Earthquakes win wild 4-3 match over FC Dallas to snap home winless streak

Photo credit: @SJEarthquakes

By Marko Ukalovic

SAN JOSE, Calif. — The 4000 lb gorilla has officially left Avaya Stadium. Chris Wondolowski was the difference in an offensive juggernaut featured in the second half. His game-winning goal help the San Jose Earthquakes (4-14-8) defeat the Western Conference leading FC Dallas (13-6-7) 4-3 on Wednesday evening in front of a small, but raucous crowd.

The victory snapped the Quakes’ longest home winless streak in franchise history of 12 games. The Quakes hadn’t won at home since the season opening match on March 3rd against FC Minnesota.

The Quakes captain was back in the starting lineup after coming off the bench as a substitute the past five games. His last start was on July 25th, a home match against the Seattle Sounders. His game-winning goal came in the 62nd minute when he received the ball just outside the defense box and made a pretty give-and-go with Vako. As two FC Dallas defenders collapsed on Vako, Wondo was left all alone and fired a strike into the upper left corner of the net for his eighth goal of the season.

The Wondo Watch is now at 142, only three away from Landon Donovan’s MLS record of 145. It was also his 40th game-winning goal of his career. Which just so happens to be second in MLS history to guess who, Donovan, who had 41 of them.

“It’s great to get the goal,” said Wondo. “I keep using this word, but I’m so proud to be the captain of these guys. To be with them, to be out there fighting. It’s a huge win.”

FC Dallas would get off to another quick start against San Jose. In the eighth minute, Michael Barrios received a favorable bounce off a throw in and centered the ball right into the middle of the box where both Nick Lima and Quakes goalie Andrew Tarbell both went for the ball that deflected off Tarbell and right into a waiting Maxi Urruti. The Argentinian play-maker wasted no time tapping it into an empty net for his seventh goal of the season.

Vako would give the Quakes the equalizer in the 16th minute when after a nice give and goal with Magnus Eriksson, he was able to get the ball inside the box after a failed header clearing attempt by Matt Hedges left Vako all alone with a clear path to the goal where he took two dribbles and rocketed a shot into the upper left corner of the goal past FC Dallas goalie Jimmy Maurer . It was the Georgian striker’s seventh goal of the season.

Hedges would be the focus of another blunder in the 30th minute when he misfired wide right on a wide-open net after receiving a great centering feed from Barrios.

Vako proved to be a one man show in the 42nd minute when he gave the Quakes a 2-1 lead. He received a pass from Jahmir Hyka from 20 yards out, then dribbled down the middle of the box where he magically was able to get the ball through three FC Dallas defenders and once again had a clear path to the goal. He snapped a shot past a diving Maurer into the right corner of the goal for his eighth goal of the season leaving FC Dallas stunned.

“We had a lack of balance from our side tonight,” said FC Dallas head coach Oscar Pareja. “When you get three goals on an away game and don’t get points, obviously something didn’t work out well.”

FC Dallas tied the game in the 51st minute when substitute Santiago Mosquerea, who came in to start the second half, was rewarded after taking a centering pass from Urruti and fired a shot from 10 yards out past Tarbell for just his second goal of the season.

However, the deadlock wouldn’t last long when three minutes later at the 54th minute, Eriksson scored on a spectacular shot from 20 yards out. Eriksson worked a give-and-go with Wondo and on the return feed bent one in just inside the upper left corner of the post that Maurer had no chance at. It was the Swedish midfielder’s seventh goal of the season.

“I think the combination play up front has been better,” said Eriksson. “We have gotten to know each other better. It has worked well for the moment. We finally took three points at home and it’s a good feeling.”

FC Dallas would not go quietly as just four minutes after Eriksson’s goal at the 58th minute. they would get the equalizer at the 57th minute when Dominque Badji finished a pretty tic-tac-toe of a goal. Urruti sent a pass over to right side to Jacori Hayes, who then centered the ball over to a wide-open net. Badji, who one-timed the ball into an empty net for his team-leading ninth goal on the season.

“Not happy,” Quakes head coach Mikael Starhe jokingly said when asked about how he felt about the four-goal span in 10 minutes. “We talked about it in the locker room that we have to continually play our game and follow our game plan.”

Things would settle down after Wondo’s goal. However, FC Dallas put the pressure on the Quakes in the final minutes of stoppage time. Lima made a game saving sliding deflection to knock out the ball past the net in the final seconds of stoppage time.

GAME NOTES: The Quakes were without the services of defenseman Harold Cummings who was suffering from a thigh injury.

FC Dallas was without midfielder Carlos Grueza due to a suspension from yellow card accumulation.

There were no yellow or red cards issued in the game by referee Sorin Stoica.

The Quakes are now undefeated in their past four games against FC Dallas 3-0-1, including 3-1-4 in their last eight against FC Dallas. Overall, they are 16-8-8 against FC Dallas.

Jahmir Hyka’s goal streak was snapped against FC Dallas. He scored his last three matches against them.

UP NEXT: The Quakes travel to Vancouver to take on the Whitecaps on Saturday, September 1 at BC Place at 7:00 pm PDT.

2018 NHL Draft: San Jose Sharks Version (Part 2)

Photo credit: @SanJoseSharks

By: Ana Kieu

Saturday marked the second (and final) day of the 2018 NHL Draft at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas.

San Jose Sharks general manager Doug Wilson commented on this year’s Sharks draft, saying that his team got a mixture of different things and that they felt pretty good about it.

Here’s a brief recap of rounds two through seven:

Round two
Note: The Sharks’ second-round pick went to the Toronto Maple Leafs as the result of a trade on February 22, 2016 that sent Roman Polak and Nick Spaling to San Jose in exchange for Raffi Torres, a second-round pick in 2017 and this pick.

Round three
The Sharks selected Swedish center Linus Karlsson, who previously played for SuperElit’s Karlskrona HK J20, with the 87th overall pick.

Note: The Sharks’ third-round pick went to the Maple Leafs as the result of a trade on February 27, 2016 that sent James Reimer and Jeremy Morin to San Jose in exchange for Alex Stalock, Ben Smith and this pick (being conditional at the time of the trade). The condition – Toronto will receive a third-round pick in 2018 if the Sharks qualify for the 2016 Stanley Cup Finals – was converted on May 25, 2016.

Round four
The Sharks selected American center Jasper Weatherby, who previously played for the BCHL’s Wenatchee Wild, with the 102nd overall pick.

Note: The Vegas Golden Knights’ fourth-round pick went to the Sharks as the result of a trade on June 19, 2018 that sent Mike Hoffman and a seventh round pick in 2018 to Florida in exchange for a fifth-round pick in 2018, a second round pick in 2019 and this pick. Florida previously acquired this pick as the result of a trade on June 21, 2017, that sent Reilly Smith to Vegas in exchange for this pick.

Round five
Note: The Panthers’ fifth-round pick went to the Sharks as the result of a trade on June 19, 2018, that sent Mike Hoffman and a seventh round pick in 2018 to Florida in exchange for Vegas’ fourth round pick in 2018, a second-round pick in 2019 and this pick.

Round six
The Sharks selected Canadian goaltender, Zachary Emond, with the 176th overall pick, and American left winger, John Leonard, with the 182nd overall pick.

Note: The Predators’ sixth-round pick went to the Sharks as the result of a trade on February 25, 2018, that sent Brandon Bollig and Troy Grosenick to Nashville in exchange for this pick.

Round seven
Note: The Sharks’ seventh-round pick went to the the Panthers as the result of a trade on June 19, 2018, that sent Vegas’ fourth round pick in 2018, a fifth round pick in 2018 and a second-round pick in 2019 to San Jose in exchange for Mike Hoffman and this pick.

2018 NHL Draft: San Jose Sharks Version (Part 1)

Photo credit: @SanJoseSharks

By: Ana Kieu

This Friday night marked the first day (and round) of the 2018 NHL Entry Draft at American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas.

For the second time in franchise history, the Buffalo Sabres had the first overall pick in  the draft. As expected, the Sabres got the top prospect, Rasmus Dahlin, a Swedish defenseman who previously played for Frolunda HC in Gothenburg, Sweden. Dahlin is an exceptionally talented player who is often described as a smart, two-way defenseman that would be able to positively impact his team’s future.

And, of course, the Ottawa Senators, New York Rangers, New York Islanders, Chicago Blackhawks, Philadelphia Flyers, and Detroit Red Wings all held many first round picks.

The first 31 players were selected in the first round, and the San Jose Sharks had the 21st overall pick. The Sharks selected Ryan Merkley, a Canadian defenseman who last played for the Guelph Storm of the OHL.

Merkley then spoke to the media members in attendance for this year’s draft.

Catch rounds two through seven on Saturday morning at 8:00 am PDT on NHL Network and Sportsnet.

Earthquakes Draw In Crucial Match Against Sounders

By Shawn Whelchel photo: San Jose Earthquakes Chris Wondolowski scores his tenth goal becomes the first player to score ten or more goals in seven seasons as he faces off here against the Seattle Sound on Saturday night at Avaya Stadium

SAN JOSE, Calif.-The Earthquakes struck early, but failed to fend off a late surge from an aggressive Seattle Sounders team on Saturday night, settling for a 1-1 draw in a crucial game in the Western Conference race.

The draw between the Western Conference rivals caps off a frustrating four-game skid for San Jose in which the team has been held without a win while sitting in the 7th spot in the standings.

While the Earthquakes will certainly take the one point allotted to them in Saturday night’ tie, the frustration is mounting within an organization that’s on the fringe of being eliminated from the playoff race.

“It hurts,” said head coach Dominic Kinnear. “If you look at New York, Houston and even tonight, you walk off the field with two points out of those three games. It hurts you in the standings and it hurts because I think we should have had more.”

Entering the day just three points behind the red line in a tight race for the final playoff position, San Jose looked to snap their untimely winless streak with a relentless attack that kept Seattle on their heals through most of the early going.

San Jose tested Seattle’s net minder Stefan Frei early and often while scrapping their way to multiple set pieces early on in the match, sending multiple dangerous attempts towards the net that were just barely turned away.

But it would be none other than Chris Wandolowski who would snap the Earthquakes’ streak of 235 straight minutes without a goal, as the captain would flick a shot passed the outstretched hands of Frei in the 20′ minute after a nice touch by Jordan Stewart sent the ball towards the front of the net.

Wandolowski’s score would mark his 10th career goal against Seattle, the most by a single player in MLS history against the team.

The Sounders would respond with a tempered attack of their own, as Seattle’s Tyrone Mears threatened an equalizer after skipping a ball across the front of the San Jose goal just minutes later, but San Jose would escape the half holding their 1-0 advantage.

Entering the final half of play in a desperate bid to keep their own playoff hopes alive, the Sounders pushed forward against the San Jose defense with relentless pressure of their own, dominating the control of the game.

San Jose’s defense would eventually break on a costly mistake, allowing a free kick from Nicolas Lodeiro to squeak past goaltender David Bingham to notch things up at 1-1.

San Jose fought desperately for a last-minute score to reclaim the lead, sending multiple threatening free kicks and a botched strike by Chad Barrett towards Seattle’s net, but had their efforts turned away to end the night with just one point.

After the game, both coaches expressed dismay at the outcome that barely helped either of the two playoff hopefuls.

“You can’t creep up, you have to take big steps,” said Kinnear. “But right now we’re creeping instead of taking big steps.”

San Jose will look for the elusive three-point win next Saturday in the tough confines of the Colorado Rapids


Historic season not over yet, Dubs back in the NBA Finals

by Michael Martinez

picture credit Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images

Down in the Western Conference Finals three games to one, the Golden State Warriors looked lost, worn out and defeated. While the Oklahoma City Thunder seemed unstoppable and their path to the NBA Finals appeared clear.

But did people forget that this Warriors team won a record setting 73 games? If anybody could come back down three games for just the tenth time in league history, it would be these guys. And the Warriors showed their resiliency and in game seven their fearless leader, Steph Curry showed that his second MVP selection, an unanimous decision, was no fluke.

The best player on the planet and his team defeated the Thunder, 96-88, in a tough game 7.

The first quarter was all Thunder as their defense was relentless and made Golden State take tough shots. The Warriors only scored 19 points, while Kevin Durant looked to be locked in. Oklahoma City showed up in the first and gave the impression that they had forgotten about the past two games.

However, the second quarter was different and the Warriors went back to what they do best, shooting the three ball. Klay Thompson got off to a rough 0 for 7 start, but knocked down four triples in the second to help his team cut the Thunder’s lead, who looked poised to take a big lead.

At the half, OKC led Golden State, 48-42 and out of the half, the MVP reigned supreme.

Curry made three big triples in the third and the Warriors played tremendous defense. The defending champs outscored the Thunder, 29-12, in the third quarter. The third quarter was the turning point and the home team never looked back.

While Curry had a solid third quarter, his clutch performance in the fourth proved why he is currently the best player in the NBA. Curry went 5-6 from the field, including 2 for 3 from beyond the arc for 15 fourth quarter points. Curry absolutely went off and made the big shots when the Thunder tried to make a come back of their own late in the game.

The Warriors lived by the three in tonight’s game, shooting 45.9 percent from behind the three point line. Their defense also did a great job of not allowing Durant the ball and holding their opponents to a shooting percentage of 38.2 percent.

Durant did finish with 27 points on 10 of 19 from the field for a team high and Russell Westbrook totaled 19 points, 13 assists and seven rebounds. But Westbrook had difficulty shooting as he went 7 of 21 on the night.

Curry finished with a game high 36 points, hitting 13 fields goals on 24 tries with seven of those field goals coming from three point range. The Warriors win was definitely a collective effort as the team had to come together strong to make this incredible series come back. Thompson ended the game with 21 points of his own as the Splash Brothers once again guided their team to one of the franchise’s most important victories.

The Warriors spent a ton of energy on winning this series and that could be a factor as their next task begins on Thursday. But, the Warriors are headed to back to back finals. They have a player who won back to back MVP trophies. And now, repeating as champions is in plain sight.

The Cavs and LeBron James look better than the team the Warriors saw last year, but again do not count out the Western Conference Champions. History is unfolding right in front of our eyes, can the Warriors be historical once again?

Tune in to ABC on June 2 at 6 p.m, where Golden State and Curry will take on James and company at Oracle Arena in front of a rambunctious Oakland crowd.


Curry Drops 40 In Legendary Performance, Warriors Take 3-1 Lead.

By Shawn Whelchel

AP photo: Golden State Warriors Stephen Curry who led the Warriors in scoring in game four over the Portland Trailblazers is jubilant to be back in the line up

For fans of the Golden State Warriors, watching star point guard Stephen Curry drop 40 points on an opponent is something that could happen on any given night. But last night’s performance from the unanimous MVP of the league carried with it the type of legendary ethos that put’s him in the conversation with the likes of Michael Jordan and other playoff legends.

Returning for the first time since spraining his MCL in Game 4 of the Houston series, Curry was at the forefront of a resurgent effort from the Golden State Warriors, as he would score an NBA-record 17 points in overtime to notch a 132-125 win, giving his squad a commanding 3-1 series lead.

Curry was only supposed to play sparingly, if that, in his first return to action. But a uncharacteristic ejection from guard Shaun Livingston thrust him back into the thick of it in the second half. Curry didn’t disappoint, going on to secure yet another personal record while stomping any notion of momentum from a scrappy Portland team in the series standings.

Golden State trailed for most of the game, taking their first lead late in the third quarter. The two team’s exchanged baskets in a close contest until a late Harrison Barnes triple forced overtime.

From there on, it was the Curry show, as the sharpshooter went to work all over the court to put his first mark on the series. After giving his team the lead with a layup with just over two minutes to go, Curry would come down the court to nail a three from the top of the key, pounding his chest while stating “I’m back” to the Portland crowd.

Portland would be unable to make up the difference, being sent to the fringe of elimination following the loss.

Damian Lillard played big for Portland again, scoring 36 points on 9-for-30 shooting, with five of his buckets coming from behind the arc. Nearly all Portland starters would end up in double-figures besides Maurice Harkless, who finished with 8 points.

The game was a scrappy showcase from both teams who seemed to refuse to quit. But it was yet another notch in Steph Curry’s legendary belt, and showed how dangerous a team the Warriors are on the court with their healthy MVP knocking down buckets.

Should Curry be fully recovered from his knee injury-and by the looks of things last night it appears he is- last night may have been a dagger in Portland’s season.



Warriors send Rockets packing in dominating fashion

by Michael Martinez

picture credit CBS 46 Atlanta

Well, Steph Curry did not play and yet the Warriors showed why they made history for the best record in NBA history. Normally, a team without their star player has a lot to worry about. The Warriors showed no problems minus the reigning MVP and proved why they are the team to beat besides the fact their last year’s champs. Golden State annihilated the Houston Rockets in a 114-81 victory at Oracle Arena.

Let’s be honest, there’s not much to say about this game. The game went exactly as most would have figured given that the Warriors routed Houston in game four and not to mention they’re the Golden State Warriors.

The Warriors played great, the Rockets played atrociously, which is a recipe for disaster. The Warriors played with great togetherness and to nobody’s surprise, they shot out of this world. Golden State made it look easy as they finished with a 54.9 shooting percentage while Houston could not find a way to score with a 32.6 shooting percentage. Golden State played solid defense as they forced 18 turnovers for 25 points.

James Harden was the only Rockets’ player to show any offensive life finishing with 35 points. Besides Harden, Michael Beasley was the only other Houston player to finish the game in double figures.

Klay Thompson did his best to fill Curry’s shoes and finished with 27 points. Thompson knocked down seven buckets from behind the arc on 11 shots and finished 10 of 14 from the field overall. Draymond Green was tremendous overall as usual and totaled 15 points, grabbed nine boards and dropped eight dimes.

Shaun Livingston had a good game on offense as well and scored 16 points on seven of eight shooting. The Warriors looked just as good as they always are and bounced the Rockets out of the playoffs.

Throughout the game, Curry showed incredible excitement from the bench and supported his teammates like no other. And this is why the Warriors are so dangerous, they have some of the greatest team chemistry I have witnessed in my lifetime.

The Warriors won the series and only allowed the Rockets to win one game, which came down to the wire.

Golden State will either face the Los Angeles Clippers who are without Chris Paul and Blake Griffin or the Portland Trailblazers. Portland won game five in their series to go up 3-2 and it appears like they will be Golden State’s semifinal opponent.

Whoever the Warriors play, fans are hopeful that Curry can make his way back into the playoffs. But, with the way Golden State played tonight, let Curry take as much time as he needs to get ready for the Western Conference Finals. I am knocking on wood though, so the whole Bay Area doesn’t freak out on me and say I jinxed them.


Seth Curry has career night in loss

by Michael Martinez

picture credit NBAE

SACRAMENTO- The Kings rested their three best players. Rajon Rondo, Rudy Gay and DeMarcus Cousins all sat out Monday night in Portland. With that being said, there probably was not a ton of hope to get a win over the Trail Blazers who are battling for a playoff spot. The Kings lost to the Blazers 105-93.

Surprisingly though, the Kings stayed in the game for the first quarter. Sacramento played well, except Portland could not miss a shot even if they tried.

The Blazers broke it open in the second quarter going up by as many as 16 and shooting slightly over 55% from the field. But the third quarter is where things fell apart for the Kings.

While Portland only scored 23 points, the Kings shot a dismal 25% in the third quarter and scored a measly 11 points. The Kings turned the ball over seven times and could not buy a bucket. The Blazers led Sacramento by as many as 28 points and the Kings never really had a chance.

The fourth was the Kings chance to try and come back but the deficit was just too much, even though Portland shot under 30% in the quarter. Seth Curry scored 12 points in the quarter and finished for a career high of 21. Curry was really the only bright spot as the Kings perimeter defense wasn’t very tough. Portland almost shot 50% from beyond the arc, knocking down 14 shots from the perimeter.

Portland’s Allen Crabbe elicited exactly what the Blazers did tonight. He tied Curry for the game high with 21 points on 8-10 shooting, 3-4 from behind the three point line. The most difficult part of this loss is the fact that Damian Lillard only scored 13 points and the Kings still never had a chance.

Nonetheless, when the team’s three best players are resting, nabbing a victory is going to be pretty difficult. Yet again, the Kings’ defensive woes hurt them as Portland shot lights out.

Omri Casspi had a pretty good game with 18 points. Willie Cauley-Stein added 13 points and grabbed 14 boards as the rookie continues to play well. As the season winds down, this game shows just how important Gay, Rondo and Cousins are to the team. The Kings will take on the Washington Wizards at home this Wednesday at 7 p.m. Hopefully the Kings’ big three comes back and helps them get another win at home.




Warriors Start Road Trip Off With Sluggish Loss To Pistons.

By Shawn Whelchel

AP photo: Golden State’s Klay Thompson couldn’t encourage the Warriors enough to get over the hump with the Pistons on Saturday night

The Golden State Warriors continued to look less and less like the once dominant offensive NBA team that they were at the beginning of the season, as a cold shooting night handed them their second loss in the last three games.

After posting an impressive 30-point first quarter, the Detroit Pistons defense hunkered down on the reigning NBA champions, holding them to just 95 total points on 38 percent shooting on the night, handing them just their fourth loss of the season in a 113-95 loss for the visitors.

The Warriors night was filled with unremarkable moments from the usually solid team. From anyone not named Steph Curry or Klay Thompson struggling to find the basket, to frustrations spilling over in the form of multiple technical fouls called on Golden State, Saturday night’s effort was a forgettable affair amidst a historic season.

Curry did his part to keep his team in the game, netting 38 points on 13-of-26 shooting from the field, including seven makes from beyond the arc. Thompson trailed behind him with 24 of his own points in 32 minutes.

But beyond the splash brothers, no other Golden State starter cracked double digits in points, with the rest of the starting squad-including a healthy Harrison Barnes- combining for just 16 points on the night. Curry and Thompson dominated the touches, taking 44 of the total 67 shots from the starting unit. Festus Ezeli saved a sluggish bench performance as well, being the only other Warrior aside from Curry and Thompson to score in double digits with 10 points.

Golden State lost in nearly every major statistical category, going on to yield less rebounds, steals, blocks, assists, points in the paint and giving up more turnovers than the Pistons did on the night, effectively sinking their chances to gain momentum at the start of their road trip.

Meanwhile, the normally solid Warriors defensive effort was just as absent as their scoring, with all five starters scoring in double-digits for Detroit. Reggie Jackson and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope led the Pistons with 20 points a piece. Aron Baynes had a solid night for Detroit down low, as the center put in 12 points on a perfect 6-of-6 shooting to lead the Pistons’ reserves.

The night was a tough start to a three-game road stretch for the Warriors. In a rematch of the NBA finals, the Warriors will have to defeat the Cleveland Cavaliers at Quicken Loans Arena on Monday in order to avoid their first two-game losing streak of the season. The team will then follow that up with a meeting with the 23-16 Chicago Bulls.

Warriors Use Three-Ball To Down Kings In Season Sweep.

By Shawn Whelchel

USA Today photo Warriors Stephen Curry and Kings DeMarcus meet for Saturday’s battle at Sleep Train Arena

Sacramento refused to rollover easily against the Warriors on Saturday night, but sharp shooting down the stretch from Steph Curry secured Golden State’s fourth win of the season over the Kings with a 128-116 victory at Sleep Train Arena.

Scoring 14 of his game-high 38 points in the fourth quarter, Curry’s sharpshooting skills from downtown helped to squash any notion of a late-game comeback from Sacramento, who trailed by just two at the half.

Curry-who dished out 11 assists while hauling in six rebounds to compliment his 38 points- had an impressive stroke from beyond the arc all night, putting through 8-of-14 attempts throughout the game.

But Curry wasn’t the only Warrior with the hot hand from downtown. Draymond Green earned 15 of his total 25 points from beyond the arc with a video game like line of 5-of-6 shooting from three-point range. Brandon Rush and Klay Thompson also scored in double-digits for the Warriors starting corp, putting through a combined 26 points between the two of them.

DeMarcus Cousins continues to solidify himself as one of the league’s top-big men, posting 33 points and 10 rebounds in 30-minutes of play. Rudy Gay had himself a solid showing as well, earning 23-points on 9-of-16 shooting. But the rest of Sacramento’s starters couldn’t match the pair’s offensive prowess, combining for just 19 points across the remaining starting unit.

Sacramento’s ability to score was on display tonight with an impressive 116 point total, but their defense continues to hamstring them, as the Warriors were able to shoot 56.3 percent from the field on the night, including 51.4 percent from beyond the arc for 57 of their total points.

After sweeping the season series, Golden State improved their record to 35-2, while Sacramento fell to 15-22 on the season, good for third in the Pacific Division. Next up for the Warriors is a matchup against the Miami Heat at Oracle Arena on Monday.