Earthquakes

Earthquakes earn point in scoreless draw with FC Dallas

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Earthquakes earn point in scoreless draw with FC Dallas

The San Jose Earthquakes survived an off-night on offense and a red card ejection to captain Ramiro Corrales late in the second half to earn a point at FC Dallas with a 0-0 draw.

Chris Wondolowski had the best scoring chances for the Earthquakes -- a first half shot was cleared off the goal line by Dallas defender Hernan Pertuz and a second half shot was corralled by a grateful keeper Kevin Hartman.

Meanwhile, on the defensive side of the ball, Jason Hernandez made the play of the game saving a goal off an attempt by midfielder Fabian Castillo.

With the scoreless draw, FC Dallas pushed their winless streak to 13 games. For the Earthquakes defense and goalkeeper Jon Busch, the 0-0 result was their first clean sheet since the end of March.

Neither team registered a shot on goal until a half-hour into the match, when FC Dallas midfielder Castillo latched onto a spilled shot from goalkeeper Busch and fired at the target. In position to support his keeper, defender Hernandez had Castillos shot deflect off his leg while he lay prone in the area.

The Earthquakes had their best chance to open the scoring at the 36th minute mark of the first half when a long ball to Wondolowski gave the forward room to round defender Pertuz. The MLS goal scoring leader sent a chipped shot over onrushing goalkeeper Hartman, but Pertuz recovered to just clear the ball off the line.

As the match approached half time, the Earthquakes again had a great opportunity to score. After some sustained possession, defender Steven Beitashour sent a ball down the right sideline for Marvin Chavez to collect deep in Dallas territory. Chavez did well to shake defender Carlos Rodriguez and carry the ball into the area where he elected to pull the ball back into the path of Beitashour. The right backs one-touch shot was over hit, and the ball cleared Hartmans crossbar.

On a corner kick in the 58th minute, Earthquakes captain Corrales met Chavezs delivery near the far post and shot the ball past Hartman and toward the near post. Instead of registering his first goal of 2012, Corrales could only watch as Dallas defender Rodriguez deflected the bar to safety before it could cross the goal line.

The match appeared to turn in favor of the home side in the 80th minute after team captain Corrales was shown his second yellow card in less than 3 minutes. The Earthquakes brought in Khari Stephenson for Alan Gordon to beef up the midfield and settled into a more defensive formation.

Despite being a man down, the Earthquakes almost struck for a goal on a breakaway in the 84th minute as second half substitute Shea Salinas carried the ball down the right side behind the Dallas defense. Just as Salinas was readying a square pass to Wondolowski in the center of the area, defender Matt Hedges got the slightest of touches to the ball and Hartman punched the ball away.

In the 87th minute, a clever long pass from Sam Cronin found Wondolowski lurking behind the Dallas back line. The forward carried the ball into the area and sent a shot toward the far post. Hartman doing enough to slow the shot, recovered to collect the ball before it could trickle over the goal line.

The Earthquakes survived a late push by FC Dallas through 3 minutes of stoppage time and secured a scoreless draw. The point pushed their 2012 road record to 6-3-2 and their season points total to 37. The Earthquakes return to San Jose for their next match next Saturday against Real Salt Lake at Buck Shaw Stadium.

Robert Jonas covers the Earthquakes for CSNBayArea.com. Follow him on Twitter @robertjonas.

Quakes crushed in Vancouver, eliminated from MLS Cup Playoffs

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Quakes crushed in Vancouver, eliminated from MLS Cup Playoffs

BOX SCORE

The San Jose Earthquakes' season is over, after the Vancouver Whitecaps beat San Jose 5-0 in the knockout round of the MLS Cup Playoffs on Tuesday night. 

Fredy Montero opened the scoring for the Whitecaps in the 33rd minute. In the second half, Cristian Tecera and Kendall Watson scored seven minutes apart and all but sealed the hosts' first-ever playoff win. Second half substitute Nicolas Mezquida scored a brace for good measure, with two goals in 78th and 80th minute. 

Earthquakes captain Chris Wondolowski was held off of the scoresheet for his fourth consecutive playoff game. The 34-year-old scored one goal in six career postseason appearances. 

Tuesday marked San Jose's first postseason appearance since 2012. The Earthquakes have not advanced past the quarterfinals of the MLS Cup Playoffs since 2010.

Earthquakes come into MLS Playoffs as clear underdogs in Vancouver

Earthquakes come into MLS Playoffs as clear underdogs in Vancouver

VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- Carl Robinson was talking about the need to rely on key veterans in a playoff game.

And then the Vancouver coach all but confirmed that he will replace two long-time standouts on Wednesday in the Whitecaps' Major League Soccer knockout-round playoff game against the San Jose Earthquakes.

One -- left fullback Jordan Harvey, the longest-serving Whitecap -- definitely will not start. Instead, Marcel de Jong, who has been deployed mainly as a utility player on the back line and in midfield, will get the call.

"Marcel has played very well for the last three games he's played, and so has Jordan, but for this matchup, Marcel will play," Robinson said after a practice Tuesday at the club's University of British Columbia training facility.

Harvey, a 33-year-old Mission Viejo, Calif., native, has rarely taken a night off since joining the Whitecaps in a trade from Philadelphia in Vancouver's inaugural MLS season in 2011.

De Jong, a 31-year-old Newmarket, Ontario, native who plays internationally for Canada, got into only 13 games during the regular season and just seven in 2016 after joining the club in midseason from Ottawa of the second-tier North American Soccer League.

Meanwhile, Stefan Marinovic, a 24-year-old New Zealand international, is expected to start in goal as David Ousted, a 31-year-old Dane who has been the team's heavily used starter since his arrival in mid-2013, watches for the fourth time in the past five games.

Marinovic has a modest 2-2-1 record with one shutout.

"It's no gamble at all," Robinson said of changing goalies. "Stef's a top-class goalkeeper. We know that.

"I'm a very lucky manager in this league in that I've got two very good goalkeepers. Stef's come in and, in the games he's played, he's been exceptional. I need him to make saves at big times. (Ousted) has done that throughout the first two-thirds of the season. Stef has now taken charge."

The Wednesday contest marks the time for the Whitecaps to take charge of their postseason fortunes after they squandered a chance to finish first in the Western Conference and dropped to third thanks to a draw with the Earthquakes two weeks ago and a loss to the Portland Timbers last weekend.

Vancouver (15-12-7) has never won a playoff game in its MLS existence.

The winner of Wednesday's contest will play a two-game, total-goals series against either first-place Portland or the second-place Seattle Sounders.

The Earthquakes, who grabbed the sixth and final playoff berth in the West with a 13-14-7 mark, are clear underdogs. However, Vancouver captain Kendall Waston downplayed the apparent pressure on his team, which was a modest 1-3-1 in its last five regular-season games.

"Pressure, for me, is (not having) money to go buy milk for my son," Waston said. "This is trying to be (as) responsible as we can. We have to look at this match as the others, but the thing is, if we lose, we have to go home -- and we (don't) want to go home."

Vancouver's top scorer, Fredy Montero, said he is ready to play a full game after being used as a substitute in Portland due to a minor injury.

Meanwhile, the Earthquakes will try to continue to rebound from a 6-6-5 start that cost former coach Dominic Kinnear his job. Replacement Chris Leitch saw the team endure some fits and starts, but the Earthquakes managed to get into the playoffs after Marco Urena, a teammate of Waston on Costa Rica's national team, scored the last-minute winner over Minnesota United last weekend.

"I always shine in these important moments," Urena said afterward. "God chose me (for such times.)"

The Earthquakes might need some divine intervention after allowing 21 more goals than they scored during the regular season. Even so, they have one of the all-time best MLS players in Chris Wondolowski, who assisted on the winner and also scored last weekend, earning MLS player of the week honors.

"Legitimately one of the hardest things I had to do in my life," Wondolowski, who loves to shoot, said about passing on the winning goal.

Wondolowski, who is tied for second on the MLS all-time scoring list with Jeff Cunningham at 134 goals, said it has been a "look-in-the mirror-and-see-what-you're-made-of season," for the Quakes, who made several midseason roster changes.