Quakes tie Sounders 2-2 on Stephenson's goal


Quakes tie Sounders 2-2 on Stephenson's goal


SANTA CLARA Khari Stephenson came on at the half and powered home a blistering 30-yard shot in the 52nd minute to give San Jose a 2-2 tie against visiting Seattle on Saturday.Seattle goalkeeper Kasey Keller got his left hand to Stephensons rocket but couldnt stop it from zipping into the upper 90.The still-winless Sounders (0-2-2) were missing star forward Fredy Montero, who did not make trip due to his injured right wrist, which required surgery earlier this week after being initially hurt on March 18.Nevertheless, Seattle earned a rugged road point behind first-half goals from Brad Evans and O'Brian White.New Quakes midfielder Dawkins, on loan from Tottenham Hotspur, opened his MLS account with a goal in the 32nd minute for San Jose (1-1-1). Seattle nearly broke through in the third minute, when the Quakes couldnt adequately clear an attack from the left-wing endline by Steve Zakuani. Osvaldo Alonso, who cycled the ball back in from the same left wing, found Zakuani at the near post, but San Jose goalkeeper Jon Busch dropped down to shunt the attempt just wide.The Sounders continued to crash the near post and it paid off in the 17th minute, when Mauro Rosales, who took Montero's spot in the lineup, shook free of Sam Cronin on the dribble, then slotted a low feed to Evans. Evans then beat Chris Leitch to the ball and rang it home from point-blank range.Wondolowski, coming off a brace in Dallas last week, nearly had his 13th consecutive regular-season goal for San Jose in the ninth minute when he redirected a looping Ramiro Corrales lead pass and broke free for a 16-yard shot dead center to the goal. Keller did very well to craft a left-handed reaction save and knock the drive wide.But Keller could do nothing in the 32nd minute, when Bobby Convey threaded a great pass through three defenders. Dawkins raced to it and, from 12 yards out, placed a tightly-cut left-footed shot just beyond Kellers reach, tucking it neatly inside the far post. It was San Joses first non-Wondolowski goal in regular-season play since Sept. 5.Seattle responded 10 minutes later to forge back ahead. Zakuani spooned a gently floating cross into the six-yard box for White, who fended off Jason Hernandez and struck a diving header that left Busch helpless.Keller made another critical one-on-one stop from 10 yards to preserve the lead when he stoned Joey Gjertsen, set free by a Leitch pass, in first-half stoppage time.Quakes defender Ike Opara, who entered the game in the 70th minute, almost made game-winning plays on both sides of the ball. His 74th-minute header off a corner kick beat Keller but slid just wide.Then, on defense in the 81st, Oparas attempt at a clearing header came up quite short, landing at the feet of Seattles Nate Jaqua. But Opara was able to make a sliding deflection on Jaquas ensuing 10-yard shot.San Jose next host Toronto FC on April 9 at 10:30 pm ET, while Seattle next head back home to host the Chicago Fire that same day at 4 pm ET.
Courtesy San Jose Earthquakes media services

NASL-champion San Francisco Deltas fold after one season


NASL-champion San Francisco Deltas fold after one season

The dream is no more. 

San Francisco Deltas' CEO Brian Andres Helmick ended speculation on Friday when he released a statement announcing the end of the team after one season in the North American Soccer League -- a DII professional league in the USSF pyramid. 

The Deltas are fresh off claming the NASL's championship in front of a sold-out crowd at Kezar Stadium, But even that wasn't enough to save a franchise who admittedly was struggling to stay afloat. 

"We are closing down the San Francisco Deltas," Helmick wrote. "As many of you have said, this journey that started in 2015 has the makings of a movie with character-defining struggles, heroic moments, painful defeats, and overcoming seemingly impossible hurdles all culminating in a dream come true on Sunday, November 12th when the SF Deltas were crowned the national champions after defeating the New York Cosmos — arguably the most storied brand in U.S. Soccer history. I’ll never forget the scene of thousands of fans storming the field. Now that the celebration has come to an end, players and coaches have been released from their contracts. We will not leave any loose ends and everybody will be paid what they’re owed for 2017 — including players, coaches, staff, partners and vendors."

In 32 league games, the Deltas amassed a 14-12-6 record and advanced to the fourth round of the U.S. Open Cup tournament where they lost to the San Jose Earthquakes. 

"In hindsight we have not been perfect," Helmick said. "Far from it. We have learned so much from this adventure and we will begin organizing our thoughts and learnings that led to us to make this decision. Our hope is to share them for the benefit of others who are interested in developing the sport here in San Francisco or in other cities. I firmly believe that via transparency and collaboration we can improve the sport we all love."

In response to the Deltas news, the NASL released the following statement: 'In San Francisco, it’s unfortunate that the Deltas’ business plans did not materialize in the way they had hoped. We remain a big believer in the market, as evidenced by the atmosphere and crowd at The Championship Final earlier this month, and we still believe that the city deserves a professional soccer team. We are in active discussions with potential ownership groups and we aim to keep professional soccer in San Francisco in the future."

The Deltas experiment is the latest to test the viability of professional soccer in San Francisco. Last Fall, another group fronted by founder NIck Swimurn -- San Francisco Football Club -- attempted to start a team using AT&T Park as its home stadium as part of the United Soccer League. The project and application was pulled. 

Quakes crushed in Vancouver, eliminated from MLS Cup Playoffs


Quakes crushed in Vancouver, eliminated from MLS Cup Playoffs


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.