'Quakes ride 2nd half surge to end winless streak


'Quakes ride 2nd half surge to end winless streak

Nick Rosano

Its been a long time coming, but the Earthquakes havefinally snapped their 13 game winless streak. On the back of a strong secondhalf showing and goals from Chris Wondolowski and Ramiro Corrales, theEarthquakes were able to overcome the Chicago Fire 2-0 to keep their slimplayoff chances alive for another week. It wasnt always easy, though.After Wondolowskis 10th minute opener andhalf-chance for Khari Stepehenson minutes later, the Earthquakes found thegoing tough as Chicago dominated the run of play, creating a number of chancesagainst a beleaguered San Jose back line. We weathered the storm in the first half; they should havescored, but we got through that and our response in the second half was great,said head coach Frank Yallop, adding, Their chances in the first half came offour mistakes. In particular, the team was bailed out by Jon Busch twice inthe dying minutes of the first half. First, he did well to deny the FiresDominic Oduro on a one-on-one chance after a giveaway in the midfield. Secondslater, he was on hand to deny a volley from Sebastian Grazzini after theEarthquakes failed to fully clear their lines from a corner. However, the second half yielded much more positive play asthe team connected its passes better and put pressure on Chicago right from the restart. Simon Dawkinsand Rafael Baca were active in the center of midfield, while Wondolowskicontinued to test Sean Johsnon in the Chicagogoal, albeit without much luck. It took a little bit of concentration and execution on ourpart. I thought the movement was there in the first half, we just couldntconnect on some passes, Wondolowski said of the teams second half improvement.While Wondolowski was unable to convert a 53rdminute penalty kick, he spared himself some blushes when he set up Corralessecond goal in the 69th minute after a nicely-worked passingmove.In the second half, we connected our passes and executed onour chances. I am a little disappointed I couldnt get that second goal, but Iam thankful for our defense and Ramiro (Corrales) to clean up and get us the2-0 win, he added. Baca in particular impressed Yallop with his active play inthe midfield, earning commendation from his coach, who said, Im very happyfor Rafa; good player, good kid. Hell continue to see time if he keeps playinglike that. Alongside Baca, who is just now enjoying a run in theEarthquakes first team after signing for the team in July, Yallop reservedpraise for a player on the opposite end of the spectrum. Corrales, playing inhis 209th Earthquakes game, was dangerous on the left flank and dida reasonable job of containing Chicagospace on the other end of the field. Ramiro was very good tonight, and of course he scored thesecond goal, Yallop said. His general play is fantastic right now. Hes ourcaptain and I think his play is indicative of what hes done all year.Despite the impressive contributions across the Earthquakesattacking front, the teams defensive ability told as they managed to get aclean sheet, the teams first since a 0-0 draw at the Columbus Crew on July 16.(Jon) Busch was the man of the match and our defense playedgreat, Wondolowski said. To get a shutout against that team, it makes thiswin that much more special. In addition to Buschs five saves, the defense did well tocontain a Fire offense that has scored two goals in each of its last threecompetitive matches. In particular, Oduro, one of MLS hottest strikers, wasnot able to use his pace to great effect against a well-drilled Quakesbackline. After a win that Yallop was quick to characterize as arelief, the Earthquakes will travel to face the Houston Dynamo to kick off athree game road trip. A win in Houstoncould see the Earthquakes reassert themselves in the playoff race, while a losscould all but kill the teams already slim chances.Hopefully we can go to Houston with a fresh attitude, and if we canwin there, well be right back in it, Yallop said.For more Earthquakes, MLS and world soccer musings,you can follow Nick Rosano on Twitter: @nicholasrosano

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.