Preview: Quakes put unbeaten streak on the line vs. RSL
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES vs REAL SALT LAKE
BUCK SHAW STADIUM, Santa Clara, Calif.
April 21, 2012 (WEEK 7, MLS Game #61)
7:30 p.m. PT (CSN-BA; KUCW-30)
The San Jose Earthquakes put their four-game unbeaten streak on the line in a real test, when they take on Real Salt Lake in a meeting of the top two clubs in the Western Conference on Saturday evening at Buck Shaw Stadium. The Quakes saw their three-game winning streak ended, but still came away with a result in a 2-2 draw at New York. Real started a three-game road swing when their three-game winning streak was ended in a 1-0 loss at Sporting Kansas City.
REFEREE: Elias Bazakos. SAR (bench): Chris Strickland; JAR (opposite): Corey Parker; 4th: Terry Vaughn
MLS Career: 21 games; FC/gm: 26.6; Y/gm: 2.7; R: 5; pens: 2
- SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES - OUT: DF Victor Bernardez (L knee MCL sprain); MF Joey Gjertsen (R knee surgery); MF Shea Salinas (L clavicle fracture); DF Tim Ward (L non-specific soft tissue injury); QUESTIONABLE: MF Cesar Diaz Pizarro (R hamstring strain); FW Alan Gordon (L hamstring strain); FW Steven Lenhart (R hamstring strain)
- REAL SALT LAKE DOUBTFUL: FW Cody Arnoux (L adductor strain); MF Nico MuÒiz (R MCL sprain); QUESTIONABLE: MF Ned Grabavoy (L rib cage dislocation); MF Javier Morales (R hamstring strain); PROBABLE: MF Enzo Martinez (lower back spasms)
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none
SUSPENDED: SJ: Marvin Chavez (through April 22)
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: none
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: SJ: Steven Lenhart ... RSL: Kyle Beckerman
ALL-TIME (13 meetings): Earthquakes 3 wins, 14 goals ... Real 5 wins, 20 goals ... Ties 5
AT SAN JOSE (6 meetings): Earthquakes 2 wins, 9 goals ... Real 3 wins, 10 goals ... Ties 1
RETURN MATCHES: 6/23: Real Salt Lake vs. San Jose Earthquakes, 7 p.m. MT; 7/14: San Jose Earthquakes vs. Real Salt Lake, 7:30 p.m. PT
LAST YEAR (MLS):
3/19: SJ 0, RSL 1 (Beckerman 64)
7/23: RSL 4, SJ 0 (Saborio 63, 75; Beckerman 78; Olave 83)
- Real won both meetings between the teams last year by shutout, a 1-0 win April 19 in Santa Clara, and a 4-0 win July 23 in Sandy.
- San Jose last defeated RSL in league play May 30, 2009; Real have won three of the five meetings since, with two draws.
- Real have won on each of their last two trips to Buck Shaw Stadium in league play, and also won an U.S. Open Cup play-in match in 2010 (by penalty shootout).
- Coaches record: Frank Yallop vs. RSL: P14 W3 L7 D4 ... Jason Kreis vs. SJ: P9 W5 L1 D3
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES
The San Jose Earthquakes extended their unbeaten streak to four games in impressive fashion, going to Red Bull Arena and twice coming back before settling for a 2-2 draw on Saturday evening. The Quakes sit in second place in the Western Conference with 13 points from 6 games.
HIGHLIGHTS: Quakes play to a draw at Red Bull Arena
- It took the Red Bulls only six minutes to score the opener and it was the tandem of Thierry Henry and Kenny Cooper that combined. Henry slipped a ball inside the penalty area to Cooper, who beat an offside trap and finished with a low shot past goalkeeper Jon Busch.
- The Earthquakes pulled level in the 15th minute through a goal from Rafael Baca. Chris Wondolowski played a ball behind the Red Bulls back line that allowed San Jose's Khari Stephenson to exploit the space. He then dribbled forward before squaring a pass to a wide-open Baca to side-foot home.
- New York reclaimed the lead eight minutes later when Dax McCarty scored his first-ever goal with the Red Bulls. Winger Dane Richards whipped in a low cross from the right flank that Kenny Cooper flicked up for McCarty to volley into the lower right corner.
- But the Quakes again pulled even in the 35th minute. Steven Beitashour collected a long ball on the right flank and floated a cross into the area that Shea Salinas flicked back to a diving Wondolowski, who headed home from close range.
- Earthquakes head coach Frank Yallop made one change to the team that came back for a 3-1 victory against Vancouver Whitecaps FC at Buck Shaw Stadium. Khari Stephenson came into the side in place of Simon Dawkins.
- SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES (4-4-1-1): Jon Busch - Steven Beitashour, Justin Morrow, Victor Bernardez (Jason Hernandez 46), Ramiro Corrales (Ike Opara 80) - Marvin Chavez, Sam Cronin, Rafael Baca, Shea Salinas (Simon Dawkins 46) - Khari Stephenson - Chris Wondolowski.
- Chris Wondolowski pulled into a tie atop the MLS Golden Boot standings, along with New York Red Bulls teammates Thierry Henry and Kenny Cooper, after his goal in the draw with New York. Wondolowski has scored in four consecutive games and in 10 of last 11 league contests, dating back to last Sept. 24.
- "Once the game settled down a little bit we had the better of the play, especially in the second half. With all the stuff that happened in the game with the two injuries in the first half, it was a great result for us tonight," San Jose coach Frank Yallop said. "Our goals were excellent tonight. Both of them came after good movement and both Wondo (Chris Wondolowski) and Rafa (Rafael Baca) finished well."
- After the New York match, the main talking points were the injuries to midfielder Shea Salinas and defender Victor Bernardez just before the end of the first half, barely 10 seconds apart.
- Salinas will undergo surgery Wednesday to repair a fractured left clavicle after a takedown by Red Bulls midfielder Rafa Marquez in the box on a corner kick, and is expected to miss 6-8 weeks
- Bernardez was also injured in the same sequence from a separate incident, spraining his left medial collateral ligament after challenging Red Bulls goalkeeper Ryan Meara for a 50-50 ball. He is expected to miss 4-6 weeks.
- "It's never good, losing two players on one play right before halftime, but I've got to commend the guys for their second-half performance," Yallop said. "I thought we bossed the game, to be honest, and were a little bit unlucky not to score the winning goal."
- Jason Hernandez made his second appearance of the season in relief of Bernardez, while Simon Dawkins came on for Salinas.
- "The good thing is that we have an extremely deep team, and as you saw, when you can bring Jason Hernandez, Ike Opara and Simon Dawkins off the bench, you're not missing much," Chris Wondolowski said. "Sometimes that can be a little worrisome, when you see [teammates hurt], and you see someone coming in and you don't necessarily have 100 percent faith in them. I know with our team, we can go all the way down to the 28th guy and we still have 100 percent faith in them."
- The Quakes were already missing strikers Alan Gordon and Steven Lenhart, both out with strained hamstrings, and have not yet returned to full training. In addition, striker Sercan Guvenisik and rookie forward Cesar Diaz Pizarro were also held out of training to begin the week.
- "I don't expect the team to suffer from the two guys getting injured, and that's by design," Yallop said. "We're covered in all spots and not lacking in the quality that comes off the bench."
- On Thursday, midfielder Marvin Chavez was suspended for one match by the MLS Disciplinary Committee after committing a reckless challenge in the 52nd minute of the New York match that endangered the safety of his opponent.
Our City Forest
REAL SALT LAKE
Real Salt Lake saw their three-game winning streak put to an end in a top-of-the-table clash of conference leaders, falling 1-0 to Sporting Kansas City on Saturday evening at Livestrong Sporting Park. Real still lead the Western Conference with 15 points from 7 games.
HIGHLIGHTS: RSL fall to red-hot Sporting
- The game's lone goal came after 63 minutes. Graham Zusi flighted in a corner from the left and Aurelien Collin slashed in at the back post to head it home. It was Collin's second goal of the year, both coming on headers off set-piece assists from Zusi.
- SKC goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen was called upon to make just one save on the night, a routine stop of a Nat Borchers header from Kyle Beckerman's free kick in second-half stoppage time that ended Sporting's league-record string of not allowing a shot on goal at 335 minutes.
- RSL head coach Jason Kreis made no changes to the team that defeated the Colorado Rapids 2-0 at Rio Tinto Stadium.
- REAL SALT LAKE (4-1-3-2): Nick Rimando - Tony Beltran, Jamison Olave, Nat Borchers, Chris Wingert - Will Johnson, Kyle Beckerman, Sebastian Velasquez (Jonny Steele 63) - Luis Gil (Paulo Junior 76) - Fabian Espindola, Alvaro Saborio.
- Real Salt Lake allowed their first goal in 268 minutes, since the 3-2 win in Portland on March 31. It's the fourth longest shutout streak in MLS this season.
- "I thought we were ready, I thought we played well, but set pieces can decide a game. And tonight that's what happened," said goalkeeper Nick Rimando. "They caught us on that corner kick. We had some chances toward the end, but now we have to turn our focus to the next game."
- Real also allowed their first goal from a deadball situation this season. Last year, seven of RSL's 36 goals conceded came on set pieces, seventh-fewest in MLS.
- It is disappointing. It's something that we really focus on and we know that Kansas City is very, very good on all deadball situations," said RSL head coach Jason Kreis. "We talked about it a lot, we trained it this week. We don't typically give up goals on dead balls, either, we're pretty good at defending them."
- RSL was shut out for the second time in seven games. They've scored multiple goals in four of five games; both losses have come on 1-0 scorelines.
- "The thing about giving the goal away was that now it turned our attention to 'How are we going to attack?'", said Kreis. "I think we were a little too content to defend for most of the night. Perhaps a goal before half, maybe then we spend 45 minutes trying to attack and get the game back and it's different. Soccer is a weird game that way."
- When Real met Sporting KC, it was just the third time since 2002 (when MLS returned to a two-conference alignment) that two conference leaders with leads of more than three points met in a top-of-the-table clash. D.C. United and FC Dallas met in 2006, and the LA Galaxy and Columbus in 2010, when both led by three points or more.
- "We'd love to see these guys again," said Beckerman. "That'll drive us to work even harder and come back and hopefully get another chance at them in the playoffs. We'll lick our wounds and come back and learn from it, and work harder."
Power 5: PK Stoppers #1 Nick Rimando