and Los Angeles made them pay on the counterattack to put the game away. Romain Alessandrini raced down the left flank, took a look up and struck gold on a left-footed cross to Dos Santos on the back post that could not have been hand-placed any better. Dos Santos arrived perfectly to head the ball past Bingham.

The loss moved San Jose’s home record to 3-1-3.

Turning point: The final marker gave L.A. a two-goal win, but any momentum San Jose had after Hoesen equalized evaporated on the Bernardez own goal. Not only did the goal somewhat deflate the home team, but put San Jose in the position of aggressor – and it’s a position the Galaxy exploited to score the fourth goal.

San Jose’s Man of the Match: The pressure has been on Hoesen since the forward arrived on loan from the Netherlands. In 12 previous games, the man from Heerlen only had one assist to show for his efforts. On Saturday, Hoesen assisted on the first goal with a world-class cross and picked up his first goal of the season on an equally exquisite finish.

History watch: Wondolowski’s first half strike was his eighth goal against the Los Angeles side and 127th all-time in MLS. He is now just six behind Jaime Moreno, who sits third on the MLS’ all-time list.

Attendance: As expected, the San Jose Earthquakes announced a sell out for the marquee match on their schedule.

Up next: The Earthquakes head north to take on the Portland Timbers. The June 2nd matchup is scheduled for an 8 p.m. start. 

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


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


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.