Earthquakes

Quakes affiliate folds, withdraws USL bid

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AP

Quakes affiliate folds, withdraws USL bid

San Francisco Football Club, a group owned by Zappos.com founder and Warriors minority ownership group member Nick Swinmurn, will announce they withdrew their application and bid to become a United Soccer League franchise.

In speaking exclusively to NBCSports.com/BayArea, Swinmurn revealed his group tried to secure AT&T Park, home of the San Francisco Giants, as his team’s home stadium with the 2019 season as their targeted inaugural campaign. 

However, an inability to secure enough dates — with Major League Baseball and the USL running concurrent seasons and the venue’s extensive private events calendar — became an obstacle too great for the group to overcome. 

Swinmurn will also announce the end of Burlingame Dragons FC, the Division IV and Premier Development League affiliate of the San Jose Earthquakes. 

“It was a ‘go big or go home’ scenario’” Swinmurn said, adding that the team turned it attention from building a new stadium in Burlingame for SFFC to 24 Willie Mays Plaza when environmental and parking issues mounted with the city. According to Swinmurn, the cost for the new 6,000-seat stadium near SFO would have been $3 million. 

Initial plans were to play in front of 5,000 fans at AT&T Park — a venue with an extensive history of hosting world-class teams like Chelsea, Juventus and Club America. And according to Swinmurn, had SFFC been able to secure a partnership with AT&T Park, there were several promising investors willing to pay the USL its current expansion fee of $5 million. 

“It’s a tough decision because we really believe in soccer,” Swinmurn said. “We had big dreams in the beginning but ultimately we couldn’t make it happen.” 

The announcement comes as the San Francisco Deltas, a member of the North American Soccer League who was recently downgraded to Division 3, finishes the Fall portion of their inaugural schedule — one that while successful on the field, has produced attendance numbers good for last in that league at just over 2,400 fans a game.

The dismantling of Burlingame Dragons FC marks the end of a three-year run as the Quakes’ PDL affiliate. In three seasons, Dragons FC made the playoffs twice and produced MLS players like Nick Lima (Earthquakes), Joshua Smith (New England Revolution) and Brian Wright (Revolution). 

Chris Wondolowski moves closer to MLS goals record as Quakes draw Toronto

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USATSI

Chris Wondolowski moves closer to MLS goals record as Quakes draw Toronto

BOX SCORE

SAN JOSE — Chris Wondolowski scored in the tying goal in the 77th minute in the San Jose Earthquakes’ 1-1 draw with Toronto FC on Saturday night.

Wondolowski ran onto a long pass from Nick Lima and ripped a shot from the right side that bounced off goalkeeper Alex Bono. Wondolowski chased down the rebound and chipped it in from the top of the 6-yard box.

He has 141 career MLS goals, four behind Landon Donovan for record.

Lucas Janson, a 24-year-old forward making his first MLS appearance after signing with Toronto on Aug. 8, opened the scoring for the Reds (6-12-6) in the 59th minute. Sebastian Giovinco led Gregory van der Wiel down the right side of the penalty box where he first-timed a cross to Janson for the finish into an empty net.

San Jose (3-13-8) is winless in its last 10 home games, the longest such streak in franchise history.

Late goal in 93rd minute puts away Earthquakes in loss to Rapids

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USATSI

Late goal in 93rd minute puts away Earthquakes in loss to Rapids

BOX SCORE

COMMERCE CITY -- Nana Boateng scored his first MLS goal in the 93rd minute to help the Colorado Rapids beat the 10-man San Jose Earthquakes 2-1 on Saturday night.

Boateng took Edgar Castillo's short pass and found some room in the penalty area before cutting back a shot that skipped though two San Jose defenders and outside the reach of the goalkeeper.

Shea Salinas was sent off in the 88th minute for throwing a reactive elbow that hit Dillon Serna in the face. Serna was given a yellow card for the instigating foul against Salinas.

Tommy Smith opened the scoring for Colorado (6-12-5) in the 24th minute, heading home Kellyn Acosta's cross that was played in after a short corner.

Magnus Eriksson converted a penalty for San Jose (3-13-7) in the 58th minute to level it at 1. Guram Kashia drew the penalty against Kortne Ford.