Earthquakes Weekly Update: November 8, 2010

San Jose to face Colorado Rapids in Eastern Conference Championship on Saturday at Dick's Sport

Sam Cronin vs. Colorado 080710

Photo Credit: 
Doug Pensinger / Getty

The San Jose Earthquakes defeated the New York Red Bulls last week to advance to the Eastern Conference Championship against the Colorado Rapids on Saturday, Nov. 13 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park at 6:30 p.m. PT. The game will air live on Fox Soccer Channel and 1220 KDOW. The Earthquakes defeated the New York Red Bulls 3-1 on Thursday, Nov. 4 at Red Bull Arena, advancing 3-2 on aggregate. The Quakes faced the Rapids twice this season, with each team winning at home 1-0.
 
Earthquakes vs. Colorado Rapids All-Time
MLS Regular Season: 21-17-8
Home: 11-7-5
Away: 10-10-3
Shootout (1996-99): 1-2
Overtime (00-03): 0-0-2
Playoffs: 0-0-0; U.S. Open Cup: 0-0-0
All-Time Scoring: San Jose – 67, Colorado – 61
 
Earthquakes Schedule for the Week of 11/8/10
Tuesday, November 9 – TBD
Wednesday, November 10 – 10 a.m. PT – Training at Nutrilite Training Facility
Thursday, November 11 – Travel to Colorado
Friday, November 12 – Train in Colorado
Saturday, November 13 – Earthquakes at Colorado Rapids at 6:30 p.m. PT at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colo. Live on Fox Soccer Channel and 1220 KDOW

Injury Report/National Team Duty:
Out: Andre Luiz (L knee surgery); Joey Gjertsen (R knee surgery); Ike Opara (L foot fracture); Joe Cannon (L ankle fracture); Cornell Glen (L hamstring strain); Questionable: Ramiro Corrales (R hamstring strain); Jason Hernandez (R calf strain).
 
Last Game
Earthquakes 3, New York Red Bulls 1; Nov. 4, 2010; Red Bull Arena; Harrison, N.J.
Riding two Bobby Convey goals on either side of halftime, the San Jose Earthquakes advanced to the Eastern Conference final with a stunning 3-1 win at Red Bull Arena. It was a brilliant night for Convey, who scored the game’s first two goals and assisted on San Jose’s third, scored by Golden Boot winner Chris Wondolowski, which proved to be the difference maker for the Earthquakes as they rallied to win the two-leg playoff series 3-2 on aggregate. With space down the right flank, Ryan Johnson settled the ball and had time to weigh his options, choosing to send in a swerving, dangerous cross into the area. The cross fell to Scott Sealy, who laid the ball back towards Convey. The winger hit a beautiful shot into the top of the goal past a diving Bouna Coundoul for the early lead. The Earthquakes hung tight and compact and got a hard earned goal when, in the 76th minute, Convey collected a through ball from Arturo Alvarez. Turning on Tim Ream, Convey’s left-footed effort was badly flapped at by Coundoul. The Red Bulls struck right back, though. In the 78th minute, Agudelo made some nifty moves on the left flank to create some separation. With the ball glued to his left foot, the 17-year-old served in a nice ball that Ángel rose to meet, nodding into an wide-open goal. But the euphoria was short-lived for New York and just set to begin for San Jose. The Earthquakes answered back immediately when Convey hit a cross from 35 yards out that Wondolowski met in the air to loop over a diving Coundoul. The perfectly timed header was his first goal of the postseason.
 
Last Game vs. Colorado Rapids
Colorado Rapids 1, Earthquakes 0; August 7, 2010; Dick’s Sporting Goods Park; Commerce City, Colo.
A rare own goal by San Jose's goalkeeper proved the decisive blow as the Colorado Rapids held on for a 1-0 win against the Earthquakes at Dick's Sporting Goods Park on Saturday night. Keeper Jon Busch <http://www.mlssoccer.com/player/jon-busch>  fumbled a cross by Omar Cummings from the right wing in the 25th minute, redirecting the ball into his own goal. Cummings was aiming for charging teammate Colin Clark, but the deflection off Busch went the Rapids way for the lead. One of the best chances from the visitors came in the 70th minute, with Bobby Convey finding Arturo Alvarez inside the box, but Rapids ‘keeper Matt Pickens saved the shot to preserve the clean sheet. For their part, the Rapids continued to apply pressure throughout the second half but could not find the second goal to kill off the match. Second-half substitute Claudio Lopez made a 77th minute darting run through midfield and all the way into the box before firing a hard shot on goal that Busch was able to stop. The home team was nearly punished for not extending their lead when Convey came close to an equalizer in second-half stoppage time. His hopeful long-distance blast forced Pickens into a diving save to seal the result. The Rapids' victory was marred by an injury to left winger Colin Clarke who covered his head with his jersey in dejection after limping off the field. The Earthquakes, who were already missing Ike Opara, saw two more defenders go down to injury as centerback Bobby Burling and left back Ramiro Corrales were forced out of the match. Midfielder Brandon McDonald started the match in the center of the back line in place of Opara. Colorado’s win over the Earthquakes was its first in 12 head-to-head matches, dating back to April of 2004.
 
Misc. Notes
 
Playoff Format
The Colorado Rapids as the higher seed between the two Conference finalists host the Conference Championship game. In the case of ties after 90 minutes of regulation in the Conference Championship game and MLS Cup, 30 minutes of extra time (divided into two 15-minute periods) is played followed by kicks from the penalty mark, if necessary, to determine the winners.
 
Quakes Reach Conference Final for First Time Since 2003
The San Jose Earthquakes defeated the New York Red Bulls on aggregate 3-2 after a 3-1 win on Thursday, Nov. 4. With the win, the Quakes advanced to the Eastern Conference Championship, which marks the first time San Jose will play for a Conference Championship since 2003. That is also the last time the Earthquakes have won MLS Cup. San Jose defeated the Kansas City Wizards 3-2 in overtime on Nov. 15, 2003 in the Conference Championship at Spartan Stadium. Current assistant coach Ian Russell assisted on the game-tying goal in the 83rd minute. San Jose has never been on the road for a Conference Championship game since the playoff format changed. In 2001, the Quakes won on the road 1-0 in Miami in the third game of the MLS Cup Playoff Semifinals to advance to MLS Cup. Troy Dayak scored the game-winner in overtime the 93rd minute on a header to send the Quakes through.
 
Convey Scores a Brace and Assists on Game-Winner
Earthquakes midfielder Bobby Convey scored the first two playoff goals and notched the first assist of his career on Thursday, Nov. 4 in San Jose’s 3-1 win over the New York Red Bulls. Convey opened the scoring in the sixth minute, leveling the aggregate score when he took advantage of the space given by Rafael Marquez. Ryan Johnson’s cross was laid off the chest of Scott Sealy and Convey ripped a shot into the top corner of Bouna Coundoul’s goal. Convey struck again in the 76th minute, receiving a pass from Arturo Alvarez and turning defender Tim Ream. Convey was in alone on Coundoul and blasted his shot past the helpless ‘keeper to his near post. After New York brought the aggregate score level again, in the 81st minute, Convey played a long cross in to Chris Wondolowski, who headed the series-clincher past Coundoul, and put the Quakes in the Conference Finals. Convey’s goal in the sixth minute marked the first time someone other than Wondolowski scored for San Jose since Geovanni and Khari Stephenson scored on Sept. 5 in Houston in a 2-1 win over the Dynamo. This also marks the second time in Convey’s career that he scored two goals in a game, the previous time being May 31, 2003 against the Dallas Burn.
 
Convey in Franchise Playoff Record Books
With two goals and an assist on Thursday, Nov. 4 against the New York Red Bulls, Quakes midfielder Bobby Convey tied an individual post-season record for the Earthquakes. His two goals tied Landon Donovan for the most goals scored in a playoff game. Donovan had achieved the feat twice, in his first career playoff game on Sept. 22, 2003 against the Columbus Crew in a 3-1 win and on Nov. 23, 2003 against the Chicago Fire in a 4-2 win in the MLS Cup Final.
 
Wondolowski Strikes Yet Again
San Jose forward and MVP finalist Chris Wondolowski scored the third goal in a 3-1 win, which turned out to be the series-clincher on Thursday, Nov. 4 against the New York Red Bulls. Wondolowski took his only real chance on the evening, making a late run into the box and flicking Bobby Convey’s cross into the top corner past Red Bulls goalkeeper Bouna Coundoul.
 
San Jose Make Playoff History
By winning a two-leg series after dropping the first leg at home, the Earthquakes become just the second team to achieve the feat since the playoff format changed in 2003. The only other team to do so was the Colorado Rapids in 2006. After losing the first leg at home 2-1 to FC Dallas, the Rapids won the return leg 3-2 and won on penalties to advance to the Conference Championship.
 
Quakes Strike for Three
The San Jose Earthquakes scored three goals on Thursday, Nov. 4 against a Red Bulls team that had conceded just nine goals in 15 home matches during the regular season. They had also allowed just two goals in their last nine home matches at Red Bull Arena. 
 
Earthquakes – Rapids History
This Eastern Conference Championship game marks the first time San Jose and Colorado have faced each other in the postseason. Overall, the Earthquakes are 21-17-8 against Colorado, and are 10-10-3 away from home. This season the Earthquakes defeated the Rapids 1-0 on May 1 at Buck Shaw Stadium and lost 1-0 on Aug. 7 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. The Colorado Rapids were the first team that the Earthquakes beat in their return to MLS on April 19, 2008 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. San Jose also held a 12 game unbeaten streak against the Rapids, dating back to April 24, 2004 before their loss at Colorado on Aug. 7 of this year.
 
Earthquakes – Colorado Rapids Connections
Quakes goalkeeper Joe Cannon played four seasons with the Rapids from 2003-2006 … Rapids forward Quincy Amarikwa was traded from San Jose on April 7 of this year in exchange for a second round pick in the 2012 MLS SuperDraft … Rapids midfielder Pablo Mastroeni played briefly in 1998 with Quakes midfielder Ramiro Corrales with the Miami Fusion and on the US national team with Quakes midfielder Bobby Convey … Rapids defender Drew Moor played with Quakes midfielder Arturo Alvarez with FC Dallas from 2005-2008 and played two years of college soccer at Indiana University, the same school as Quakes midfielder Brad Ring, who played there just one year later … Rapids goalkeeper Matt Pickens played briefly in 2006 with Ryan Johnson with the Chicago Fire, and Quakes goalkeeper Jon Busch in 2007 with Chicago … Quakes forward Ryan Johnson has been in Jamaican national team camp with Rapids forward Omar Cummings … Rapids goalkeeper Ian Joyce played at Seton Hall University, the same school that Quakes defender Jason Hernandez played … Rapids midfielder Wells Thompson is a Wake Forest product (2003-2006), just like Quakes rookie defender Ike Opara (2007-2009) and midfielder Sam Cronin (2005-2008) ... Quakes defender Chris Leitch played briefly in 2007 with Rapids defender Marvell Wynne with New York Red Bulls … Quakes defender Bobby Burling is from Monument, Colorado … Colorado midfielder Ciaran O’Brien played at the University of California, Santa Barbara where Quakes goalkeeper Joe Cannon played for one year … Rapids midfielder Brian Mullan played with the Earthquakes from 2003-2005 and played with Chris Wondolowski in Houston until 2009.

Earthquakes All-Time Leaders vs. Colorado Rapids
Joe Cannon has nine wins and six shutouts against Colorado in his career ... Jon Busch has three shutouts against the Rapids in his career … Chris Wondolowski has scored two goals and tallied an assist in his career against Colorado … Scott Sealy has scored two goals in five career appearances against the Rapids … Brandon McDonald scored his first career goal against Colorado in 2008 as a member of the LA Galaxy and also tallied first assist as a member of the Earthquakes on Sept. 18, 2009 vs. the Rapids.

Colorado Rapids All-Time Leaders vs. Earthquakes
Forward Conor Casey has three career goals against San Jose after his successful penalty on Sept. 23, 2009 in the 1-1 draw … Forward Claudio Lopez has two career goals and two assists against San Jose in just five appearances.
 
Around the MLS Cup Playoffs
The Colorado Rapids advanced to the Eastern Conference Championship by defeating the Columbus Crew 5-4 on penalties after a 2-1 win by the Crew leveled the aggregate at 2-2. FC Dallas moved on to the Western Conference Championship by defeating Real Salt Lake 3-2 in aggregate goals. FC Dallas pulled out a 1-1 tie this past Saturday at Rio Tinto Stadium to advance. Finally, the Los Angeles Galaxy advanced to the Western Conference Final with a 3-1 aggregate win over Seattle Sounders FC, following their 2-1 win at home Sunday at The Home Depot Center.
 
San Jose Win Xbox 360 Team Fair Play Award
The San Jose Earthquakes have claimed the Xbox 360 Team Fair Play Award for accumulating the fewest disciplinary points of any team during the 2010 regular season. They committed the fewest fouls of any team (286) and the Quakes are also tied for the fewest cautions received (40).
 
Quakes Academy Player Pillon to Join US U-17 Residency Program
San Jose Academy player Travis Pillon will join the US U-17 Residency program in Bradenton, Florida. Pillon, a 16-year-old from Oakland, Calif., was invited to join the US program last week. The lanky right back has been a key component for San Jose's Youth Academy. He showed well for the Quakes at the SUM Cup and in cross-conference matches in San Diego.
 
Wondolowski Wins 2010 Budweiser Golden Boot
San Jose Earthquakes forward and Major League Soccer MVP finalist Chris Wondolowski claimed the 2010 Budweiser Golden Boot, awarded to the top goal scorer at the end of the MLS regular season. Wondolowski’s career-high 18 goals through 28 games played this season helped the Earthquakes to their first playoff appearance since the team rejoined MLS in 2008. Wondolowski trailed Los Angeles Galaxy forward Edson Buddle by six goals (14-8) with eight games to play (through games on September 11). By winning the Budweiser Golden Boot, he becomes the first player to win an MLS goal-scoring title, either jointly or outright, by erasing a deficit of five or more goals in his last 10 games. Wondolowski also becomes the first player in San Jose franchise history to win the Golden Boot. In 2004, Brian Ching scored 12 goals, which was tied with FC Dallas forward Eddie Johnson for the league lead in goals. However, in 2004, MLS did not award the Golden Boot, but recognized the MLS Scoring Champion, given to the player with the most points in the season.
 
Wondolowski and Convey Named Finalists for End of Year Awards
Quakes forward Chris Wondolowski and midfielder Bobby Convey have been named finalists for Major League Soccer’s end of the year awards. Wondolowksi is a finalist for Volkswagen Most Valuable Player, along with FC Dallas midfielder David Ferreira and Los Angeles Galaxy forward Edson Buddle. Convey is a finalist for the Comeback Player of the Year with New York Red Bulls defender Chris Albright and FC Dallas forward Brek Shea and that will be announced Wednesday.
 
Wondolowski Sets Club Single Season Goals Record, Moves Up All-Time List
Forward Chris Wondolowski had a tremendous season for the San Jose Earthquakes in 2010, scoring a club record 18 goals in one season. Wondolowski surpassed Ronald Cerritos’ record of 15 goals achieved in 1999 in the Earthquakes’ 3-0 victory over Chivas USA on Oct. 20 at Buck Shaw Stadium. In that game Wondolowski notched his second hat trick of the season, tying Cerritos’ record on the first goal and surpassing it on the second goal. With 21 goals in his career in San Jose, Wondolowski is tied with Eric Wynalda for fifth place on the club’s all-time goals scored list. Finally, Wondolowski is first all-time in team history in goals per game with 21 in 44 games played for an average of 0.48.
 
More History for Wondo
From Sept. 15 to Oct. 23, San Jose forward Chris Wondolowski scored all 10 of the Earthquakes goals, setting the all-time MLS record for the most consecutive goals scored by one player. Wondolowksi passed former Los Angeles Galaxy forward Carlos Ruiz, who scored nine straight for the Los Angeles Galaxy from 2002-2003. Also, Wondolowski accounted for 52.9 percent (18 of 34) of the Earthquakes’ goals in the 2010 season, which is the second highest such percentage all-time in MLS history. Only Ruiz has a higher percentage when he scored 24 of his team’s 44 goals (54.5%) in 2002, the year which he won MVP for the Galaxy. Finally, Wondolowski owns the third-highest scoring percentage in MLS history, scoring 25 goals on 111 shots (22.5%). Former San Jose forward Giovanni Savarese has the highest scoring percentage, scoring 51 goals on 218 shots (23.4%), followed by Adolfo Valencia of New York (21 goals on 93 shots, 22.6%).
 
Wondolowski Finishes First in Game-Winning Goals
San Jose forward Chris Wondolowski finished the regular season with a Major League Soccer best nine game-winning goals, which surpassed the previous club record of six game-winning goals in a single season. Wondolowski’s nine game-winning goals in a single season are tied for the most in MLS history with Carlos Ruiz, who achieved the feat for the Los Angeles Galaxy in 2002, the year in which he won the MLS MVP award. Additionally, with ten career game-winning goals in his career with the Earthquakes Wondolowksi is tied with Landon Donovan for second place on the all-time game-winning goals list.
 
Quakes Record Third Highest Point Total in Franchise History
The Quakes finished 13-10-7 with 46 points, which ranks third all-time in franchise history. The Quakes high-water mark came with a Supporter’s Shield in 2005 when the team earned 64 points. San Jose had 51 points in 2003, the year they won their second MLS Cup Championship in franchise history.
                                      
San Jose Sets Single Season Shutout Record
The San Jose Earthquakes set the franchise record for shutouts in a season with 13 clean sheets in 2010. Number 13 came on Oct. 20 in a 3-0 win over Chivas USA at Buck Shaw Stadium. The previous record of 12 shutouts was set in 2005 when the Earthquakes won the lone Supporter’s Shield in club history.
 
Convey Finishes Fifth in Assists, Tied for First in Game-Winning Assists
Earthquakes midfielder Bobby Convey finished the regular season fifth in MLS in assists with 10. Landon Donovan of the Los Angeles Galaxy led the league with 16 assists, followed by David Ferreira of FC Dallas (13), Brad Davis of the Houston Dynamo (12) and Sebastien Le Toux of the Philadelphia Union (11). Convey’s 10 assists were the most by an Earthquakes player since 2005 when Dwayne De Rosario notched 13 assists, and are a career-high in a single season for the Philadelphia native. Additionally, Convey finished the regular season tied for the league lead in game-winning assists with five, along with Ferreira and Donovan. The five game-winning assists are tied for the most in a single season in club history with Eddie Lewis (1999) and De Rosario (2005).
 
Busch Among MLS All-Time Leaders
San Jose goalkeeper Jon Busch is among the all-time league leaders in a number of categories. Busch ranks first all-time in saves percentage (76.1%), seventh in goals against average (1.19), ninth in games played in goal (165), ninth in games started in goal (162), ninth in minutes played in goal (14,810), ninth in wins (67), ninth in saves (688) and eighth in shutouts (53).
 
Road Warriors
With a road record this regular season of 6-5-4 and now 1-0-0 in the MLS Cup Playoffs, the Earthquakes had more wins on the road than the team had in 2008 and 2009 combined. In 2008, the Earthquakes went 2-8-5 on the road in their first season back. In 2009, the Earthquakes went 1-10-5 with the lone win coming against D.C. United on September 27, 2009 at RFK Stadium. With 22 points on the road, the Earthquakes have doubled the 11 points the team had in 2008 for the most points earned on the road since the team returned. The franchise record for points on the road in a single season is 30 points, achieved in 2005. This season, the Earthquakes had the second highest winning percentage on the road in the MLS with a .533 clip, along with FC Dallas. The Los Angeles Galaxy had the highest (.700). Finally, the six wins the Earthquakes had on the road were tied for the second most road wins along with the Seattle Sounders FC. The Los Angeles Galaxy had the most road wins in MLS with nine.
 
Quakes Finish the Regular Season in Top 10 in Various Statistical Categories
The San Jose Earthquakes finished the 2010 Major League Soccer regular season in the top 10 of a variety of statistical categories. The Earthquakes recorded the fourth best record when scoring the first goal, going an impressive 12-0-2 for a 0.929 winning percentage. The New York Red Bulls – the Earthquakes’ opponent in the Eastern Conference Semifinals – finished with the best record when scoring first, going 14-0-1 (0.967). Additionally, the Earthquakes finished sixth in goals against (33), sixth in shots on goal (140) and seventh in assists (35). Finally, the Earthquakes tallied the eighth best record in MLS when leading at half, going 7-0-2 for a winning percentage of 0.889.