San Jose Earthquakes 0, Vancouver Whitecaps 0 | MLS Match Recap
SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Buck Shaw Stadium went out with a whimper.
Playing for what’s scheduled to be the final time in their home of the last seven years, the San Jose Earthquakes drew 0-0 with the Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday night.
Vancouver (11-8-14) stayed one point ahead of Portland in the battle for the fifth and final Western Conference playoff spot. With the Timbers owning the tie-break advantage (total goals), the Whitecaps will need to hold that lead next weekend to make their second postseason in four MLS seasons. Vancouver play host to Colorado while Portland travel to FC Dallas.
San Jose (6-15-12) saw their winless streak stretch to a franchise-record 14 straight games in the debut of interim coach Ian Russell. At 5-7-5, it’s the first time since rejoining the league in 2008 that the Quakes will have a losing home record at Buck Shaw. San Jose, slated to move into a new soccer-specific stadium next season, finish their time on the campus of Santa Clara University at 50-27-36.
The Quakes will face Chivas USA in a head-to-head battle to avoid last place in the West next Sunday.
San Jose appeared to come out with an edict of “shoot early, shoot often” under Russell. The Quakes, who came in ranked last in shot differential at minus-157 on the season, outshot Vancouver 13-10 on the night, including three of the four combined shots on goal.
The hosts created the two most dangerous plays of a mostly harmless opening period by working down their right flank. In the 24th minute, Shea Salinas sprung Chris Wondolowski with a lead pass. The US international spun Andy O’Brien out of the play, but his low cross for Yannick Djalo was broken up at the last by former Quakes right back Steven Beitashour.
Just before intermission, Salinas burst down the sideline after San Jose forced a turnover in midfield. Salinas’ deflected pullback fell to Wondolowski inside the area, but Vancouver goalkeeper David Ousted – who had survived a heavy collision earlier in the half with Quakes winger Atiba Harris – got down quickly enough to parry the shot.
Vancouver finally forced a save from San Jose goalkeeper Jon Busch, the league leader in that category, in the 75th minute. Darren Mattocks’ pass allowed Kekuta Manneh to beat Quakes right back Pablo Pintos to the ball, but Manneh’s shot from the corner of San Jose’s 6-yard box caromed off the chest of Busch, who came out well to snuff out the chance.
The Whitecaps didn’t test Busch again, leaving the 38-year-old two saves shy of tying Joe Cannon’s franchise record.
MLSsoccer.com Men of the Match
|Rank||Player||What We Saw|
|1||Jon Busch||The league leader in saves had just one on the night, but it was a big one to save the draw for the Quakes|
|2||Victor Bernardez||The big Honduran was his usual, physical self on the San Jose backline|
|3||David Ousted||Like Busch, he didn't have to do much work, either, but he made three big saves|