Wondolowski's goal helps pace Team USA to win at Cuba


Wondolowski's goal helps pace Team USA to win at Cuba

Chris Wondolowski and Julian Green scored second-half goals, lifting the United States to a 2-0 victory Friday over Cuba in its first exhibition game in 69 years at the Caribbean island nation.

The U.S. started nine players who likely will be on the field for next month's World Cup qualifier against Mexico. The 22nd-ranked Americans struggled to mount attacks in the first half against No. 139 Cuba, hampered by a bumpy field at Havana's Estadio Pedro Marrero that had brown patches, but still extended their winning streak to three.

A 21-year-old making his first start in more than two years, Green created the first goal when he took a shot that was parried by goalkeeper Sandy Sanchez. The rebound went to Wondolowski, who scored with a right-footed shot from 8 yards in the 62nd minute. Wondowloski's 11th international goal was his first since July 2015 against Guatemala.

Wondolowski, who entered at the start of the second half, passed across the goal nine minutes later, and Green redirected the ball into the net. Green, who has struggled to gain playing time at Bayern Munich, scored his only other international goal against Belgium at the 2014 World Cup.

With regular goalkeepers Tim Howard and Brad Guzan given the game off, Ethan Horvath made his international debut and got the shutout. At 21 years, 120 days, he became the youngest goalkeeper to debut for the U.S. since Zach Thornton was a substitute in a 3-0 win over Trinidad and Tobago on Nov. 22, 1994.

Maykel Reyes and Roberney Caballero hit posts for Cuba in the second half.

The U.S., which relied on long passes to avoid the challenging surface, improved to 10-1-1 against Cuba but this was just its third match in Cuba following a 1947 exhibition and a 2008 World Cup qualifier. The Americans play New Zealand on Tuesday at Washington, D.C., in another exhibition to prepare for the final round of World Cup qualifying in North and Central America and the Caribbean. They open the hexagonal Nov. 11 against Mexico in Columbus, Ohio, then play four days later at Costa Rica.

Horvath, who is from Highlands Ranch, Colorado, plays for Molde in Norway and was part of the U.S. under-23 team that failed to qualify for this year's Olympics.

U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann inserted three other players who didn't start in last month's qualifying win over Trinidad. Right back DeAndre Yedlin returned from a one-game suspension, central defender John Brooks recovered from a back injury and Green filled an opening created by Alejandro Bedoya's strained rib muscle.

Geoff Cameron was paired with Brooks in central defense, and Fabian Johnson was at left back. Michael Bradley, Sacha Kljestan and 18-year-old Christian Pulisic were in the midfield, and Jozy Altidore and Bobby Wood headed the attack.

Notes: ESPN broadcasters Ian Darke and Taylor Twellman announced the game from a studio in Bristol, Connecticut, rather than from the stadium.

Defensive lapses cost Quakes in first loss of new season


Defensive lapses cost Quakes in first loss of new season


Is Saturday's road effort a sign of things to come or a new team trying to gel?

After a 2017 campaign where the San Jose Earthquakes struggled on the road -- especially defensively -- the 2018 season did not start much better in a 3-2 loss to Sporting Kansas City. 

"Of course, I am disappointed to be leaving here without points," said Quakes head coach Mikael Stahre, "but especially because in the first half and then in the first 15 minutes of the second we played really well."

The teams went into the half tied but Sporting Kansas scored twice in the second half, both times taking advantage of San Jose's gift of enough space for KC to take advantage of.

Chris Wondolowski scored for the Quakes -- putting him 10 goals away from Landon Donovan in the MLS all-time race and all alone in second place on that list. 

"I wish we could have won," Wondolowski said. "but credit to our team and Magnus [Eriksson] for putting that ball in there. To finish it was pretty cool, but hopefully we will get a couple more wins."

After conceeding a penalty halfway through the second half, Valeri Qazaishvili equalized in minute 34, following up his own header attempt and cashing in for his second goal of the seaon. 

But that would be all San Jose could muster for the majority of the second half.

Graham Zusi scored in the 56th minute on a beauty of a shot. 

Felipe Gutierrez will be awarded with the game-winner after a left-footed bullet beat Andrew Tarbell.  

San Jose (1-1-0) is winless in its last four against Sporting.

"We came here with ambition to win the game, or second best to leave with a point," Stahre said. "We fought until the end and it was really important for us to score the second goal, but I felt at halftime that we could have won the game. Then we conceded the second goal and we lost the momentum. They are a good team, but I think we can take some positive things with us."

Earthquakes media services contributed to this report.

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.