Earthquakes

Quakes look to keep rolling against Dynamo

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Quakes look to keep rolling against Dynamo

June 4, 2011EARTHQUAKES (3-4-4) vs.
HOUSTON (3-6-4)
MLS SCOREBOARD
(AP) -- After the first winless May in club history, the Houston Dynamo are hoping June brings better results.Seeking their first victory in seven games, the Dynamo visit the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday night.Houston (3-4-6), which went undefeated in April, rallied to tie FC Dallas 2-2 last Saturday but finished May with an 0-3-3 record, going the entire month without a victory for the first time."We don't look at things by months or quarters," defender Bobby Boswell told the Dynamo's official website. "We look at things week to week, and we want to win every time out. I think if we can get a win and start off June right, that will be good."The Dynamo, 0-2-4 on the road, haven't prevailed away from home since defeating San Jose 2-1 at Buck Shaw Stadium on Oct. 16. They could be hard-pressed to repeat that performance, however, against an Earthquakes team which went unbeaten in May.
KILLION: Wondo's absence an odd blessing for quakes
San Jose (3-4-4) took a lead in the 74th minute on Chris Wondolowski's header last Saturday but ultimately settled for a 2-2 draw at Chicago, finishing the month 2-0-2."I was disappointed to be up 2-1 and not win the game, but the effort from our players was excellent, and our goals were good," coach Frank Yallop said. "Yes, we'd like to keep clean sheets and make sure we don't concede goals... but the endeavor and the fight from the guys, I've been really happy with."San Jose will need to look elsewhere for offense Saturday as Wondolowski has left the club to join the U.S. national team for the CONCACAF Gold Cup.Wondolowski, who spent the early part of his career with the Dynamo before getting traded to San Jose in 2009, has scored four of his team-leading six goals in the last six games.Rookie forward Ellis McLoughlin, who didn't play last Saturday after scoring his first career goal in a 2-1 win over New England on May 21, has been mentioned as a candidate to fill in for last season's Golden Boot winner."I think he's proven that (he could help replace Wondolowski)," Yallop said. "... I think he's got a lot of potential. He's only 20. He's powerful, he's young. He's got a bright future if he just keeps learning and moving in the right direction, which I think he will."Dynamo midfielder Brad Davis had his third multiple-assist effort of the season Saturday while forward Cam Weaver, acquired by Houston in the Wondolowski deal, tied for the team lead with his fourth goal and added an assist."(The Earthquakes) have been getting their results lately, making it hard for other teams to play against them," Weaver said. "Personally, being traded away from San Jose, it gives a little extra motivation to get a win, but I'm just going to keep going and help the team get a win."

Earthquakes secure spot in playoffs with clutch goal in stoppage time

Earthquakes secure spot in playoffs with clutch goal in stoppage time

BOX SCORE

SAN JOSE — Marco Urena scored in the third minute of stoppage time and the San Jose Earthquakes secured a playoff spot with a 3-2 victory over Minnesota United on Sunday in their regular-season finale.

San Jose (13-14-7) needed a win for the final spot in the Western Conference after FC Dallas' 5-1 victory over the Los Angeles Galaxy. It's an unexpected run for the Earthquakes, who fired coach Dominic Kinnear midway through the season.

In the build-up to the winner, San Jose goalkeeper Andrew Tarbell sent a long ball that was chested by Victor Bernardez and headed to Quincy Amarikwa inside the 18-yard box. Minnesota goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth pushed Amarikwa's shot wide but San Jose star Chris Wondolowski chased it down for a feed to an open Urena in front of goal.

The Earthquakes have won seven of their last nine home games — with every win coming by one goal.

Wondolowski gave San Jose a 2-1 lead in the 55th with an easy redirection of Danny Hoesen cross at the back post.

Minnesota (10-18-6), which has lost nine of its last 12 road games, tied it at 2 in the 81st on Francisco Calvo's header off the crossbar.

Shocker: US Men's National Team eliminated from World Cup contention

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Shocker: US Men's National Team eliminated from World Cup contention

COUVA, Trinidad — Twenty-eight years after one of the United States' most important victories came in stunning fashion at Trinidad to end a four-decade World Cup absence, the Americans' chances for the 2018 tournament in Russia ended on this island nation off the coast of Venezuela.

The U.S. was eliminated from World Cup contention Tuesday night, a shocking 2-1 loss to Trinidad and Tobago ending a run of seven straight American appearances at soccer's showcase.

The Soca Warriors scored a pair of first-half goals, getting one off U.S. defender Omar Gonzalez, and the United States made too many other mistakes to recover. The Americans are out of the World Cup for the first time since 1986.

"We let down an entire nation today," Gonzalez said.

Shocked American players slumped on the bench, and Matt Besler sat on the field after the final whistle as Panama's game ended and then Costa Rica's. At the end, dejected U.S. players filed into their locker rooms with blank looks.

"We foolishly brought Trinidad into the game with the own goal," coach Bruce Arena said. "That was a big goal for Trinidad psychologically. That got them motivated."

The U.S. entered its final qualifier with a berth uncertain for the first time since 1989. Home losses to Mexico last November and Costa Rica left the Americans little margin for error.

The 28th-ranked Americans needed merely a tie against 99th-ranked Trinidad, which lost its sixth straight qualifier last week. But the defeat — coupled with Honduras' come-from-behind 3-2 win over Mexico and Panama's 2-1 victory over Costa Rica on Ramon Torres' 88th-minute goal — dropped the Americans from third place into fifth in the six-nation final round of the North and Central American and Caribbean region.

Mexico and Costa Rica already had clinched berths, and Panama claimed the third and final automatic spot and will go the World Cup for the first time. Honduras will meet Australia in a two-game playoff next month for another spot at next year's 32-nation tournament.

Missing the World Cup is a devastating blow to the U.S. Soccer Federation, which has steadily built the sport in the last quarter-century with the help of sponsors and television partners. It also is a trauma for Fox, which broadcasts the next three World Cups after taking the U.S. rights from ESPN. The USSF hopes to co-host the 2026 tournament with Mexico and Canada, and Morocco is the only other bidder.

After an 0-2 start in the hexagonal last fall under Jurgen Klinsmann, the USSF replaced him last November with Arena, the American coach from 1998-2006. The team revived with home wins over Honduras and Trinidad last spring and draws at Panama and Mexico. But the 2-0 defeat to Costa Rica in New Jersey at the start of Labor Day weekend proved one hurdle too many to overcome.

The Americans fell behind in the 17th minute when Gonzalez made a casual attempt with his left foot to clear Alvin Jones' cross and sent the ball looping over the outstretched right arm of goalkeeper Tim Howard from 18 yards.

Jones doubled the lead in the 37th with a 35-yard strike, again to Howard's upper right corner, and nearly scored another in the 44th when his swerving shot bounced off Howard's chest and spilled into the penalty area.

Christian Pulisic, the Americans' 19-year-old star midfielder, scored in the 47th minute from the arc with a right-footed shot. He played a role in 12 of the 17 American goals in the hexagonal.

One minute later, Howard made a kick save on Shahdon Winchester's short-range shot, and DeAndre Yedlin blocked Levi Garcia's follow-up attempt.

The U.S. bench was tense, as Honduras scored twice early in the second half to take the lead over visiting Mexico in the 60th minute and Panama tied the score against visiting Costa Rica in the 52nd.

Clint Dempsey, who entered at the start of the second half, was denied by goalkeeper Adrian Foncette's leaping save in the 69th and hit a post from 22 yards in the 77th. Pulisic's shot in the 87th was saved by Foncette.

All American reserves were standing for much of the final minutes, and Arena had repeated exasperated looks.

"No excuses for us not getting the second goal and at least a point," Arena said. "It's a blemish for us."

Just a few hundred fans were in the stands at 10,000-capacity Ato Boldon Stadium, located 24 miles south of the capital, Port-of-Spain. Paul Caligiuri's famous goal at the National Stadium in 1989 put the U.S. in the World Cup for the first time since 1950.

Among the spectators were a few dozen American Outlaws, the U.S. supporters group.

Water that had flooded the track surrounding the field ahead of the U.S. training session Monday was gone.