Preview: Retooled Whitecaps host league-leading Quakes
VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC vs SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES
BC PLACE, Vancouver, B.C.
July 22, 2012 (WEEK 20, MLS Game #196)
7 pm ET / 4 pm PT (CSN-BA)
Vancouver Whitecaps FC continue their homestand when the top club in Major League Soccer, the San Jose Earthquakes, come calling at BC Place on Sunday afternoon. Whitecaps FC returned home after nearly a month at midweek, pegged back for a 2-2 draw with the LA Galaxy. The Quakes held on for a second consecutive victory, defeating FC Dallas 2-1 at home, also at midweek.
∫ Jair Marrufo. SAR (bench): Anthony Vasoli; JAR (opposite): Brian Poeschel; 4th: Yader Reyes
MLS Career: 137 games; FC/gm: 24.2; Y/gm: 3.2; R: 32; pens: 43
VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC - OUT: FW Eric Hassli (R ankle strain); FW Omar Salgado (R foot fracture); DOUBTFUL: MF John Thorrington (R quad strain); QUESTIONABLE: FW Atiba Harris (R knee surgery recovery)
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES - OUT: MF Sam Garza (rib fracture); MF Joey Gjertsen (R knee surgery); FW Steven Lenhart (concussion symptoms); DF Tim Ward (L non-specific soft tissue injury); QUESTIONABLE: MF Cesar Diaz Pizarro (L ankle sprain)
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: VAN: Gershon Koffie, Dane Richards ... SJ: Steven Beitashour, Alan Gordon
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: VAN: Martin Bonjour, Darren Mattocks ... SJ: Rafael Baca, Victor Bernardez, Marvin Chavez, Ramiro Corrales, Steven Lenhart
ALL-TIME (4 meetings): Whitecaps FC 1 win, 6 goals ... Earthquakes 1 win, 7 goals ... Ties 2
AT VANCOUVER (2 meetings): Whitecaps FC 1 win, 3 goals ... Earthquakes 0 wins, 2 goals ... Ties 1
4/7: SJ 3, VAN 1 (Wondolowski 68, 78; Gordon 72 -- Le Toux 49)
5/5: VAN 2, SJ 1 (Koffie 41; Hassli 94+ -- Wondolowski 15)
- The teams have split their two meetings this season, each winning at home. The Quakes won 3-1 on April 7 at Buck Shaw Stadium behind a pair of goals from Chris Wondolowski, while Whitecaps FC won 2-1 on May 5 at BC Place thanks to a last-gasp goal by Eric Hassli.
- The teams played to a pair of draws last year in Vancouverís inaugural season in MLS.
- Chris Wondolowski has scored six of San Joseís seven goals vs. Vancouver.
- Coaches record: Martin Rennie vs. SJ: P2 W1 L1 D0 Ö Frank Yallop vs. SEA: P4 W1 L1 D2
LAST MEETING (MLS)
- San Jose took the lead after just 15 minutes. Marvin Chavez found an unmarked Chris Wondolowski lurking at the far post and put it on a platter for the league's leading scorer to head home. Vancouver goalkeeper Joe Cannon scrambled across but could only push the ball into the side netting.
- Whitecaps FC had an answer shortly before halftime, as Gershon Koffie used his head to level the score from a free kick generated by Omar Salgado down the left side. Camilo stepped up to take the set piece, whipping in a ball which Koffie met well for the 41st-minute equalizer.
- The gameís decisive moment came in the fourth minute of stoppage time. Eric Hassli found himself alone on the left edge of the area and powered a low strike which Busch managed to get a hand on, before squeaking through and rebounding off the post and finding the back of the net.
- VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC (4-3-3): Joe Cannon - Lee Young-Pyo, Jay DeMerit, Martin Bonjour, Alain Rochat - Gershon Koffie, Jun Marques Davidson, Matt Watson (John Thorrington 61) - Sebastien Le Toux, Camilo (Eric Hassli 74), Omar Salgado (Davide Chiumiento 82).
- SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES (4-4-2): Jon Busch - Steven Beitashour, Jason Hernandez (Ike Opara 45), Justin Morrow, Ramiro Corrales - Marvin Chavez (Tressor Moreno 75), Sam Cronin, Rafael Baca, Simon Dawkins (Khari Stephenson 63) - Chris Wondolowski, Steven Lenhart.
VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC
Vancouver Whitecaps FC returned home after nearly a month away, and saw the LA Galaxy come back with two goals before the teams settled for a 2-2 draw Wednesday evening at BC Place. Whitecaps FC are in a tie for third place in the Western Conference with 31 points from 20 games.
- Whitecaps FC were in the lead after 18 minutes. Camilo won the ball in midfield, then slipped a pass through a defender's legs as he was knocked down. Gershon Koffie eventually wrong-footed his marker before hitting a low left-footed effort into the bottom right corner.
- Vancouver doubled the lead nine minutes later. Barry Robson got away from his marker before redirecting Lee Young-Pyoís cross into the top right corner past LA goalkeeper Josh Saunders.
- The Galaxy began their fightback in the 81st minute through David Beckham. Taking a pass laid back by Landon Donovan, Beckham's shot from outside the box took a deflection past goalkeeper Joe Cannon.
- LA hit for the equalizer six minutes later. Jose Villarreal took a pass and cut back in the top of the area before curling a shot inside the far post past Cannon.
- Whitecaps FC head coach Martin Rennie made two changes to the team that fell 1-0 to the Chicago Fire at Toyota Park. Dane Richards came in to the side for Alain Rochat, and Camilo started in place of Michael Nanchoff.
- VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC (4-2-3-1): Joe Cannon - Lee Young-Pyo, Jay DeMerit, Martin Bonjour, Jordan Harvey - Gershon Koffie, Jun Marques Davidson - Dane Richards, Barry Robson, Camilo (Michael Nanchoff 69) - Darren Mattocks.
- Whitecaps FC were home for the first time since June 20, and extended their current streak at BC Place to seven games without loss (4-0-3). Their last home loss was April 18 vs. Sporting KC.
- Barry Robson scored his first goal since joining the club, heading home a Young-Pyo Lee cross. It was Lee's first assist since June 10.
- "It's a great ball -- the ball always makes it for me," Robson said. "Y.P. put in a fantastic ball and he takes as much credit as I do."
- Robson moved into an attacking central midfield role with Gershon Koffie dropping a little deeper -- and the pair scored the two goals on the night.
- "I think heís right on track. He was excellent tonight and he drove us forward. He kept great possession of the ball and him and Gershon did such a good job in the middle of midfield," said Rennie. "I think you can see how good of a player he is; heís a fantastic player and he will help us a lot."
- Said Robson: "He's easy - because he's a good player. He's a young kid and we're going to make him better and he will get better."
- The goals against the Galaxy were the first in the all-time series in four games. The Koffie goal snapped a 288-minute scoreless streak vs. LA.
- "We asked those guys to control the game, and for the first 70 minutes they got in their faces and kept it for us," Jay DeMerit said. "That was the disappointing part, because the last 30 minutes we didnít do that. And that showed, because when we donít keep the ball we give their crossers the chance to cross the ball. When you let the crossers with the quality they have get the ball in the box then we get spread out and thatís when goals happen."
- Camilo recorded an assist, his first time on the scoresheet with a goal or assist since May 19.
- Whitecaps FC are now 7-3-3 when scoring the first goal, the 15 dropped points the third-most in MLS. They have allowed 14 goals over the final half-hour of contests this season.
- "We're still a disappointed bunch in this locker room because we feel like we deserve more. I think one of the last hurdles we have is to see games out," said DeMerit. "There's been many times this season where weíve found ourselves in the lead and we havenít been able to finish them off."
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES
The San Jose Earthquakes narrowly escaped, but still recorded a second consecutive victory, holding on for a 2-1 win against FC Dallas on Wednesday evening at Buck Shaw Stadium. The Quakes lead the Western Conference with 43 points from 21 games.
- The Quakes took the lead in the 12th minute when Marvin Ch·vez hammered a skidding cross-field pass from Shea Salinas into the far corner with a wicked strike.
- San Jose doubled the advantage through Alan Gordon in the 45th minute. From a turnover, Sam Cronin looped a cross from the right flank to the far post, where a barely marked Gordon looped a header back the other way.
- The game was poised to be put out of reach when FCD's Brek Shea was called for a handball in the 60th minute. Chris Wondolowski stepped up to the spot and ripped a shot past goalkeeper Kevin Hartman, but referee Kevin Stott ruled a San Jose player encroached into the area, and Hartman knocked away Wondolowskiís drive on the retake.
- FC Dallas pulled a goal back in the 89th minute when Hernan Pertuz headed home a free kick launched into the mixer by Jackson from the right.
- Then in stoppage time, Quakes substitute Simon Dawkins bundled over FCD's Zach Loyd, and Stott again pointed to the spot. Jair BenÌtez stepped up to take the kick, but pushed his shot just high of the crossbar, allowing San Jose to escape with a full three points.
- Earthquakes head coach Frank Yallop made no changes to the team that rolled to a 5-0 victory against Real Salt Lake at Buck Shaw Stadium.
- SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES (4-4-2): Jon Busch - Steven Beitashour, Jason Hernandez, Victor Bernardez, Justin Morrow - Marvin Chavez (Simon Dawkins 69), Sam Cronin, Rafael Baca, Shea Salinas (Ramiro Corrales 95+) - Alan Gordon (Khari Stephenson 71), Chris Wondolowski.
- It was a third consecutive win at Buck Shaw Stadium for the Earthquakes, and extended their home unbeaten streak to eight games. Their last home loss came April 17, a 1-0 defeat by Houston in the second game of the season.
- "This team never stops fighting. We play with enormous hearts and we play for each other. Every match we are getting better and better. We are finding different ways to win, which is the characteristic of a winning club," said Marvin Chavez.
- After back-to-back shutouts, the Quakes conceded a goal late, snapping a 300-minute shutout streak.
- "I always say that every game in this league is difficult and it showed tonight. We were tested until the final whistle. Dallas had more than a handful of corner kicks in the first half, but the defensive unit found a way to clear the ball, preventing any further chances. Then Jason (Hernandez) and (Victor) Bernardez did a great job in the middle soaking up pressure and stopping most of their attack," said Yallop. "Overall, it was a solid defensive performance by our team."
- Shea Salinas recorded his third assist in as many matches, putting in the cross Chavez lashed home for the opening goal.
- The goal was the first for Chavez with the Earthquakes, coming against his former club, where he played 2009-11.
- "I had a dream I was going to score my first goal tonight. I still have good friends playing for Dallas and I am happy I was able to score against my former club," Chavez said. "It was a beautiful play all around. Everything about the goal was special. From the cross to the roar of the crowd, it was a moment I will not forget."
- Chris Wondolowski had a glorious opportunity to add to his Golden Boot-leading 17 goals -- and, in fact, did for a split second ñ but defender Justin Morrow encroached into the area, and the second try at the penalty was saved. There were five penalties taken among the seven MLS games Wednesday -- three were unsuccessful.
- "Justinís playing as well as anybody, not just for us but in the league," Yallop said. "Sometimes mentally, it takes a little while for the players coming out of college to come to grips with this league. And he's really got to grips with it."
- Said Wondolowski: "He's playing great. He's been a stalwart this whole year. ... A whole lot of [his performance] doesnít go in the stat book, but you can see how well heís been playing."