Wondolowski's hat-trick propels 'Quakes past Rapids

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Wondolowski's hat-trick propels 'Quakes past Rapids

A Chris Wondolowski hat-trick paced the San Jose Earthquakes to a 4-1 victory over the Colorado Rapids at Dicks Sporting Goods Park Saturday night. With the win, the Earthquakes clinched the regular season Western Conference title and a number one seed in the MLS Cup playoffs.

Less than two minutes into the match, Marvin Chavez opened the scoring for San Jose against Colorado, and Wondolowski followed with his 23rd, 24th, and 25th goals of the season. A late red card shown to defender Jason Hernandez resulted in a penalty kick for the Rapids that was converted by Andre Akpan to prevent the home side from being shut out.

With three goals scored, Wondolowski raised his San Jose career total to 62 goals and passed Ronald Cerritos to become the Earthquakes franchise all-time goal scorer. With two more goals in the teams remaining two regular season games, Wondolowski would draw level with Roy Lassiter for the single-season record of 27 goals scored.

The victory moved the Earthquakes six points clear of Sporting Kansas City at the top of the Supporters Shield standings. A loss by Sporting to the Columbus Crew on Sunday would virtually clinch the Shield or San Jose.

Following their road draw with FC Dallas last weekend, the Earthquakes refigured their line-up in search of a victory against the struggling Rapids. Head coach Frank Yallop unveiled a Starting XI that featured the teams three leading scorers this season: Wondolowski, Steven Lenhart, and Alan Gordon. With such offensive power on the field, it did not take long for the visitors to capitalize.

In the second minute, Sam Cronin sent a long free kick into the Rapids area that was cleared right to the feet of Chavez. The Honduran midfielder, who will depart directly from Colorado to join his countrys national team for a pair of World Cup qualifying matches this week, drilled a shot through traffic that left goalkeeper Matt Pickens flat-footed.

The Earthquakes doubled their lead in the 11th minute through Wondolowski, who chested a cross from Rafael Baca past Pickens for what would eventually be counted as his 11th game winning goal of the season.

Colorado twice had opportunities to get on the board in the first half but Justin Morrow cleared a Luis Zapata chipped shot off the line in the 30th minute and Ramiro Corrales nicked a shot from Omar Cummings beyond the far post in the 43rd minute.

Wondolowski netted his second goal of the game in 51st minute after a cross into the area deflected into his path in front of goal. Defender Drew Moor made a touch on the ball as the shot rifled on target, and Pickens was unable to make a try on the goal.
The MLS Golden Boot leader completed his hat-trick in the 83rd minute when the Colorado defense completely lost track of him at the top of the area. Cronin, spying the wide open Wondolowski fed him the ball with plenty of time to turn and shoot on target. The goal extended the Earthquakes lead to 4-0 on the night.

The Rapids pulled one back in stoppage time following a red card to Hernandez and a penalty kick conversation from Akpan. As the last defender on a breakaway, Hernandez tackled Akpan in the area to earn the ejection. The Earthquakes defender will be required to sit out the teams next match.

After a two week break in the schedule, San Jose returns to action on October 21 in a home match against the LA Galaxy at Buck Shaw Stadium. They close out their season with a trip away to Portland the following weekend.

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.

San Jose Earthquakes media services
 

Plane carrying a Brazilian soccer team crashes in Colombia; 75 dead

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AP

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."