Morris gets through over Wondo

~ PC: San Jose Earthquakes

~ By Pearl Allison Lo

~ In a game with a lot of close chances, the Seattle Sounders won over San Jose 2-0 Saturday.

Both Jordan Morris and Chris Wondolowski had three close chances, but the one that went through put the game away.

As a rookie, Morris tied a MLS record with his fourth goal in as many games.   Silva first MLS start

The Quakes lost to Seattle for the first time since May 17, 2014 and went scoreless for the first time in 23 straight matches.

Sounders goalie Stefan Frei faced his least number of shots and saves since October 25th, 2015.

San Jose goalie’s six saves was the most he had since July 5, 2015.

Morris led with four shots, two of them were saved and one hit the post.

Clint Dempsey broke the deadlock in the 26th minute, aided by Erik Friberg and Morris. It was his first goal since April 2. It was Morris’ first assist.

Wondolowski lost his footing right in front of Frei in the 37th minute.

The Quakes’ Simon Dawkins hit the crossbar in the 59th minute.

Wondolowski had a high header in the 80th minute.

He then missed a rare penalty in the 84th minute. Wondolowski’s shot hit the post, just his second miss since 2014 and second miss in his last 12 penalties. He has now gone two straight games without a goal for the first time this season.

After two shots being saved and hitting the post throughout the game, Morris put the game away in the 89th minute, helped by Osvaldo Alonso. With a lot of players before Morris, he shot as defenders closed in from 25 yards out.  It was his first two point game and his most shots in a game (three).

There were four minutes of stoppage time. The last chance for San Jose came in the 91st minute, when Adam Jahn missed right with a header.

Game notes: The Quakes’ Matheus Silva made his first MLS start and had one shot. San Jose next plays the Houston Dynamo Wednesday at 7:30pm.

Earthquakes Remain Unbeaten at Home Thanks to Wondo PK

By Matthew T.F. Harrington

AP photo: The San Jose Earthquakes Simon Dawkins who earned the penalty that set up Chris Wondolowski for the penalty kick for the game’s only goal on Sunday at Avaya Stadium

SAN JOSE, Calif. – The home cooking continues to taste so sweet for the San Jose Earthquakes as they ran their home undefeated streak to 5 straight games Saturday at Avaya Stadium. Chris Wondolowski scored his 116th career MLS goal on a penalty kick and David Bingham had a 5-save shutout to defeat Sporting Kansas City 1-0.

“It was a grind,” said Wondolowski. “Kansas City is a great team. We knew it was going to be a tough battle. It was a little windy too. That always makes it a little more difficult. I thought our defense did a great job shutting down a very potent attack.”

The win moves San Jose (4-2-2) into a tie for third place on the Western Conference table, leapfrogging 5th place Kansas City (4-4-0). The shutout marks the 20th time the Quakes have blanked Kansas City, the most times any team has shutout Sporting KC. It is also Bingham’s 3rd clean sheet of the season, putting him in a tie for the league lead.

“When you get a shutout there are a couple things that go into it,” said Earthquakes coach Dominic Kinnear. Maybe the other team is missing their chances or you’re defending well. David snuffed out some crosses and relieved pressure. I think we did a good job limiting their movement through the middle and push them to the outside where it’s easier to defend.”

The two teams battled to a nil-nil first half, with each team managing a number of dangerous opportunities. The Earthquakes held the corner kick advantage 5-2 while Sporting KC outshot its host 11-5.

“Those shots were really from like 30-35 yards,” said Kinnear. “It wasn’t like we were giving them great chances. We were sloppy with our passing, which led into those chances.”

5 of Kansas City’s double-digit shot total was on target, while San Jose didn’t force keeper Tim Melia to make a save in the half. At the other end Bingham was stellar for the Quakes, nabbing all 5 shots he faced.

“We’ve had games like this where we’ve gotten behind,” said Bingham. “It’s great, when you’re under pressure, to survive the storm.”

A bit of luck played into the game’s lone goal, and lack of another goal in the 2nd half. Kansas City’s leading scorer, Dom Dwyer, was racing towards the Quakes net unimpeded in the 55th minute. Bingham challenged him, coming into contact with Sporting KC’s striker. Referee Jair Marrufo signaled for play to continue.

“100 percent a penalty and a red card,” said Kansas City coach Peter Vermes. “That changes the game. It doesn’t get called. Other things are going to happen in the game.”

“From where I was sitting, it would have been a penalty to me,” agreed Kinnear. “Red card, I would have to make a decision after watching a replay.”

After getting away with a similar penalty at the other end, the Earthquakes drew a penalty shot in the 58th minute. Midfielder Simon Dawkins was in the penalty box unguarded trying to work around Melia’s right. The keeper came off his line to contest Dawkins, dragging the San Jose midfielder to the turf. Marrufo awarded the Quakes the penalty kick.

 

The choice of shooter was elementary for the Quakes, as they sent the 4th highest goal scorer in MLS history to the line. Just as elementary was Chris Wondolowski’s shot, beating Melia to his right for the strikers’ 7th goal of the season in 8 games for a 1-0 lead. The game-winner is Wondolowski’s 8th career goal against KC.

“It’s a 12 yard shot, one-on-one with the keeper,” said Wondolowski. “You should make them. You’re not going to always make them. I remember the ones I miss. I work on them every day at practice, but you have to have different philosophies.”

The Earthquakes will hit the road for their next two games, facing the Philadelphia Union and the Seattle Sounders over the next two Saturdays. San Jose had a three-game unbeaten streak snapped in its last home game against Portland and has yet to pick up a win on the road (0-2-1). They have not lost back-to-back games all season.

“Anytime you can follow up a loss with a win shows good character,” said Kinnear. “It means guys are going into a shell. They’re trying to get better the next time around. That, for me, is a huge thing.”

San Jose Earthquakes Saturday post game wrap: Road Woes Continue for Quakes

By Matthew T.F. Harrington

photo credit: San Jose Earthquakes

The San Jose Earthquakes controlled the majority of play Saturday at Providence Park  but still fell to the struggling Portland Timbers 3-1. Chris Wondolowski converted a penalty kick in stoppage time for his 7th goal of the season, but the Quakes were trailing 2-0 at the time still seeking out their first road win of the season. Fanendo Adi scored a brace for Portland.

San Jose owned the possession battle, holding on to the ball for 63% of the game, but neither team scored in the opening half. On the other half of the break, Jack McInerney scored in the 52nd minute, then Fanendo Adi added a strike in the 65th minute. Adi would add a stoppage time goal after Wondolowski’s penalty for the 3-1 final.

The Earthquakes held the shots advantage 16-14, but it took Wondolowski’s penalty to beat Timbers replacement keeper Jake Gleason. The penalty came after a Quakes corner kick when a Timbers player held Wondolowski on the attempt. The Quakes striker outwaited Gleason, with the keeper diving to his right while Wondolowski went down the middle. Gleason entered the game after starter Adam Kwarasey left the game with injury. The Timbers have allowed the most goals in the MLS (14) this season and picked up just their second win Saturday.

The Earthquakes return home to face Sporting KC at Avaya Stadium next Sunday.

Own Goal Cost Quakes Victory

By Joe Lami

photo credit: San Jose Earthquakes

The San Jose Earthquakes picked up their first road point of the campaign on Saturday afternoon in Texas, as they drew 2-2 with FC Dallas. San Jose has good standing in the Western Conference table, being in fourth place with eight points.

The Quakes’ scoring came early, as Alberto Quintero hit the top right corner off a low cross from Quincy Amarikwa in just the fourth minute of the game. It’s the first for Quintero, since he came from loan in the off-season from the Mexican club Lobos de la BUAP. “It felt very good. I am hoping to score more goals for the Quakes and for the fans,” Quintero commented.

FC Dallas equalized in the 36th minute on a Tesho Akindele penalty kick after Quakes’ defender Shaun Francis was called for a penalty within the box. Akindele drove it right down the middle, past a diving David Bingham to make the score 1-1.

The Quakes’ took the lead once again in the second half. Chris Wondolowski tallied his league-leading fourth goal of the season, in the 55th minute for the 2-1 lead. Amarikwa picked up his third assist of the season and second of the game on the tally, which now ranks him second in MLS assists on the season.

The lead didn’t last long, as just ten minutes later, a bad ball of the head of Victor Bernardez found his own net. The own goal came off a cross from Fabian Castillo for the equalizer.

Even though, San Jose gave up the lead twice, Quakes’ coach Dominic Kinnear isn’t too disappointed in the outcome, “They are a good team. Overall, I’m happy to come away with one point. I thought we had some good moments”.

The Quakes return to Avaya Stadium on Wednesday for a home contest against the New York Red Bulls before a weekend trip to Portland to take on the Timbers.

San Jose Earthquakes Saturday game wrap: Chippiness costs Quakes

 

~ By Pearl Allison Lo

photo credit: Los Angeles Times–The San Jose Earthquakes Chris Wondolowski collides with LA Galaxy goaltender Brian Rowe during the first half on Saturday

LOS ANGELES~ San Jose lost their perfect start to their California Clasico rivals, the Los Angeles Galaxy, in a 3-1 rough and tumble match Saturday.

Gyasi Zardes had a brace, breaking through the draw off the game’s seventh yellow card, the Quakes’ Simon Dawkins was ejected in his first return road start, teammate Chris Wondolowski scored his third goal in as many games and Robbie Keane had a penalty kick goal.

In the first half, San Jose had their defense up with headers turning away shots, but their offense could not get close enough. The Galaxy outshot the Quakes 7-1.

Los Angeles had a hitch in their start when in the 3rd minute, Steven Gerrard had to leave with a left calf injury. Baggio Husidic came in for the substitution.

The first shot of the game came in the 9th minute when the Galaxy’s Mike Magee’s shot went wide right.

Wondolowski and Los Angeles goalie Brian Rowe had a head to head collision.

San Jose’s first shot was a high header by Quincy Amarikwa in the 15th minute.

The Galaxy got their second and third yellow cards a minute apart. Jelle Van Damme and Nigel de Jong were carded in the 21st and 22nd minute.

In the 29th minute, de Jong had his third shot of the game, a free kick from where he had a dangerous free kick earlier. It was saved by goalie David Bingham.

Andres Imperiale got the Quakes’ first yellow card in the 41st minute.

Things finally turned red when Dawkins was ejected in stoppage time.

In the second half, San Jose caught up a bit on the yellow card side. Los Angeles outshot the Quakes 10-5, with nine of those shots coming from inside the box.

After Victor Bernardez committed a foul, Magee’s first shot in the second hit his teammate, his second hit Anibal Godoy, who cleared the ball at the line in the 49th minute.

Magee had a fourth shot attempt in the 51st minute, and after it was saved, had a what does it take to score reaction.

Amarikwa had another shot, his second and the second for San Jose, in the 51st minute. Wondolowski and Rowe had another collision after Rowe caught the ball.

In the 55th minute, Imperiale had his first MLS shot amidst his MLS debut and first MLS start.

The Quakes’ Marvell Wynne received a yellow in the 56th minute, in about the same spot as Bernardez earlier. This one was costly, as off the free kick that same minute, Van Damme had a header, Wondolowksi missed the clearance in the box and Zardes kicked the ball past Bingham for the 1-0 lead.  Magee also had an assist.

Zardes’ brace occurred in the 62nd minute in about the same spot, as he received a backwards pass from Husidic. It was a light touch by Zardes, but Bingham was too far out to get back in time.

Zardes went for the hat trick in the 72nd minute, but his shot went wide right.

Wynne got wide open, but his shot hit Daniel Steres, who got back in time. Wynne was then able to kick the ball to Wondolowski, who came in to help and surrounded by defenders, Wondolowski was able to spoil the Galaxy’s shutout in the 89th minute, to extend the Quakes’ streak with at least a goal to a MLS-longest 16 games. He also now has the most goals by any active player against Los Angeles, with seven.

It was then announced that there would be four minutes of stoppage time, so ostensibly San Jose had time to equalize.

However, Bernardez got Keane inside the box and in the 91st minute, Keane scored his fourth penalty kick goal against the Quakes, the most by any player against one team since the start of 2011 MLS, according to @OptaJack.

In the 92nd minute, Alan Gordon got the game’s last yellow card, as Matias Perez Garcia limped off the field.

Game notes: The only change in the Quakes’ lineup was Imperiale, who was questionable, playing for Clarence Goodson. San Jose suffered just their second loss in games started by Godoy (9-2-3). Sporting Kansas City, who plays Sunday March 20th, is now the only team with a perfect record. The Quakes next play D.C. United to start off April,l on the 2nd at 7:30pm

Earthquakes defeat Timbers behind Amarikwa’s incredible goal

By: Eric He

photo credit: squawka.com–San Jose Earthquakes Quincy Amarikwa is congratulated after scoring the Quakes second goal on Sunday at Avaya Stadium

SAN JOSE – Quincy Amarikwa’s wonder goal helped the San Jose Earthquakes prevail 2-1 over the defending-champion Portland Timbers at Avaya Stadium on Sunday evening.

Amarikwa scored in stoppage time of the first half on a perfectly placed chip shot from well outside the box to put the Earthquakes ahead 2-0.

“I made my second touch and looked up and I saw the keeper still struggling to get back to his end line,” Amarikwa said. “I figured if I could put it over his back right shoulder, I’d have the best opportunity to get a goal in that situation. Knowing there was a bunch of puddles on the field, I wasn’t sure if the best course of action would be to dribble, so I had a go and it went in the back of the net.”

Portland, which outshot San Jose 16-8 in the game, put forth a valiant effort in the second half, finally getting on the board in the 89th minute on a goal by Jack McInerney. It was too little, too late, however, as the Earthquakes hung on for the win.

“It’s nice to execute a nice game plan,” said captain Chris Wondolowski. “I thought we knew what we wanted to do.”

The Timbers started off controlling possession and outshot the Earthquakes 10-3 in the first half, but six of those shots were off-target.

Still, they had their fair share of scoring changes, but Lucas Melano banged one off the crossbar five minutes in and a sliding block from Clarence Goodson thwarted Fanendo Adi’s bid on a rush.

Meanwhile, San Jose made its attempts count.

In the 30th minute, Wondolowksi directed in a cross from Anibal Godoy for his second goal in as many games.

Then – in stoppage time – came the goal of the early MLS season. Amarikwa chipped one from 35-feet out on the right flank that eluded the diving Adam Larsen Kwarasey to give San Jose a 2-0 advantage heading into the locker room.

“It gives you chills when you see plays like that no matter what,” head coach Dominic Kinnear said.

When asked about the parallel between his shot and a Stephen Curry long-distance 3-pointer, Amarikwa did not hesitate.

“I’ve been watching Curry shoot from everywhere so I was like, ‘Oh man. If he can do it, I can get lucky one time,’” he said.

Wondolowski noted that it was a well-deserved goal for the scrappy forward.

“His work ethic is contagious,” Wondolowski sad. “He does so much that doesn’t show up in the box score. He doesn’t get as much credit as he should. That’s why I’m so glad he gets a world class goal where people can see how great he is.”

The Earthquakes notch their first win over the Timbers for the first time in five matches and start the season 2-0-0. They head into Saturday’s match against the Galaxy on the road with a head full of steam.

Bingham Stands Tall in Earthquakes Shutout

By Ben Leonard

photo credit: San Jose Mercury News–San Jose Earthquakes David Bingham (1) makes a save against the Colorado Rapids Sunday

SAN JOSE, Calif. —On a blustery, cold day at Avaya Stadium, the ominous grey chill seemed to freeze up the Earthquakes offense. Near misses and wasted possessions plagued San Jose in its opener, with a new-look offense in need of some tuneups.

In the face of these miscues, one man stood tall: keeper David Bingham. The Colorado Rapids pounded Bingham with shot after shot, but he fought through opener jitters to keep the Rapids off the board in a 1-0 Earthquakes victory. Bingham made leading save after leaping save, majestically leaping like a gazelle to break the Rapids’ hearts over and over again.

The Rapids got off a whopping 18 shots, including 10 inside the box, but the sure-handed Bingham didn’t give in — it’s not in his DNA. Bingham fought his way through four years in the lower level North American soccer league with the San Antonio Scorpions, even playing for Norway’s Strømmen IF, working his way up to San Jose last season to find his way into the starting lineup. As an MLS journeyman, he has become accustomed to dealing with adversity.

In last year’s season opener, his debut as a starter, Bigham found himself on the other side of things against Dallas, losing 1-0. Not one for drama, Bingham dismissed notions that his experience helped flip the script: “It’s the opening game of the season, so you’re excited for it, just like last season. This year obviously I have a year and 34 games under me, so that was nice, but at the end of the day, you have to be prepared for each game and I felt like we were today.”

Bingham was quick to credit his teammates’ stingy defense, especially from the dynamic duo of Victor Bernárdez and Clarence Goodson, who both came up with huge tackles to save goals, for his success today. “It’s huge. I think without either one of their tackles, I think they finish those chances. It’s great plays on their half, and you have two guys who have played for their national teams for years and years, so it’s great to have them healthy. When we’re healthy, we have one of the best back fours in the league.”

Bingham also did well in order to fight subpar conditions on the field. Heavy rain in previous days had softened the turf significantly, and there were lots of confetti and streamers littering the goalie’s box for the opening festivities. Several players lost their footing on the wet sod, killing several key chances. Bingham, however, thought it was just “part of the game” that it was a little sloppy in some places, something he just “had to deal with and move on from.”

Overall, Bingham was satisfied with the team’s performance: “I thought it was a good game defensively, [even though] we had some moments where we obviously weren’t up to par. But I think it’s most important to get the win, and we got the shutout today, which is nice. we know what we need to work on going forward, and we’ll work on it this week to take a step forward for next weekend.

 

 

 

 

Wondolowski Header Hands Earthquakes A Win On Opening Day.

By Shawn Whelchel

photo credit: San Jose Mercury News– San Jose Earthquakes goalkeeper David Bingham (1) dives to make a save grabbing the ball away from Shkelzen Gashi (11) of the Colorado Rapids on Sunday

SAN JOSE–Chris Wondolowski’s header was all the San Jose Earthquakes would need to secure a win on opening day of the 2016 MLS season, as a strong defensive effort from David Bingham would keep the Colorado Rapids off the scorecard for a 1-nil victory at Avaya Stadium.

Bingham had an outstanding day guarding the net for San Jose, making five saves on 18 shots from the Rapids, while showing off his hands and athleticism repelling a second-half flurry from the visiting team.

San Jose would secure their lone goal with the help of a new face-and their old reliable captain-as Alberto Quintero would feed a beautiful ball into the cutting Wondolowski for the go-ahead score at the start of the second-half. Despite a second-half outburst from the Rapids which saw them line-up 13 of their 18 total shots on the day, San Jose walked away victors for their 13th consecutive match without a loss against Colorado.

The Quakes got off to a sluggish start on the slippery turf at Avaya on Sunday, doing most of their work on the defensive side as the Rapids looked to be the aggressors early on.

Bingham received no grace period to start the season, being thrust into action to stop multiple Rapids’ attempts throughout the half. Kevin Doyle and Dillon Powers-who accounted for three of the Rapids five first-half shots- sent a trio of dangerous balls towards San Jose’s net. San Jose’s offensive attack couldn’t offer Bingham an extended spell either, as Colorado dominated the time of possession at 57.1 percent throughout the first 45-minutes of play as well, keeping the 26-year old Bay Area native on his toes.

While Bingham was busy showcasing his good hands, Colorado goaltender Zac MacMath had a relatively easy going early on. Quincy Amarikwa broke free on a dangerous run towards the goal near the 33′ minute mark, but was thwarted by a well-timed tackle by Rapids defender Jarred Watts near the goal. San Jose would loft up a few lazy shots throughout the frame, but failed to seriously threaten in a lackluster opening half.

But the revamped Earthquakes would shake off the season-opening cobwebs to start the second half, earning their inaugural 2016 goal off the head of the man who put through 16 for the team last year.

Just seconds after the sound of the whistle, newcomer Quintero- who was loaned to the team from Lobos BUAP in February-would feed the cutting Wondolowski a well-placed ball that would find the back of the net for a 1-0 advantage.

San Jose would continue to keep their newfound intensity up, with both Wondolowski and Tommy Thompson nearly missing a second goal for their club. But with time running out, Colorado launched a furious attempt to find an equalizer against Bingham.

Marco Pappa nearly connected with the back of the net on two attempts, including a free-kick attempt and a dangerous header attempt at the 88′ mark that just scraped the left-side of the goal post before heading out of bounds. Dominique Badji would also threaten the Earthquakes lead with a dangerous sprint up the middle of the pitch for an uncontested try that sailed into the second deck. Badji would represent the Rapids last attempt before game’s end as well, with Victor Bernardez showing some defensive prowess to stop the midfielder’s attempt before Bingham would make his fifth and final save.

The win represents the second-straight opening day victory for the Earthquakes at Avaya, and sets them off on the right foot for the 2016 MLS season. San Jose has a week off before facing the Portland Timbers on March 13 at 4:00 p.m.