Goalkeeping the difference in 'Quakes-Crew draw

Goalkeeping the difference in 'Quakes-Crew draw
July 17, 2011, 2:00 am
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Nick Rosano

The Earthquakes registered another 0-0 draw, but despite thelack of execution, there were some positives for San Jose to take from its trip to face theColumbus Crew. While Quakes goalkeeper Jon Busch was called into action morethan a few times, the team also managed to test Crew goalkeeper William Hesmeron the other end, as two strong goalkeeping performances decided thescoreline. He was a real difference maker today for sure, Earthquakesdefender Chris Leitch said. I donteven know which save to talk about because there were like four that were worldclass saves for sure, four or five of them. Both goalkeepers came up with big plays in both halves, asHesmer came up big to tip over a blistering shot from Simon Dawkins late in thefirst half. Minutes later, Busch game up with an equally impressive save,denying Crew winger Robbie Rogers in a one-on-one situation. Busch followed his first half performance up with two finesaves on the Crews Peruvian forward, Andres Mendoza. I think the two on Mendoza,I think I just tried to stand up and make myself look big and hope it hit meand you know he hit me twice with it, Busch said. At the end of the day, Ivesaid a few times, thats what we get paid to do. Not to be outdone, Hesmer made two fine saves, one on SimonDawkins and a second on a strong header from Chris Wondolowski. Ultimately hewas able to frustrate the Earthquakes and extend the teams winless streak tosix games. Will Hesmer and I did our jobs tonight, Busch said.Some days you have more to do and some days you have less to do. Despite the long unbeaten streak, including five gamesscoreless, the team was reasonably happy to have come away from Ohio with a point,especially considering the team has played midweek games each of the last twoweeks. I think if we would have been asked before we came here tocome into Columbusand play against a very good Crew team, would you take a point ?, we probablywould, said Earthquakes assistant coach Mark Watson, who filled in on thebench for a suspended Frank Yallop. It was a good game. You know, I thoughtthere were chances at both ends, I thought both teams did quite well, and Ithink we are pretty happy with the point. While a draw on the road is generally a decent result insoccer, Earthquakes defender Chris Leitch maintained the team could have playedbetter. I think we would have liked to play a little bit better,Leitch said, after the game. That said, sometimes you have to get a resultwhen youre not playing your best and I think that is what we did tonight, wedidnt play our best but we got a result. The Earthquakes will get a golden chance to snap theirwinless streak when the Vancouver Whitecaps, possessing the worst record in MLScome to town, just two days after hosting English Premier League outfit Manchester City in an exhibition. With the teamshowing a few signs of life, and three new players, Wednesdays game could bethe one that sets the tone for another playoff chase.For more Earthquakes, MLS and world soccer musings,follow Nick Rosano on Twitter: @nicholasrosano

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