Preview: Quakes face new task against Crew

Match kicks off at 7:30 p.m. PT at Buck Shaw Stadium; watch it live on CSNCA

Two teams going in opposite directions of late will meet at Buck Shaw
Stadium when the San Jose Earthquakes entertain the Columbus Crew. The
Quakes haven’t won in their last four games, pulled back into a draw by a
late goal from Vancouver Whitecaps FC at midweek. The Crew haven’t lost
since the opening game of the season, coming back for a 1-1 draw last
weekend at home against Seattle Sounders FC.

DOWNLOAD: FULL GAME GUIDE

REFEREE: Jorge Gonzalez. SAR (bench): Greg Barkey; JAR (opposite):
Jeff Hosking; 4th: Allen Chapman MLS Career: 57 games; FC/gm: 24.5;
Y/gm: 3.4; R: 17; pens: 16

INJURY REPORT: SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES – OUT: MF Simon Dawkins (R/L bilateral fasciotomy); MF Andre Luiz (L knee injury); DF Tim Ward (R hamstring strain) …
COLUMBUS CREW – OUT: MF Danny O'Rourke (L knee
surgery); DF Josh Williams (R hip labral tear); FW Santiago Prim (R
ankle sprain); QUESTIONABLE: DF Shaun Francis (L hamstring strain)

WARNINGS:
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: none
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: SJ: Sam Cronin … CLB: Kevin Burns; Julius James

HEAD-TO-HEAD
ALL-TIME (33 meetings): Earthquakes 12 wins, 49 goals … Crew 18 wins, 60 goals … Ties 3
AT SAN JOSE (17 meetings): Earthquakes 9 wins, 31 goals … Crew 6 wins, 32 goals … Ties 2
RETURN MATCH: 7/16: Columbus Crew vs. San Jose Earthquakes, 7:30 p.m. ET

LAST YEAR (MLS):
6/2: SJ 2, CLB 2 (Alvarez 6; Wondolowski 79 – Gaven 5; Marshall 70)
10/2: CLB 0, SJ 0
•    The teams played to draws in both meetings a season ago, a 2-2
result at Buck Shaw Stadium and a scoreless tie in Columbus.
•    The Crew are unbeaten on their last four visits to take on San
Jose. The 3-0 victory in 2009 came in the first MLS game played at San
Francisco’s Candlestick Park.
•    Coaches record: Frank Yallop v CLB: P18 W6 L8 D4 … Robert Warzycha vs. SJ: P5 W2 L1 D2

SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES
The San Jose Earthquakes saw their winless run extended to six games in
heartbreaking fashion, Vancouver Whitecaps FC scoring a late goal for a
1-1 draw Wednesday at Empire Field. The Quakes have 6 points from 8
games on the season, sitting in ninth place in the Western Conference.

LAST MATCH
•    San Jose broke through in the 39th minute. After Vancouver
goalkeeper Jay Nolly did well to save a long-range shot from Brad Ring,
Ryan Johnson got to the rebound first and sent the ball back towards
goal, finding Wondolowski for a backheel goal from inside the six.
•    But seconds after the 90th minute passed, Davide Chiumiento picked
up the ball along the right touchline and swung in a left-footed cross
toward the back post that somehow snuck through the entire penalty area
and beat San Jose goalkeeper Jon Busch inside his right-hand post.
•    Earthquakes boss Frank Yallop made five changes to the team that
lost 1-0 to Philadelphia Union at PPL Park. In came Steven Beitashour,
Ike Opara, Ramiro Corrales, Sam Cronin and Ryan Johnson, replacing Chris
Leitch, Jason Hernandez, Justin Morrow, Anthony Ampaipitakwong and
Brandon McDonald.
•    SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES (4-1-3-2): Jon Busch - Steven Beitashour, Ike
Opara, Bobby Burling, Ramiro Corrales - Brad Ring - Scott Sealy (Khari
Stephenson 64), Sam Cronin, Ryan Johnson - Chris Wondolowski, Steven
Lenhart.
TEAM NEWS
•    While the Earthquakes were able to come away with a point and end a
three-game losing run, they thought they were going to take the full
three points and leapfrog over Vancouver in the Western Conference
table.
•    "[I'm] very disappointed we didn't come away with three points
tonight," said Quakes head coach Frank Yallop. "I told the guys in there
that in a game like that, you've just to go put the second one in. I
think we had chances do that. ... I think to get that second one
would've sealed the match. But we let it slip away. It's disappointing."
•    Chris Wondolowski is showing no signs that his 2010 season was an
anomaly – he has four goals on the season, two behind MLS leader Charlie
Davies, and the majority of the seven goals the Quakes have scored.
•    After two games coming off the substitutes’ bench, Ryan Johnson
returned to the lineup and created the Earthquakes goal, his first
assist of the season.
•    “I think Ryan Johnson was good tonight, he played wide left and I thought he had some good chances to score,” Yallop said.
•    It’s now three games in a row without a win on the road for the
Quakes – but they also have yet to win at home this season, the only
team still without a home victory this year (Sporting KC still have yet
to play at home, while their new stadium is being completed).
•    “They are at home and pushing guys forward trying to put us on
their heels and at the same time weathering the storm trying to bunker
in,” defender Bobby Burling said. “We are on the road, trying to get a
road win which is tough in this league, and as shown tonight, it comes
down to the last minute and nothing is ever certain.”
•    After scoring four goals over two games March 26-April 2, the
Quakes have managed just three goals over their last five games.
•    "The thing about it, each game you go into, you can win and you
can lose," said Yallop. "You have to be positive. (In Vancouver) we
could've had three points, but we didn't get them so we can't harp on it
now. We've just got to get ready for our next game."

COLUMBUS CREW
The Columbus Crew extended their unbeaten run to seven matches, coming
back for a 1-1 draw with Seattle Sounders FC on Saturday evening at Crew
Stadium. The Crew have 13 points from 8 games on the season, starting
the week in a tie for second place in the Eastern Conference.

LAST MATCH
•    Sounders FC took the lead after seven minutes. Erik Friberg
flighted in a cross from 35 yards out on the right to the center of the
box, where Fredy Montero slipped between Crew defenders Chad Marshall
and Julius James and flicked a header past goalkeeper William Hesmer.
•    But the Crew pulled level after the break, again from the penalty
spot. Referee Mark Kadlecik ruled Patrick Ianni pulled down Chad
Marshall on a corner kick, and Emilio Rentería sent the resulting spot
down the middle for the equalizer.
•    Crew head coach Robert Warzycha made one change to the team that
held on for a 2-1 win against Vancouver Whitecaps FC at Crew Stadium.
Rich Balchan returned for Josh Gardner at fullback.
•    COLUMBUS CREW (4-4-1-1): William Hesmer - Sebastian Miranda, Chad
Marshall, Julius James, Rich Balchan - Eddie Gaven, Kevin Burns
(Emmanuel Ekpo 73), Dejan Rusmir, Robbie Rogers - Dilly Duka (Andres
Mendoza 61) - Emilio Renteria.

TEAM NEWS
•    Emilio Renteria has scored the last four goals for the Crew, over
the last three games, as the club has extended its unbeaten streak to
seven games.
•    Renteria’s goal was his second from a penalty kick, and the fourth
for the Crew this season out of eight total goals. The four penalty
kicks lead MLS, one more than D.C. United; only Seattle Sounders FC
(with two) have also scored more than once from the spot.
•    “We started the game pretty well. We had good balance,” Crew coach
Robert Warzycha said. “The second half it was a different game. We
pushed for the goal. We got one and almost had another one. We didn’t
get lucky.”
•    Warzycha has continued to search for the right tactical scheme.
After using Eddie Gaven as an underneath striker, Dilly Duka performed
in the role against Seattle, with Warzycha going to a twin-striker
set-up for the final half-hour with the addition of Andres Mendoza.
•    “I think we had the most chances we had since the beginning of the
season in the last 30 minutes,” Renteria said. “It would have been nice
to get the three points but I am happy with the point all things
considered.”
•    The Crew still have not scored a goal in the first half this
season. The MLS record for failing to score in the first half from the
start of a season is nine games, set by the Houston Dynamo in 2009. The
all-time MLS record for consecutive games failing to score in the first
half is 15 games, set by New England (2007-08).
•    “The most important thing is the result,” Warzycha said. “You play
for 90 minutes, so obviously we’d like to score first, whether it is
the first half or the second half. But the result is over 90 minutes.”
•    While the Crew allowed a goal for a third consecutive game, they
still have not allowed more than one in any contest since the
season-opening 3-1 loss to D.C. United.
•    “I think in the first half we were getting beat to a lot of 50-50
balls. In the second half, we were a lot sharper we were winning more
balls especially in higher spots on the field and I think that is what
made the difference,” said fullback Rich Balchan.