Nathan’s heroics propel Earthquakes to second win of the season in 1-0 shutout over Rapids

The San Jose Earthquakes and Colorado Rapids battled at Pay Pal Park in San Jose as the Quakes edged the Rapids in MLS action on Sat May 7, 2022 (photo from the San Jose Earthquakes twitter)

by Marko Ukalovic

SAN JOSE — The San Jose Earthquakes are happy Nathan is back in the lineup.

The Brazilian center back scored the game’s only goal to help his team to 1-0 shutout victory over the Colorado Rapids on Saturday evening at Pal Pal Park.

Off a set piece, Cristian Espinoza sent in a cross inside the box and Nathan, who had a Rapids defender all over his back, finished off the play with a right footed shot past Rapid’s goalkeeper William Yardbrough for his first goal of the season in the 64th minute.

San Jose has won two out of its past three matches since interim coach Alex Covelo took over the head coaching duties back on April 18th. Colorado is winless in six out of its past seven matches.

“I feel very good,” said Covelo. “Just like all of our staff: [Chris] Wondolowski, Steve Ralston, Luciano [Fusco], and the rest of the guys. I think the guys are responding very well. During training sessions many of them are very different, it’s going to take a little bit more time to memorize those concepts, but the guys are working hard. They are improving step by step and memorizing the concepts that we want for the team.”

San Jose (2-5-3) had a good scoring chance in the 31st minute to draw first blood. A long ball from Jamiro Monteiro to Cade Cowell who made a move around Yardbrough but never was able to generate a shot on net. Instead, his cross into the middle of the box was knocked away by Colorado.

Cowell had another chance right before intermission when his shot from 20 yards out hit the right post in the 44th minute.

The second half started the same way as the first half did with San Jose controlling the play and generating scoring chances with many counter attacks.

Colorado (3-4-3) was too busy chasing the ball around in the second half as they weren’t able to generate enough quality scoring chances to score the equalizer.

Jermey Ebobisse had a shot just sail to the left of the net in the 58th minute just before Nathan’s heroics six minutes later.

Quakes goalie JT Marcinkowski earned his first clean sheet of the season and 11th of his career. He made five saves, including his best save when he dove to his left to stop a shot from Rapid’s striker Gyasi Zardes in the 70th minute, to help preserve the shutout.

“I think the clean sheet is a great representation of how well the team defended. I’m just out there to try and help the team in any way that I can, whether that’s a clean sheet or whether that’s a 4-3 victory, doesn’t really matter to me as long as we get a win,” Marcinkowsi said.

Yardbrough made three saves on five shots on target in the losing effort.

GAME NOTES: San Jose finished the match with nine corner kicks. Colorado has three.

The Quakes now hold an 31-24-18 overall record against the Colorado Rapids, including a 18-9-9 record at home.

The Earthquakes won 1-0 for the first time since July 31, 2021 at Seattle, and for the first time at home since July 6, 2019 vs. Real Salt Lake.

Colorado hasn’t won consecutive matches at San Jose since July-August 2003.

UP NEXT: San Jose travels up to north to take on the Seattle Sounders on Wednesday 5/11 in the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup at 7:00pm at the Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila, Washington.

Rapids upend Earthquakes with late goal in 1-0 victory

image from ussoccerplayers.com

by Marko Ukalovic

SAN JOSE—Dominique Badji’s first goal of the season could not have came at a better time.

Badji entered the match in the 88th minute and a minute later scored the game winning goal to help the Colorado Rapids defeat the San Jose Earthquakes 1-0 on Saturday evening at Pal Pay Park.

Nicolás Mezquida won a 50-50 ball just past midfield. He raced down the middle of the pitch before placing a perfect touch pass behind two San Jose defenders over to Badji and the 29-year old midfielder from Senegal fired a strike past Quakes goalie JT Marcinkowski to break the hearts of the 14,142 in attendance.

San Jose (6-8-8) had a chance to score the equalizer in the second minute of stoppage time when Cristian Espinoza found Paul Marie inside the box with a cross from the right wing, but Marie’s header was knocked away at the last second by the left hand of Rapids goalie William Yarbrough.

Colorado (12-4-5) now have 41 points and jumped ahead of Sporting Kansas City into second place in the Western Conference standings. San Jose had its 10-game unbeaten streak snapped as they have fallen to 10th place with 26 points, four behind Real Salt Lake for the seventh and final playoff spot.

The match started out with a bang. As in a big head on head collision in the second minute when Jeremy Ebobisse and Lalas Abubakar had their heads bang against each other when both players went for a ball up in the air. Both players remained down on the pitch for several minutes before being helped off by the field. Abubakar received a yellow card on the dangerous challenge.

Neither player returned to the game and were still being evaluated after the match. Cade Cowell subbed in for Ebobisse in the sixth minute while Drew Moor came in for Abubakar.

Neither team generated many scoring chances in the first half as there was only one shot on target in the first 45 minutes.

San Jose’s best chance came in the 40th minute when Nathan sent in a long ball down the right wing that Cowell was able to chase down. The 2021 MLS All-Star dribbled in before firing a shot just wide of the net on the left side.

Andre Shinyashiki had the best chance for the Rapids in the first half but his shot went wide left of the net in the 41st minute.

The Rapids came close to breaking the ice in the 60th minute when Michael Barrios stripped the ball off Tanner Beason inside the box. He made a quick back pass over to Cole Bassett whose shot hit the left post.

A controversial no call happened in the 76th minute when Espinoza had possession inside the box when Moor apparently held on to him and took him down but referee Joseph Dickerson ruled no foul occurred and play continued on much to chagrin on the San Jose sideline.

Colorado’s Mezquida shot a bicycle kick on target from 10 yards out that Nathan headed out for a corner kick. in the 79th minute.

Espinoza sent a cross into the box over to an open Carlos Fierro but the pass was just a tad hot too handle for Fierro as the ball deflected off of his foot for a goal kick in the 86th minute.

Yarbrough finished the match stopping both shots on goal to earn his ninth shutout of the season and his 12th win overall. Marcinkowski made three saves in the losing effort.

GAME NOTES: San Jose did not have a corner kick in the match. Colorado has one.

With the loss, the Quakes hold an all-time home record of 17-9-9 against the Rapids, including their first loss at Pay Pal Park with a 4-1-2 mark.

The Quakes’ celebrated its annual Mexican Heritage Night, which featured a live luchador performance, themed airbrush tattoos and face paintings and a El jimador postgame fiesta.

UP NEXT: San Jose travel out to Dallas to take on FC Dallas on Saturday 9/11 at 5:30pm at Toyota Stadium.

Earthquakes battle Rapids to 1-1 draw

Neither team gave in between the San Jose Earthquakes and the Colorado Rapids during MLS action at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City on Sat Jul 17, 2021 (@SJEarthquakes photo)

by Marko Ukalovic

COMMERCE CITY, Colo–The San Jose Earthquakes scored early but conceded an equalizer in the second half en route to a 1-1 draw with the Colorado Rapids on Saturday evening at Dick’s Sporting Good Park.

San Jose have earned a point in consecutive road games but it’s winless streak has reached nine matches. Colorado is 6-2-2 in its last 10 matches.

The Quakes (3-7-3) drew first blood early in the first half. Cade Cowell received the ball along the right sideline. The sophomore sensation dribbled into the middle where he found Chofis just outside the box. Chofis moved inside and fired off a left footed shot from 12 yards out into the lower right corner past Rapids goalie William Yarbrough for his third goal of the season in the 11th minute.

For Cowell it was his fourth assist he has tallied. He is the first player in MLS this season to have four goals and four assists. Cowell and Chofis have been creating a good chemistry with each other recently.

“Every coach looks for chemistry and for different players to form partnerships. Chofis is a player that needs to have partnerships. Important things come from Chofis being on the ball. He is scoring and assisting on goals. He is one of our most dangerous players in the offensive phase. Cade keeps growing and yet is still very young. When he improves on the things that I am looking for, he will become a very important player for his club and country. That requires time for him to play, make mistakes, play well or decently. That is the only way for young players to progress and grow,” Quakes head coach Matias Almeyda said.

Chofis believes the sky’s the limit for Cowell’s potential to be a special player.

“I think players in the midfield, especially those in the number 10 role, as I was, need partnerships in order to understand each other, and make goal-scoring passes. Regarding Cade, who is just starting his career, we’re going step by step, and we’ve connected on a couple of goals. I have no doubt that he will develop into a great player in a couple of years. He still has much to learn. He is doing a great job and we need to continue down this path, in which we learn off each other. We also learn from everyone else, especially the coaching staff who take the week to plan goal-scoring plays,” said Chofis.

The Rapids (6-3-3) scored the equalizer in the 53rd minute as a result of momentum they started the second half with. A turnover by the Quakes inside their own zone led to Nicolas Benezet servicing a ball to Cole Bassett who cut onto his left foot from the edge of the penalty area and scored on a low shot just out of the reach of Quakes goalie JT Marcinkowski’s outstretched arms.

In the 70th minute Agustin Zalazar, who interprets for Almeyda, was given a red card and ejected from the match when he kept arguing with the 4th official on the sideline.

The Quakes managed well despite the impact the altitude had on the match. They had a chance to end the game with a win on the match’s final play six minutes into stoppage time. Chris Wondolowski won a free kick from 20 yards out after Jack Price took him down with a hard tackle that resulted in a yellow card for Price.

Wondo’s free kick sailed just over the net ending the match.

“There were moments where the match would go back and forth, and we did not want that. That resulted from a lack of control from both teams. I thought the guys gave it their all. This is the path we must take to move past the situation we are in. We don’t find excuses. We have to keep working, correcting mistakes, and giving the team confidence because the players are the ones that will ultimately see us move forward,” Almeyda said.

Both Marcinkowski and Yarbrough finished the match with one save on two shots on target.

GAME NOTES: San Jose had only one corner kick. Colorado had three.

The Quakes are now 30-23-19 all-time vs. Colorado, including a 13-15-10 away record.

All three of Chofis’ goals this season have been scored in the first 15 minutes of matches.

Cowell leads the Quakes in both goals (4) and assists (4).

Midfielder Shea Salinas wore the captain’s armband for the first time in 2021.

Forward Benji Kikanovic made his first MLS start, playing 45 minutes.

UP NEXT: San Jose finishes its three-game road trip against Sporting Kansas City on Wednesday 7/21 at 5:30pm at Children’s Mercy Park.

Headline Sports podcast with London Marq: Quakes have 4 straight fall-behind games going into Sporting KC match; Did Brown cave after he was mandated to wear new helmet?

Photo credit: pressdemocrat.com

On Headline Sports with London:

#1  The San Jose Earthquakes took a tough loss to the Colorado Rapids in Colorado last Saturday 2-1. The Quakes came back down 1-0 to tie it, but the Rapids wrapped it up in the end for the win Colorado went back up 2-1.

#2 For Colorado, Diego Rubio received the pass from Keegan Rosenberry with space, Rubio was easily able to maneuver himself into an advantageous position in the 73rd minute for the go ahead and later game-winning goal.

#3 This was the fourth straight game that the Earthquakes had fallen behind in a game something. They’ll have to work on for their next game coming up as they play Sporting KC in their next match their second of three games on the road.

#4 How close or how serious do you think the Oakland Raiders wide receiver Antonio Brown was to calling it quits if he didn’t get to keep his old Pittsburgh Steelers helmet?

#5 A’s and Giants  played a two-game series, which concluded on Wednesday night. These are two teams fighting for a wild card spot and it was a series for the ages because a lot is at stake in the final two months of the season.

London is a beat writer for the San Jose Earthquakes and does Headline Sports each Wednesday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Quakes come back once, but not twice, in 2-1 loss

photo from mercurynews.com: San Jose Earthquakes forward Tommy Thompson, right, reaches in to stop Colorado Rapids forward Andre Shinyashiki who drives to the net in the first half of an MLS soccer match Saturday, Aug. 10, 2019, in Commerce City, Colo.

By Pearl Allison Lo

The San Jose Earthquakes fell behind on the road for the fourth straight time as the Colorado Rapids were successful for their second game in a row Saturday.

The result put an end to the Quakes’ five-game unbeaten streak. Vako was the lone scorer with his fourth goal in five games. Colorado’s Diego Rubio had a goal and an assist. 

In the first half, San Jose led possession (64.4%-35.6%) and shots 11-7, two of them hitting the post and Chris Wondolowski (back in the lineup) led all with four shots, his frustration clear after his attempts. 

One of the two posts hit, came in the 21st minute from Judson, his rebound going straight to Florian Jungwirth and then to keeper Clint Irwin. 

Vako, Salinas and Wondolowski had a try at tic-tac-toe, but it fell short with Wondolowski in the 27th minute. Judson was then able to stop Kei Kamara at the other end.

Before two minutes of stoppage were added, the Rapids were the first to score this time as  Kellyn Acosta scored his first goal since May 11, Kamara taking a piggyback ride in celebration.

In the second half, the Quakes maintained their possession advantage, but the Rapids were much better. 

San Jose’s Danny Hoesen and Carlos Fierro (debut) came in as substitutes in the 58th minute.  

Right after Andre Shinyashiki hit the post, Magnuss Eriksson sent the ball down to Hoesen, who with his back to net, made the much shorter pass up to Vako. Vako kicked at net and Irwin did not even have the chance to make a save attempt in the 62nd minute. 

Colorado went back up 2-1 when Rubio received the pass from Keegan Rosenberry with space. Rubio was easily able to maneuver himself into an advantageous position in the 73rd minute. It was Rubio’s third straight goal in as many games, the first of the streak beginning against the Quakes and looking back further, his sixth goal in the past eight games. 

The Rapids were able to maintain their lead through five more minutes of stoppage time in the second half.

Up Next: San Jose continues their three-game road trip next Saturday versus Sporting Kansas City at 5:30 pm. 

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.

Rapid’s Goal Keeper Irwin Heroic in 0-0 Draw

Photo Credit: sjearthquakes.com
Photo Credit: sjearthquakes.com

By: Joe Lami

SANTA CLARA, Calif–For the second straight match between the Colorado Rapids and the San Jose Earthquakes it ends scoreless, as the April 20th match also ended in a 0-0 draw.

Chances were seen from both squads with 31 total shots taken.  The Rapids outshot the home side 16-15.  However, the Quakes had the upper hand in shots on target 7-4, forcing Colorado Goal Keeper Clint Irwin to play an outstanding game.

The Quakes had a couple of outstanding chances, the first one coming in the tenth minute when a cross sent into the box by Midfielder, Atiba Harris found Striker, Chris Wondolowski.  However, Wondolowski misplayed the ball, which prevented him from scoring his team leading sixth goal of the campaign.

Another chance came for San Jose in the 23rd minute off of a corner kick set up by Shea Salinas.  Salinas decided to play the corner short.  He ended up with the ball of the left side of the box then striking it right at Rapid’s Keeper, Irwin.  Irwin was able to come up with the easy save.

Quakes’ Defender, Andreas Gorlitz, was substituted at the 45th minute with a right knee injury after a risky challenge by Colorado Midfielder, Charles Eloundou.  The challenege handed Eloundou the first yellow card of the game. “It doesn’t look good, it could be the end of the season type of thing,” explained Earthquakes Head Coach, Mark Watson.  Wondolowski added “it makes stomachs turn seeing injuries like that happen.  It doesn’t matter which team the player was on.”

The Quakes came out firing in the second half as well, with good chances coming from Alan Gordon and Wondolowski in the first 15 minutes of the half.  San Jose’s best chance of the game came off of the boot of Harris as he struck one towards net.  The ball was sure to find the back of the net until Irwin made a sprawling save to his right to keep the game even keel.

It wouldn’t be Earthquakes soccer if they hadn’t tried to get one late to win the game, and it almost came to fruition when a ball of the foot of Wondolowski found the right post and kicked right and away from the goal.

An impressive performance from the Quakes ends in disappointment once again, as they are unable to get on the board to earn a much needed 3-point game.  “We faced a great goal keeper tonight and of course it’s frustrating when you can’t get one by him, but we have to keep plugging away and can’t get ourselves down,” commented Wondolowski.  “I believe we did well, we created a lot more chances, and it was a good stepping stone,” added Harris.

The Earthquakes don’t have much time to rest as they are back to action at Buck Shaw Stadium this Saturday hosting FC Dallas.

Quakes top Rapids to stay alive in MLS playoffs race

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San Jose Earthquakes Jordan Stewart celebrates on top of his teammates as Chris Wondolowski (in the center) scored against Colorado Rapids at Buck Shaw Stadium. Photo by Michael Bonocore Photography

By Ivan Makarov

SANTA CLARA, CA — A couple of months ago the odds of San Jose Earthquakes making MLS playoffs didn’t look good, as the team kept losing points while unable to produce offense. They even parted ways with their head coach Frank Yallop who led the team to 2012 Supporters Shield award only a year ago. But after tightening its defense with the signing of Clarence Goodson, and focusing on offense in training, the things finally started to come together for the Quakes and its interim head coach Mike Watson.

That improvement calumniated in a key victory against the divisional opponent Colorado Rapids on Wednesday night at Buck Shaw Stadium. The race for the five playoffs spots in the West is staying very close this year between seven teams, and to stay alive Quakes needed a victory against Colorado, one of the two teams right in front of them. With the big goal by its captain Chris Wondowski, the Quakes earned 1-0 win and kept themselves alive in this close race to the finish.

“That was probably a must-win game for us tonight,” said Mike Watson after the game. “We needed the three points. I don’t think one would have been enough. I don’t think you go into a game with that as your main thought, but you know the result you need to come away with. I thought our guys were excellent tonight. We were on top of the game from the start. We were sharp, moved the ball well and had a bunch of great chances.”

The key moment of the game happened on the 69th minute from two set pieces inside the Rapids territory. It all  started with a cross from a free kick taken by Rafael Baka from 40 or so yards out which found Wondolowski’s head inside the penalty box. Wondo put a shot on target, but Colorado’s goalkeeper Clinton Irwin made a great save, putting the ball above the goal, resulting in the Quakes’ corner kick.

Shea Salinas took that corner and sent the ball back to the Quakes top goalscorer Wondolowski. He once again beat his coverage, and put another header on goal, which went in this time. This was Wondo’s 10th goal of the season, and his league-leading seventh game winning goal. It’s also worth noting that it was a well deserved assist for Salinas, who was brilliant all night, orchestrating most of the attacks with his speed and creativity.

“Shea [Salinas’] service has been excellent,” said Mike Watson. “He’s somebody who thrives off running past defenders. He wants those one-on-one match-ups. He’s quick and has good control and his service is usually very good when he gets in dangerous spots. Tonight, I thought his service was great.”

Quakes had the chance to score other goals in the game, creating multiple chances from crosses inside the zone, where Rapids defense seemed to struggle. Alan Gordon had at least two great scoring chances from headers, as did Wondolowski who had a chance to score from a breakaway at the start of the second half. Quakes outshot the Rapids 8-0 with shots on target. At the same time, Quakes were excellent on their own back end, with Colorado earning only a couple of chances to score – mostly early  in the game. Jon Busch earned his eighth shutout of the season.

“As the season draws to an end, it feels like each game gets more emotional,” said Chris Wondolowski. “The guys were loose before the game and it helped ease the nerves because this match was a must-win situation here at home. We were so excited to play tonight; I was fired up all game and it’s always great to play in front of our home fans here at Buck Shaw [Stadium]. Now we are a point back of where we want to be and know that if we take care of business we will be rewarded.”

The game turned out to be a close to a complete performance by the home team in front of the sold out crowd of 10,525. The win improved the Quakes to 4-0-1 in their last five games. With two games remaining in the season, San Jose needs to continue winning, as they finish the season against LA and Dallas. But they’re keeping their hopes up and such performance should add to their confidence going into those final games.

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