Quakes outplayed in LA

By Elliot Alagueuzian

CARSON, CA–The San Jose Earthquake’s playoffs took a big hit in Southern California when the LA Galaxy ran away with a 3-0 scoreline at full time in the second edition of the California Clasico this season.

Landon Donovan opened the scoring in the 26th minute when Robbie Keane sent a long ball over the San Jose defense and Donovan went around Jon Busch to score. It was a lightning pace counter attack that San Jose was struggling to deal with.

Robbie Keane scored a penalty that came in the 43rd minute when Gyasi Zardes was tackled by Steven Beitashour however, replays showed there was minimal contact. In the 67th minute Keane made it 3-0 to the Galaxy when Sean Franklin headed the ball back and Keane volleyed a great shot into the back of the net.

With 10 minutes gone in the first half San Jose had the best chance when the ball fell to Wondolowski off a corner kick but he hit the ball straight to Jaime Penedo. About a minute later Steven Lenhart hit a half volley wide of the far post from 22 yards out.

Both teams enjoyed good spells of possession after 15 minutes. Although LA controlled the most of that possesion the Earthquakes created the better chances.

A golden chance to score fell for Robbie Keane when a long ball by Juninho missed all of the San Jose defenders and Keane was through on goal but his shot was well wide of the post and didn’t trouble Jon Busch.

The Quakes will return home to face the Philadelphia Union next week in Santa Clara.

Quakes win crucial encounter against SKC

By Elliot Alagueuzian

SAN JOSE- San Jose Earthquakes will be happy that their playoff hopes got a big boost Sunday night as they shutout Sporting Kansas City 1-0 at Buck Shaw Stadium. After a disappointing result in Vancouver the Quakes were looking to bounce back against one of the top teams in MLS.

The game started out pretty slow for both teams with SKC hunkering down their defense and not letting the Quakes create too many chances. Both teams enjoyed good spells of possession but never created anything that made the crowd stand on its feet and cheer.

It wasn’t until Steven Beitashour served a great ball into the box to forward Chris Wondolowski that the Quakes finally took a chance and finished and one of the most hardest defenses in MLS. Wondo was about 10 yards away from goal and got a powerful header to the far post that beat the outstretched fingers of KC goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen.

Wondo had a lot of great things to say for the back line who kept great organization throughout the game. “I thought we kept our defensive shape and were hard to break down.” An amazing night for one Quake in particular, Jon Busch celebrated his 100th win in the league as well as his 37th birthday. Wondo could not emphasize how big Busch has been since joining the Quakes. “He’s such a true professional, he comes in works hard everyday. Day in day out. Couldn’t be happier for him and he definitely deserves it.”

The Quakes will face FC Dallas in Frisco Texas next Saturday.

Wondolowski shines in his return, nets two in Quakes victory

By Ivan S. Makarov

August 3, 2013

After being gone for almost a month on the U.S. National Men’s team call up, Quakes captain Chris Wondolowski made his return count in the very big way against Chivas USA in the Saturday night contest at Buck Shaw Stadium. The team’s top goalscorer of the past few seasons showed he’s in top shape as he scored both goals for the team in 2-0 home victory.

“Tonight was great for Wondo,” said Quakes interim head coach Mike Watson after the game. “He’s been away for a while with the [U.S.] National Team, but I know he wanted to come back and make a contribution for us and he did that very well for us.”

Wondo’s presence was felt by the home side since the beginning. After successful run with US National Team that saw San Jose’s forward play a key role in CONCACAF Gold Cup championship, it seemed as though Wondolowski had an extra quickness and confidence to his game. It was something he might have lacked in the first half of the season, which saw him struggle to score goals at his usual pace. This time Wondo was focused and often ahead of defense by a step or few during many attacks by the Quakes. It really was the same Wondo that won the title of the top goalscorer in the league in the last regular season.

That confidence translated into two goals for Wondolowski.

The first one came at the very end of the even first half that saw both team exchange a few good, but not great chances on goal. Steven Beitashour delivered a long but accurate pass to the edge of the box for Victor Bernandez, who headed it towards open Wondolowski. The header fell straight into Wondo’s head who directed into the top corner for a nice finish.

The second goal by Wondolowski came towards the end of the second half, when Chivas USA were already playing with the man down after Carlos Bocanedra was sent off with the red card for two footed challenge on Shea Salinas. Wondolowski picked up a rebound inside the box after Chivas goalkeeper Dan Kennedy made a difficult save on a great shot by Shea Salinas. With Kennedy down, Wondolowski put the ball just over him and into the net, scoring his seventh goal of the season.

Chivas USA had their share of chances during the game, but another great night in goal by Jon Busch, and his third clean sheet denied them any points in San Jose this time.

With the win, the Quakes improved their playoff chances, as this was their third straight victory in MLS action.

“I think the way we’ve been playing can carry us into the post-season,” said Chris Wondolowski. “That’s the great thing about this team: It’s not just one player who carries the team; it’s all 11 men out there working for each other. We have to fight for every ball, capitalize on our chances and play solid defense. I feel we’ve been doing that as of late and that’s a great recipe to make a playoff push.”

The Quakes are still out of the playoffs in the MLS standings, but are now only three points out of the fifth playoff spot in the West. Their next game is against Montreal in CONCACAF Champions League on Wednesday. After that, the Quakes are playing Vancouver Whitecaps in MLS action on Saturday, a team they’re chasing for that playoffs spot.