SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES vs PORTLAND TIMBERS
BUCK SHAW STADIUM, Santa Clara, Calif.
Oct. 4, 2014 (WEEK 30, MLS Game #289)
8 p.m. PT (NBCSN)
Two teams, who begin the weekend just below the red line, come together when the San Jose Earthquakes play host to the Portland Timbers on Saturday evening at Buck Shaw Stadium. The Quakes could see their playoff hopes dashed this weekend with a loss or tie, their winless streak now at 10 games following a last-gasp 1-1 draw at the Colorado Rapids last weekend. The Timbers remain only one point from the fifth place and the final playoff position in the Western Conference after losing 3-2 to Toronto FC last Saturday at BMO Field.
The Portland Timbers fell 3-2 to Toronto FC on Saturday afternoon at BMO Field. The Timbers are in sixth place in the Western Conference with 39 points from 30 games.
The Timbers took the lead after just 13 minutes. A deflected pass put Fanendo Adi all alone behind the TFC back line to break toward goal, and he buried the shot one-on-one with goalkeeper Joe Bendik.
Three minutes later, Portland doubled their lead. A corner kick wasn’t cleared by Toronto’s backline, and Diego Valeri recovered a bouncing ball and pushed into the right side of the box. His low crossing attempt hit off the foot of TFC defender Steven Caldwell and rebounded into the back of the net.
But the match turned around after the break. In the 62nd minute, Toronto FC won a corner kick. A second crossing attempt from Daniel Lovitz connected with center back Nick Hagglund, who buried home a header for his first goal in Major League Soccer.
Just eight minutes later, Hagglund and TFC had their second. Michael Bradley took a free kick which fell to Hagglund, and he headed home from the corner of the six-yard box for the equalizer.
The winner came in the 89th minute. From a free kick well out on the left side of midfield, Bradley swung in a service and the ball bounced through a crowd, eluding Timbers goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts and nestling inside the far post to give Toronto FC all three points.
Timbers head coach Caleb Porter made no changes to the team that rolled to a 3-0 win against Vancouver Whitecaps FC at Providence Park.
- PORTLAND TIMBERS (4-2-3-1): Donovan Ricketts - Alvas Powell, Pa Modou Kah, Liam Ridgewell, Jorge Villafana - Diego Chara, Will Johnson (Ben Zemanski 7) - Darlington Nagbe, Diego Valeri, Rodney Wallace (Gaston Fernandez 81) - Fanendo Adi (Maximiliano Urruti 72).
“We weren’t going for the third goal recklessly, we were very organized, tight, and didn’t think we gave up many chances through the run of play,” said Timbers head coach Caleb Porter. “For me it is about managing the moments that will get you the result, and those set pieces were crucial moments on both sides of the ball. Also scoring that third goal to go up 3-0 then the whole thing is different.”
Fanendo Adi scored his third goal in the last two games – the first time this season he’s scored just one goal in an MLS game. His other eight goals had come in four, two-goal games.
Diego Chara collected his fourth assist of the season. All of his assists in league games have come since July 18, over the last 11 matches.
There was an injury blow after team captain and midfielder Will Johnson suffered a fractured right fibula and tibia in the opening minute of the match under a challenge with TFC’s Mark Bloom. Johnson will be out the remainder of the season after undergoing surgery.
“It’s just another thing we’ve got to deal with, and we’ve dealt with a lot this year. Some of those things we’ve brought on ourselves and have not gotten the job done,” said Porter. “But one thing I said after the game, one thing that’s been clear all season is that we don’t hang our heads, we don’t dwell, we move on and pick ourselves back up and get stronger and be better.”
Johnson was replaced by Ben Zemanski, who figures to be in the side in the San Jose match, with midfielder Diego Valeri also out due to yellow card accumulation.
“I’m not going to be Will Johnson,” Zemanski said. “I’ve played in many games in this league before, and I know what type of player I am and what I can bring. … We have said all year that this team has depth, and that depth needs to show up in a big game on Saturday.” Added Porter: “You hope to fill in someone similar. And Ben is a similar player in how he plays and what he brings to the table.”
The Timbers scored two or more goals for a sixth consecutive game. They now have 54 goals for the season, an average of 1.80 goals per game, third-best attacking mark in MLS this season.
- “We don’t dwell too much,” Porter said. “We don’t get down. We don’t point fingers and feel sorry for ourselves. We just keep fighting and keep grinding and that’s a big reason why we’re still in a playoff position. … A lot of teams would have crumbled with all we’ve been through.”
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES
The San Jose Earthquakes saw their winless run reach 10 matches, despite coming back for a late 1-1 draw with the Colorado Rapids on Saturday evening at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. The Quakes are in eighth place in the Western Conference with 29 points from 29 games.
The opening goal finally came in the 84th minute. Set free on the right flank, Chris Klute found Gabriel Torres with a perfect cross to the far post, and he drove home a full-blooded first-time strike past Quakes goalkeeper Jon Busch.
But the Quakes once again showed their late-game heroics. A long ball was launched into the area in stoppage time, and Matias Perez Garcia came up with it before finding Atiba Harris with a brilliant feed, and he slotted home the equalizer.
Quakes head coach Mark Watson made three changes to the team that fell 2-0 to the Montréal Impact at Stade Saputo. Shaun Francis came into the back four for Jordan Stewart, Jean-Baptiste Pierazzi started in the midfield in place of JJ Koval, and Matias Perez Garcia came into the attack for Atiba Harris.
- SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES (4-4-1-1): Jon Busch - Pablo Pintos, Victor Bernardez, Jason Hernandez, Shaun Francis - Cordell Cato, Jean-Baptiste Pierazzi (Atiba Harris 70), Sam Cronin, Shea Salinas (Tommy Thompson 79) - Matias Perez Garcia - Chris Wondolowski.
The Earthquakes had their winless streak extended to 10 games – matching the second-longest in club history and the longest since 2011 – despite coming back for the late draw.
“When you go down a goal and you get a late goal in injury time, you like the fight back,” Earthquakes head coach Mark Watson said. “But I think we came in here knowing we needed three points to get closer to the pack and get to where we want to be.”
Said Chris Wondolowski: “We've had too many mistakes. We've done this too many times to ourselves. We end up shooting ourselves in the foot and dig ourselves in a hole we can't get out of. It's happened all year and it's still not good enough.”
Atiba Harris scored his first goal since July 23 in netting the equalizer, his fourth of the year and his first after coming on as a substitute.
“I got my opportunity to play as a forward, and as a forward you need to score. I got my chance and I put it away,” Harris said. “… It’s always fantastic to score against your old team, to kind of show them what they gave up. But all in all, it’s kind of disappointing, not getting three points.”
Matiás Pérez García collected his first MLS assist in setting up the equalizing goal. García was making his first start since Aug. 16; he had made his first appearance since then the week before, coming on as a substitute, after being sidelined with knee surgery.
“Matias, he’s an excellent player,” Harris said. “That’s why the coaching staff brought him in. He does things that other players don’t do. I was happy to be there in that perfect spot.”
Said Watson: “I think it's clear to see he's a quality player. He makes us better when he's on the field. I thought he had a lot of good moments. We weren't sure how many minutes he was going to play, but he felt strong until he cramped up late in injury time. It was nice to have him back. He's a very, very good player.”
- Pablo Pintos made a second consecutive start since his arrival to the club, playing the full 90 minutes for the first time in MLS, at right back.
REFEREE: Kevin Stott. AR1 (bench): Mike Rottersman; AR2 (opposite): Jeff Hosking; 4th: Alejandro Mariscal
MLS Career: 257 games; FC/gm: 25.5; Y/gm: 3.3; R: 62; pens: 63
SUSPENDED: POR: Diego Valeri (caution accumulation; through Oct. 5)
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: SJ: Victor Bernardez, Sam Cronin, Shaun Francis, Jordan Stewart … POR: Diego Chara, Will Johnson, Pa Modou Kah
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: SJ: Shea Salinas, Jason Hernandez, Atiba Harris, Jean-Baptiste Pierazzi … POR: Norbetto Paparatto
DISABLED LIST: SJ: Tommy Muller
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none
ALL-TIME (9 meetings): Earthquakes 1 win, 12 goals … Timbers 2 wins, 13 goals … Ties 6
AT SAN JOSE (4 meetings): Earthquakes 1 win, 6 goals … Timbers 0 wins, 5 goals … Ties 3
FUTURE MATCH: 10/8: Portland Timbers vs. San Jose Earthquakes, 7:30 p.m. PT
9/7: POR 3, SJ 3 (Powell 54; Ridgewell 74; Alhassan 86 – Wondolowski 21, 85; Cato 48)
- The teams are meeting for the second time this season. Kalif Alhassan’s goal in the 86th minute answered a Chris Wondolowski goal for the Quakes just a minute earlier, leaving the teams in a 2-2 draw Sept. 7 at Providence Park.
- The first meeting was the opener of three meetings between the teams over a 31-day period. The teams meet on the back end of a home-and-home series next Wednesday in Portland.
- The teams are undefeated at home in the all-time league series. When the Quakes won 2-1 last July 27 at home, it was the first San Jose victory at Buck Shaw Stadium; the first three encounters all ended in draws The Timbers have won two of five matches in Portland, with three draws.
- Coaches record: Mark Watson vs. POR: P2 W1 L0 D1 … Caleb Porter vs. SJ: P4 W1 L1 D2
LAST MEETING (MLS)
- The opening goal came in the 21st minute. Timbers’ keeper Donovan Ricketts saved the first shot from Shea Salinas, but he collected the rebound and fired off another shot that banged off the goalpost straight to Chris Wondolowski for an easy tap-in.
- San Jose was opportunistic again in the 48th minute. Cordell Cato crossed to Wondolowski in the box. Timbers center back Pa Modou Kah’s clearance attempt in the direction of Ridgewell fell right back to Cato, and he slammed home from the right side of the box.
- The Timbers pulled a goal back in the 54th minute when Diego Valeri chipped a perfect ball down the right to Alvas Powell, who brushed off two defenders and popped a shot into the upper far corner. The game was then tied 75th minute thanks to another brilliant feed by Valeri. He sent a cross across the goalmouth that Alhassan was unable to reach, but was ball was bundled across the line by Liam Ridgewell at the back post.
- But the Quakes regained the lead in the 85th minute when Salinas floated a long cross from the left to an unmarked Wondolowski, who easily nodded home a clear header.
- Yet a minute later, the Timbers had one more answer. Powell collected the ball to the right of the San Jose goal and played it back to Kalif Alhassan, and he stabbed home game-tying goal from the edge of the six-yard box.
- PORTLAND TIMBERS (4-1-2-3): Donovan Ricketts - Alvas Powell, Liam Ridgewell, Pa Modou Kah, Jorge Villafana - Will Johnson - Diego Chara, Gaston Fernandez (Kalif Alhassan 61) - Darlington Nagbe, Fanendo Adi (Maximiliano Urruti 71), Diego Valeri.
- SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES (4-4-1-1): Jon Busch - Shaun Francis, Jason Hernandez, Victor Bernardez, Jordan Stewart (Ty Harden 80) - Cordell Cato, Jean-Baptiste Pierazzi (JJ Koval 77), Sam Cronin, Shea Salinas - Tommy Thompson - Chris Wondolowski.