Instant Replay: Quakes no longer control destiny with loss to Rapids


Instant Replay: Quakes no longer control destiny with loss to Rapids


For weeks now, the San Jose Earthquakes have flirted with completely falling out of MLS Cup playoff contention only to have the other teams they’re jousting with give them a little hope.

But after Thursday’s 2-1 loss to Colorado, the Quakes may have sealed their 2016 fate.

Two goals by Kevin Doyle, the latter a second half penalty kick, was enough offense to hand the Quakes their 14th loss of the season. The loss, coupled with a Sporting Kansas City win or draw on Sunday against Real Salt Lake, will eliminate San Jose from the 2016 Major League Soccer playoffs. Currently, the Quakes sit six points behind the red playoff line.

San Jose’s 14th loss is also one more than they had all of last season.

Doyle opened the scoring with a beautiful diving header in the 38th minute courtesy of a Marc Burch cross that sliced its way into the San Jose box from the left side. 

But the Quakes had a legitimate chance to believe when Chris Wondolowski converted from the penalty spot to equalize the match in the 57th minute. The forward was knocked down in the box and minutes later, he beat Colorado’s Tim Howard to the keeper's right.

However, 15 minutes after the penalty gave, it took away when Doyle stepped up and executed from 12 yards out, beating David Bingham right down the middle of his goal.

Colorado was awarded the penalty when Fatai Alashe pulled Dillion Powers down in the box on a corner kick.

Streak snapped: The Earthquakes entered the match riding a 14-game unbeaten streak against the Colorado Rapids and hadn’t lost a game in the series since Aug. 13, 2011. The Quakes held a 7-0-7 overall record against the Rapids over that timespan.

Turning point: Unfortunately for San Jose, Alashe's foul in the box happened right in front of the head referee. Replays show Powers embellished the tug, but from the referee's vantage point, it was enough to blow the whistle and point to the spot. With the Quakes' offensive struggles and only 17 minutes left to score two goals, the mountain was too high for them to climb. 

Supporters' Shield: The win for the Rapids propelled them into first place in the Western Conference -- a point ahead of FC Dallas for the Supporters' Shield. 

Up the scoring chart: Wondolowski's goal was the 11th of his career against the Rapids. That's the most goals the forward has scored against any team in MLS -- moving him one past Seattle, Vancouver and the now debunked Chivas USA. 

Up Next: The Quakes return to Avaya Stadium on Sunday to face the Vancouver Whitecaps on Fan Appreciation Day. Kick off is scheduled for 2 p.m.

Quakes choose young FIU defender with their first pick in 2018 MLS SuperDraft

Quakes choose young FIU defender with their first pick in 2018 MLS SuperDraft

The San Jose Earthquakes are hoping they've caught lighting in a bottle twice. 

Last season, Nick Lima emerged as one of the game's best young defenders. And on Day 1 of the 2018 MLS SuperDraft, San Jose went to the fullback well with the selection of Paul Marie from Florida International University with the 12th pick in the first round. 

"Paul has the profile we were looking for from the very beginning heading into the combine and the draft," said Earthquakes general manager Jesse Fioranelli via press release. "We were looking for a fullback. We see in him an offensive-minded outside back that has technical qualities and the ability to read the game."

Experts pegged Marie, 22, as a late-first, early-second-round selection. But a pair of solid days during the MLS Combine boosted the Frenchman's stock -- especially on San Jose's board. According to Fioranelli, Marie was No. 4 on their draft board -- having him there at No. 12 must have felt like a steal for Fioranelli and staff. 

"We especially liked that he has character and in the interview that we had with him, he convinced us," Fioranelli said. "The entire coaching staff are really excited about having him part of the club."

San Jose not only lucked out that their fourth-best footballer was there at 12, but with American parents, he does not take up an international slot for San Jose -- the team is still three players over their allotment.

In an interview after his selection with Jason Davis of Sirius XM radio, Marie told San Jose fans what they can expect from the defender. 

"They can expect Paul Marie to give it all for San Jose," he said. 

The Quakes were in need of defensive depth going in to Day 1 of the SuperDraft. In Marie, they have a fullback who can stretch the pitch from the right side and be a backup to Lima. 

Did Quakes pull off 'steal' of MLS SuperDraft in Danny Musovski?

Did Quakes pull off 'steal' of MLS SuperDraft in Danny Musovski?

Not too long ago, former UNLV standout Danny Musovski was the darling of the mock draft. 

And rightfully so -- with 47 career goals in 88 appearances with the Runnin' Rebels, Musovski possesses a knack and nose for the goal that no MLS team can have enough of and thus an early selection in the MLS SuperDraft was expected. 

So when you examine the San Jose Earthquakes' first day of the 2018 SuperDraft, their selection of Musovski can be viewed one of two ways: it's either the steal/ best value of Day 1 at No. 30 or you're skeptical of why the 22-year-old who many experts had going in the top 10 fell all the way down the Quakes in the second round. 

Judging by the way those who know Musovski talk about him, it sounds like Earthquakes fans can lean toward the former. 

"Danny is a striker that we actually saw as one of the biggest prospects considering that over four years he had scored around 50 goals," said San Jose general manager Jesse Fioranelli via press release. "He is a player that we already knew because he was inside of our ecosystem. We are excited to have him at the club."

Fioranelli is talking about Musovski's time with San Jose Premier Developement League affiliate, Burlingame Dragons FC, in 2016 where the forward made a huge impact on a squad that made the PDL postseason fresh off his 12-goal year with UNLV. 

"Quakes got a steal by drafting Danny at No. 30," said his former Dragons FC head coach Eric Bucchere -- who spent last season as an assistant with San Jose affiliate Reno 1868 and founded Path2Pro Soccer thereafter. 

"He's an MLS-ready player with pace, a good soccer brain and knack for scoring goals," Bucchere said, adding that yes, perhaps Musovski's work during the combine wasn't steller, but those two days shouldn't overshadow the striker's upside. "Sometimes it's obvious why a player is good at scoring goals and sometimes you have to watch a player during the course of an entire season to really appreciate what makes him so good." 

There are some experts who point to Chris Wondolowski as a comporable skillset and physical build to Musovski -- a player who no-doubt can find the back of the net but won't blow you away with his athleticism. 

"The last point is that Danny showed more enthusiasm than any other player to join the organization, which was a determining factor for him to join us," Fioranelli said. 

Musovski was a four-year starter and two-time All-America selection for UNLV and the first Rebel to be selected in the Super Draft since Bradley Kamdem in 2016. During his senior season in 2017, he scored 15 goals (good for fourth in the nation) and added six assists in 16 appearances, earning Third Team All-America, First Team All-West Region, First Team All-Western Athletic Conference and Western Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Year honors.

Time, and training camp, will tell if Musovski will make an immediate impact with the main club. But he'll definitely have a spot with Reno 1868, the Quakes United Soccer League affiliate known for scoring goals in (record-setting) bunches.