Earthquakes

Quakes battle to draw with L.A.

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Quakes battle to draw with L.A.

STATS: Galaxy 2, Quakes 2

A spirited match between the San Jose Earthquakes and theLos Angeles Galaxy ended in a 2-2 draw as twice the home side came from a goaldown. The draw preserved the Earthquakes' season-long unbeaten streak at BuckShaw Stadium.The 2012 Supporters Shield winners, playing a game that hadno consequence on their final regular-season record, countered Galaxy goals byRobbie Keane and Edson Buddle through a Marvin Chavez free kick and a Chris Wondolowskiheader. For Wondolowski, the goal was his 26th of the season,leaving him 1 goal behind the single season record set by Roy Lassiter in theinaugural 1996 MLS season.The sold out Buck Shaw Stadium crowd, many who participatedin the teams new stadium Guinness World Record setting groundbreaking ceremonyearly in the day, were treated to another in a long list of intense andexciting California Classics between the two heated rivals.The first half saw both teams looking for weaknesses intheir opponents, but neither side could find the back of the net. The Galaxyhad the best chances in the opening stanza, as Buddle and Keane had one-on-oneopportunities against Jon Busch, but the San Jose goalkeeper made important saves to keep the matchscoreless.The Earthquakes had a flurry of chance to break through atthe start of the second half. First on a through ball that had him in on goaland second on a corner kick, Wondolowski sent shots off the woodwork twice inthe span of a minute. On a subsequent corner kick, a scrum in front of goalseemed destined to send the ball into the goal, but the Galaxy defense survivedthe onslaught and scrambled the ball to safety.The Galaxy delivered the first goal of the match in the 59thminute through Keane. The Irelandinternational pounced on a loose ball in front of goal that had originally beendelivered by Buddle, and fired it past goalkeeper Busch.The Earthquakes equalized two minutes later when Chavezcurled a free kick from 30 yards out that squeaked just inside the near post.For Chavez, it was his third goal of the season.As the game opened up, both sides began to find moreopportunities on goal. In the 69th minute, with defender SeanFranklin making an overlapping run down the right wing, the Galaxy retook thelead when Buddle climbed over Victor Bernardez to head home a cross from Franklin.In the 74th minute, Wondolowski finally found theback of the net, as he sent a diving header past Los Angeles goalkeeper Josh Saunders off acorner kick from Chavez.The match ended with both sides searching for a winninggoal, but both teams eventually had to settle for a share of the spoils.

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.