Pregame Notes: Mouth-watering match awaits
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES vs LA GALAXY
STANFORD STADIUM, Palo Alto, Calif.
June 30, 2012 (WEEK 17, MLS Game #155)
7 p.m. PT (ESPN2/ Deportes; GolTV/RDS2)
The second California Clasico is ahead on Saturday night in front of a sold-out Stanford Stadium as the San Jose Earthquakes and LA Galaxy meet in a mouth-watering match. The Quakes are back home after yet another late comeback, winning their second game on a two-game trip, 2-1 at Real Salt Lake last weekend. The Galaxy have hauled themselves back into the playoff picture with three consecutive wins, last a 3-0 home win against Vancouver Whitecaps FC. The teams met May 23 in Carson, the Quakes storming back for a late 3-2 victory.
REFEREE: Hilario Grajeda. SAR (bench): Paul Scott; JAR (opposite): Scott Kachmarik; 4th: Ramon Hernandez
MLS Career: 67 games; FC/gm: 24.6; Y/gm: 3.5; R: 14; pens: 11
- SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES -- OUT: MF Simon Dawkins (L shoulder sprain); MF Sam Garza (rib fracture); MF Joey Gjertsen (R knee surgery); DF Tim Ward (L non-specific soft tissue injury)
- LA GALAXY -- OUT: DF Andrew Boyens (L sports hernia surgery); FW Edson Buddle (R knee surgery); FW Adam Cristman (concussion); DF Omar Gonzalez (L knee surgery); MF Dan Keat (R knee surgery); DF Leonardo (R knee inflammation); QUESTIONABLE: MF Kyle Nakazawa (back spasms); FW Pat Noonan (R quad strain)
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none
- SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: SJ: Ramiro Corrales, Alan Gordon ... LA: David Beckham
- SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: SJ: Steven Beitashour, Marvin Chavez ... LA: Juninho, Landon Donovan
ALL-TIME (49 meetings): Earthquakes 16 wins (1 shootout), 63 goals... Galaxy 25 wins (4 shootout), 75 goals... Ties 8
AT SAN JOSE (23 meetings): Earthquakes 11 wins (1 shootout), 33 goals ... Galaxy 9 wins (2 shootout), 30 goals... Ties 5
FUTURE MATCH: 10/21: San Jose Earthquakes vs. LA Galaxy, 7 p.m. (Galavision)
- The teams are meeting for the second time in just over a month, after late goals from Khari Stephenson and the stoppage-time winner from Alan Gordon gave the Quakes a 3-2 victory, May 23 in Carson.
- It was the first victory for the Quakes at The Home Depot Center since 2005, snapping a four-game road winless streak vs. the Galaxy since San Jose returned to the league in 2008.
- The Earthquakes have a five-game unbeaten streak alive at home against the Galaxy. The streak started Aug. 3, 2008, the second of the three meetings at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum.
- The Galaxy have never won at Buck Shaw Stadium, with the Quakes having two wins in three all-time meetings in Santa Clara (with a draw). The first three northern California meetings between the teams after the Quakes' return were all in Oakland.
- Coaches record: Frank Yallop v LA: P21 W8 L8 D5 ... Bruce Arena vs. SJ: P16 W7 L6 D3
LAST MEETING (MLS):
5/23: LA 2, SJ 3 (Jimenez 3; Magee 73 -- Lenhart 76; Stephenson 82; Gordon 94+)
The Galaxy took an early lead. Barely three minutes in, Juninho slipped a ball into the penalty area for Chad Barrett, who then sent a backheel to a charging Hector Jimenez. He then beat San Jose goalkeeper Jon Busch with a shot to the far post.
- The match changed on the hour when Jimenez was sent off by referee Jair Marrufo after a studs-up tackle on Steven Beitashour.
- Yet it was the Galaxy who doubled their lead in the 73rd minute. On a counter, David Beckham floated a ball to Mike Magee on the left side. Magee faked a pass, shook himself around the goalkeeper and buried the ball into the roof of the goal.
- But the Quakes came right back down and cut the lead in half three minutes later when Marvin Chavez whipped in a corner kick and Steven Lenhart buried a diving header into the back of the goal.
- San Jose found the equalizer with eight minutes remaining. Jason Hernandez unloaded a shot from the corner of the area and Beckham got a piece of it with his arm. Khari Stephenson easily converted the resulting penalty.
- There was one final twist in stoppage time. Hernandez launched a long ball into the Galaxy area and Alan Gordon took advantage of indecision with the bouncing ball, looping a header over Brian Perk's head as the Earthquakes escaped with a stunning victory.
- LA GALAXY (4-4-2): Brian Perk - Sean Franklin, Bryan Gaul, A.J. DeLaGarza, Todd Dunivant - Hector Jimenez (sent off 59), Juninho (Michael Stephens 85), David Beckham, Mike Magee - Chad Barrett, Edson Buddle (Kyle Nakazawa 68).
- SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES (4-3-1-2): Jon Busch - Steven Beitashour, Ike Opara, Jason Hernandez, Justin Morrow - Rafael Baca (Marvin Chavez 74), Sam Cronin (Khari Stephenson 66), Simon Dawkins - Tressor Moreno - Sercan Guvenisik (Alan Gordon 46), Steven Lenhart.
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES
The San Jose Earthquakes again made a stunning comeback late in a game, getting a late goal for a 2-1 win against Real Salt Lake on Saturday evening at Rio Tinto Stadium. The Quakes took over first place in the Western Conference with 33 points from 16 games.
- San Jose finally broke through in the quiet match in the 75th minute. A Ramiro Corrales free kick from the right side was allowed to bounce, and a miscommunication between Rimando and Nat Borchers left the ball sitting up for Alan Gordon to head into an open goal.
- Four minutes later, Javier Morales brought Real back to even terms. His perfect free kick from 24 yards swerved over the wall and into the upper-left corner past Quakes 'keeper Jon Busch.
- But San Jose swung the match back again six minutes from the end. A long throw from Justin Morrow was headed on by Gordon, and Wondolowski beat his man to the ball to redirect it on goal. Rimando got down for the shot, only to see it spin under him and over the line for his league-leading 13th goal.
- Earthquakes head coach Frank Yallop made two changes to the team that got two late goals for a 2-1 win against the Colorado Rapids at Dick's Sporting Goods Park. Khari Stephenson and Ramiro Corrales came into the midfield, in place of Rafael Baca and Sam Cronin.
- SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES (4-3-1-2): Jon Busch - Steven Beitashour, Jason Hernandez, Victor Bernardez, Justin Morrow - Marvin Chavez, Khari Stephenson (Jean-Marc Alexandre 84), Ramiro Corrales - Simon Dawkins (Shea Salinas 66) - Steven Lenhart (Alan Gordon 59), Chris Wondolowski.
- The Quakes have scored the winning goal in the 84th minute or later in seven of their last 10 league games after the late winner at Real Salt Lake.
- "I think that's just the mentality we came in with; we're always going to try to get three points. I think a lot of times, especially coming into Rio Tinto, teams would be content with just trying to come away with a 0-0 tie," said Chris Wondolowski. "We try to go out there and press the game, play our game, but we never give up -- like the goonies say, 'never say die.' It's fun to be a part of."
- They lead MLS with 11 goals in the final 15 minutes of games, and with 20 goals in the final half-hour of MLS contests.
- After allowing the first goal, the Quakes have taken in a remarkable seven of nine games (4-2-3). Just six times in MLS this season has a team won after trailing at halftime; San Jose has done it twice.
- Eight of the nine league appearances Alan Gordon has made this year have come off the substitutes' bench -- and he scored five goals (all as a sub).
- "He is just kind of getting back to match fitness but that is exactly his role on this team to come in late and to make an impact," said Yallop. "He is a great character and the guys love having him around, he brings some great team spirit and he just has a knack for scoring goals. He has played his role so well this season and especially tonight."
- Since being acquired from Toronto FC last July, all six of Gordon's goals with San Jose have come after the 70th minute.
- "Legend. I've never been a part of this where someone comes off the bench, scores so many late goals, and is such an influence out there," said Chris Wondolowski. "Another goal and assist, even if he doesn't get the goal, he just has such a presence out there that just makes it fun to be a part of."
- Said Gordon: "I'm always looking to come in and add a little energy. The last two games have been in altitude and guys are tired and I'm coming in to give fresh legs. I've been fortunate to be on the score sheet and causing some chance up there."
- Wondolowski scored his league-leading 13th goal for the match winner, giving him goals in back-to-back league games after returning from international duty.
- On Tuesday, the Earthquakes were dumped out of the U.S. Open Cup in a 1-0 quarterfinal loss to Seattle Sounders FC at Kezar Stadium in San Francisco. The game's lone goal came after 18 minutes through Cordell Cato.
- Here's the Earthquakes team: David Bingham, Steven Beitashour, Victor Bernardez, Ike Opara, Justin Morrow, Rafael Baca (Marvin Chavez 80), Sam Cronin, Tressor Moreno (Steven Lenhart 54), Shea Salinas, Khari Stephenson (Chris Wondolowski 53), Alan Gordon (sent off 93+).
The LA Galaxy won three consecutive league matches last week, strolling to a 3-0 victory against Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Saturday evening at The Home Depot Center. The Galaxy are now in fifth place in the Western Conference with 20 points from 16 games.
It took just over a quarter-hour for LA to open the scoring. David Beckham sent a corner kick to the far side of the box where efforts from Juninho and David Junior Lopes were blocked. The ball fell to Landon Donovan seven yards out, and his shot was parried by Whitecaps 'keeper Joe Cannon, but the rebound fell to Mike Magee who tapped in the shot from close range.
- The Galaxy doubled their lead on the half-hour. Donovan found Robbie Keane inside the box and the Irish international knifed through the Whitecaps defense before slotting home from the left side of the area.
- It was 3-0 before halftime. In the 40th minute, Keane once again broke clear of the Whitecaps FC backline and fired a shot at goal that was handled by Jay DeMerit. Donovan stepped up and easily converted the penalty.
- Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena made two changes to the team that came back from two goals down for a 3-2 win against Real Salt Lake at Rio Tinto Stadium. Hector Jimenez and Robbie Keane came into the side in place of Bryan Jordan and Marcelo Sarvas.
- LA GALAXY (4-4-2): Josh Saunders - Sean Franklin, David Junior Lopes, A.J. DeLaGarza, Todd Dunivant - Hector Jimenez (Michael Stephens 65), Juninho, David Beckham, Mike Magee (Bryan Jordan 75) - Landon Donovan (Chad Barrett 90), Robbie Keane.
- In seven days, the Galaxy took nine points and now sit in fifth place in the Western Conference (and in a playoff spot), following their 3-0 home win against Vancouver. In three all-time games vs. Whitecaps FC, the Galaxy have outscored them 10-0.
- "I think we are slowly becoming a good team. And, I think that inside our locker room we understand what it takes to become a good team," said Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena. "It was an important week for us. We are back in playoff contention. And, there are going to be a lot of difficult games ahead. ... Hopefully, our guys have learned a lot in the first 16 games. We've learned enough to get us through the next 18."
- Said Robbie Keane: "We know that the start of the season wasn't good enough. For whatever reason, we're back on a winning track now. When you have the winning mentality, the confidence breeds through the whole dressing room so the mentality and the attitude change is from everyone."
- In his first game back from the European Championship, where he played with the Republic of Ireland, Keane netted his fourth goal of the season, his first since March 31.
- "I felt really sharp considering that I only got off a flight on Wednesday and only trained one day with the lads, which was [Friday]," Keane said. "I felt really sharp and I look forward to a couple days off now." MORE FROM KEANE
- After going their first 13 league games without a shutout, the Galaxy have now recorded clean sheets in two of their last three games.
- "We talked about that at halftime," Donovan said. "If it's 3-0 that's fine. If it's 4- or 5-0 that's great too but first and foremost we want to get a shutout. Josh [Saunders] was called on only a couple of times, made a good save there at the end but we wanted to be solid again and I think that's a big reason why we were successful last year and we want to get back to that."
- After going nearly two months and eight league games without a goal, Landon Donovan has now scored three goals in the last two games.
- "Our passing was good, our movement was good, the energy was good, defensively we were very good," said Donovan. "I don't think we gave them a sniff at the goal and we probably should have had five goals in the first half."
- Donovan's converted penalty kick was the first of the season for the Galaxy. They saw one missed by Keane on April 21 vs. FC Dallas.
- "I think we're confident right now," Donovan said. "We're playing well and the guys are responding to what we're doing. Every guy is making plays not only for himself but for the next guy. When you have a team with the talent we have, if you get that stuff right, there's going to be some good nights like [Saturday]."
- In his last five starts, dating back to April 21, goalkeeper Josh Saunders is 5-0-0. He missed six games while completing the league's substance abuse and behavior program.
- "We hope to come out and do more of that. It is a confidence thing," Saunders said. "We are getting our confidence back and we are more willing to play out of the back, it is helping us keep possession of the ball and not have to defend so much."