This & That: Quakes notes for March 26, 2012

Seattle Sounders FC scouting report, a look back at the TFC win and more

031712ChrisWondolowski

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This Week

The San Jose Earthquakes (2-1-0, 6 Pts.) take to the road for the second straight week to round out the month, this time to Western Conference foe Seattle Sounders FC (2-0-0, 6 Pts.) on Saturday, March 31. Kickoff at CenturyLink Field is slated for 7 p.m. PT. The match will air live on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area, 1590 KLIV (English) and 1370 KZSF (Spanish).

Earthquakes Schedule for the Week of 3/26/12
Tuesday, March 27 – 11 a.m. – MLS Reserve League – Portland Timbers at Earthquakes, Earthquakes Training Facility in San Jose, Calif.
Wednesday, March 28 – Off
Thursday, March 29 – 10:15 a.m. – Practice at Earthquakes Training Facility
Friday, March 30 – 10:15 a.m. – Practice at Earthquakes Training Facility
Saturday, March 31 – 7 p.m. PT – Earthquakes at Seattle Sounders FC, CenturyLink Field in Seattle, Wash., LIVE on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area, 1590 KLIV and 1370 KZSF
Sunday, April 1 – Return to San Jose

Injury Report
Out: Joey Gjertsen (R – knee surgery), Tim Ward (L – non-specific soft tissue injury); Questionable: Marvin Chavez (concussion).

Earthquakes vs. Seattle Sounders FC All Time

MLS Regular Season: 2-4-1
Home: 1-1-1
Away: 1-3-0
Playoffs: 0-0-0; US Open Cup: 0-0-0
All-Time Scoring: San Jose – 9, Seattle Sounders FC – 9

San Jose’s Record in March: The Quakes are 7-10-0 all-time in March in MLS play.

Opponent Info

Seattle Sounders FC Scouting Report
Seattle Sounders FC are 2-0-0 (6 pts.) following a 2-0 victory at home against the Houston Dynamo on March 23. Seattle had previously posted a 3-1 victory over Toronto FC, also at home, in its season opener on March 17. In that game, UCLA product David Estrada recorded just the third hat trick in club history and ultimately earned the season’s first MLS Player of the Week award. Estrada provided the game-winner against the Dynamo as well, with Brad Evans adding a first-half goal from the penalty spot. Austrian Michael Gspurning has replaced retired U.S. MNT legend Kasey Keller in the Seattle goal, and kept his first MLS clean sheet against Houston. The Sounders will be hosting the Earthquakes for their third straight home contest inside CenturyLink Field to begin the 2012 campaign, having played in front of 39,232 and 38,304 fans, respectively, over their first two matches. Prior to its MLS opener, Seattle fell to Santos Laguna of Mexico, 7-3 on aggregate, in the quarterfinals of the CONCACAF Champions League. Sigi Schmid, MLS’ all-time leader with 159 coaching victories, is in his fourth season in charge of Seattle Sounders FC, with previous successful terms at UCLA (1980-99), the LA Galaxy (1999-2004) and Columbus Crew (2006-08).

History of the Quakes – Seattle Sounders FC Rivalry
The Quakes are 2-3-1 all-time against Seattle Sounders FC … The teams played three times in 2009, with Seattle taking both meetings at what was then called Qwest Field (2-0 on April 25 and 2-1 on June 13), before the Earthquakes registered a 4-0 triumph at Buck Shaw Stadium on Aug. 2 … In 2010, the Earthquakes edged Sounders FC at Qwest Field, 1-0 on May 22 thanks to a Chris Wondolowski goal, with Seattle returning the favor at Buck Shaw on July 31 through a Fredy Montero strike … A season ago, the two teams battled to a 2-2 draw at Buck Shaw on April 2, with Seattle taking a 2-1 decision at CenturyLink Field on Oct. 15 … The clubs have produced nine goals apiece in their seven match-ups, with talisman strikers Wondolowski and Montero each accounting for three of those markers for their respective sides.

Earthquakes Leaders vs. Seattle Sounders FC
Forward Chris Wondolowski has scored three goals in six matches against Seattle Sounders FC in his career, with one coming in each of the past three seasons since Seattle joined MLS, including the 11th-minute game-winner in a 1-0 victory on May 22, 2010, at what was then Qwest Field … Shea Salinas has three assists in six meetings, all three of them coming in three appearances with San Jose in 2009 … Simon Dawkins scored his first career goal in his first of two appearances against Seattle on April 2, 2011 … Khari Stephenson has one goal in two appearances … Rafael Baca has one assist in his only appearance … Goalkeeper Jon Busch is 0-2-3 all-time against Seattle, with a road shutout while playing for the Chicago Fire on July 25, 2009, and 0-2-1 in three match-ups in a Quakes uniform.

Seattle Sounders FC Leaders vs. San Jose
Forward Fredy Montero has produced three goals and one assist in six matches against the San Jose Earthquakes in his career, with one goal, all of them game-winners, coming in each of the past three seasons since Seattle joined MLS … Montero’s winners have included his 26th-minute strike in a 1-0 victory on July 31, 2010, at Buck Shaw Stadium, and an 87th-minute tally in a 2-1 win at CenturyLink Field in the most recent meeting on Oct. 15, 2011 … Midfielder Brad Evans has three goals and one assist in seven career appearances, including two goals and one assist in five matches with Seattle … Forward Sammy Ochoa scored the 82nd-minute equalizer in the 2-1 win on Oct. 15, 2011, for his only goal in his only appearance against San Jose … Argentinian midfielder Mauro Rosales assisted on a pair of goals in two meetings during his first MLS season a year ago … Defender Patrick Ianni has one assist in eight appearances (six with Seattle) … Forward Steve Zakuani, who is still recovering from a serious leg injury suffered in Colorado on April 22, 2011, and will not be available on March 31, has tallied one goal and two assists in six appearances … Goalkeeper Michael Gspurning has yet to appear against the Earthquakes.

Earthquakes – Seattle Sounders FC Connections
Seattle Sounders FC was brought into MLS as an expansion franchise ahead of the 2009 season, a year after the San Jose Earthquakes rejoined the league following a two-season absence … Sounders FC technical director Chris Henderson played with Quakes General Manager John Doyle in the early 1990s for the U.S. Men’s National Team … Earthquakes forward Chris Wondolowski played with Sounders FC defender Patrick Ianni from 2006-08 for the Houston Dynamo … Wondolowski and Seattle forward Fredy Montero shared the MLS lead in road goals a season ago with nine each … Earthquakes midfielder Tressor Moreno and Seattle’s Montero and Jhon Kennedy Hurtado are all citizens of Colombia, with all three having previously played for Colombian side Deportivo Cali … Earthquakes defender Ike Opara (U.S.) and Seattle forward Babayele Sodade (Canada) played against each other in Olympic qualifying on March 24 … Sounders FC goalkeeper Andrew Weber appeared in two MLS matches for the Earthquakes from 2009-11 … Seattle forward Roger Levesque, a Stanford product, played with the Earthquakes from 2003-05, appearing in four matches for San Jose … Earthquakes defender Jason Hernandez played with Sounders FC defender Jeff Parke for the New York/New Jersey MetroStars in 2005 … Earthquakes goalkeeper David Bingham and Seattle midfielder Servando Carrasco were teammates at Cal from 2008-10 … Earthquakes midfielder Sam Garza and Sounders FC midfielder Michael Tetteh played together at UC Santa Barbara during the 2010 season … Bingham (and Carrasco) played against Tetteh (and Garza) in the 2010 NCAA Championship Second Round on Nov. 21, 2010 … Tetteh (82nd) and Carrasco (89th) each scored late for their respective teams, with the host Cal Bears grabbing the winner with one tick remaining in the first overtime period to advance, 2-1 … Earthquakes midfielder Anthony Ampaipitakwong played with Sounders FC forward Steve Zakuani for two seasons at Akron in 2007 and 2008 … Zakuani (London), Seattle teammate Andy Rose (Bristol) and Earthquakes midfielder Simon Dawkins (Edgware) all list their hometowns in England … Earthquakes forward Steven Lenhart and Seattle midfielder Brad Evans played together for the Columbus Crew in 2008 … Earthquakes midfielder Khari Stephenson and Seattle’s Swedish defender Adam Johansson played against each other in the Swedish Allsvenskan (2006-08) … Leading Sounders goal-scorer David Estrada grew up in Salinas, Calif., starring at Alisal High School before moving on to UCLA … Earthquakes midfielder Ellis McLoughlin was born in Seattle, Wash., while Joey Gjertsen was born and raised in Tacoma, Wash., and rookie Jacob Hustedt was born in Bothell, Wash.

Heritage Cup 2012
The Heritage Cup, an annual rivalry between the San Jose Earthquakes and Seattle Sounders FC in honor of their NASL (North American Soccer League) lineages, continues in 2012. The competition began in 2009 when Seattle joined MLS. The Earthquakes won the inaugural cup on aggregate, 5-4, after a 4-0 home victory on Aug. 2, 2009. The teams split the two-game season series in 2010 (1-1 on aggregate). Sounders FC took the trophy via tiebreaker due to a higher position in the Western Conference standings. In 2011, the teams battled to a 2-2 draw on April 2 at Buck Shaw Stadium, with Sounders FC retaining the cup through a 2-1 home victory on Oct. 15. With the league’s unbalanced schedule in 2012, the competition will include only the final two meetings (of three) of the season series, at Buck Shaw Stadium on Aug. 11, and back at CenturyLink Field on Sept. 23, with the initial March 31 match-up not automatically factoring in. Three points will be awarded for a win, and one point for a draw. In the event of a tie in the total number of aggregate points, the first two of eight tiebreakers in all will be total goals scored over the two matches, followed by away goals scored. The third tiebreaker would award the cup to the March 31 winner, if one should emerge.

Miscellaneous Notes

Earthquakes Dismantle Toronto FC 3-0 in Road Debut
Chris Wondolowski produced a two-goal brace, Shea Salinas tallied his first goal since his offseason return to San Jose, and Jon Busch collected his 62nd career shutout as the Earthquakes defeated Toronto FC, 3-0, in their first road test of the season at BMO Field on March 24. Wondolowski bookended the scoring through a header in the ninth minute from a whipped ball by Sam Cronin, and a left-footed finish in the 68th after a Rafael Baca cross. Cronin earned his second assist of the match against his former team by setting Baca loose on the latter goal. In between, Salinas powered a left-footed shot of his own low and inside the far post in the 57th following a 35-yard run down the right flank by Steven Beitashour and subsequent cross from Marvin Chavez. Three San Jose players achieved milestones during the match. Busch made his 200th MLS start, Colombian midfielder Tressor Moreno earned his first, and Chavez collected his first assist in a Quakes uniform. It was San Jose’s biggest MLS road win since a 4-1 decision at Kansas City in 2003.

Still Undefeated in Toronto
With its most recent 3-0 triumph on March 24, San Jose remains unbeaten in five matches against Toronto FC at BMO Field (2-0-3) since 2008. The Quakes’ first MLS match in Canada ended in a 0-0 draw on July 19, 2008. That result was followed by a 1-1 tie on Oct. 10, 2009. The Quakes then edged TFC, 3-2, on Sept. 25, 2010, with Chris Wondolowski scoring all three goals for his first MLS hat trick, and played to another 1-1 draw last Aug. 27, with Wondolowski again finding his way onto the scoresheet on an 87th-minute equalizer. Having tied at Vancouver Whitecaps FC, 1-1, last May 11, the Quakes are actually an undefeated 2-0-4 in MLS contests in Canada, with three more trips north of the border remaining for 2012.

Busch Earns 62nd Shutout in 200th MLS Start
The 3-0 victory at Toronto FC on March 24 meant a 62nd career shutout for veteran Earthquakes goalkeeper Jon Busch in his 200th MLS start. Busch is now tied with former U.S. Men’s National Team net-minder Tony Meola for seventh in league history in clean sheets. Next on the list is former Quake Pat Onstad, with 64. On March 17, Busch became the second player on the current Quakes roster to make his 200th MLS appearance when he started against the Houston Dynamo. In his third season as the Quakes’ goalkeeper, Busch has now played in 201 MLS matches for Columbus, Chicago and San Jose, joining team captain Ramiro Corrales (276) in the 200 Club.

Weekend Superlatives
Saturday’s 3-0 win at Toronto FC marked San Jose’s biggest road victory since a 4-1 decision at Kansas City on Sept. 20, 2003 … The Quakes struck for three goals away from home for the first time since a 4-2 win at D.C. United on June 11, 2011 … Through 270 minutes of play thus far in 2012, San Jose has yet to allow a goal in the run of play, as the only score the Quakes have conceded came from a 14th-minute penalty by Brad Davis in the Houston Dynamo defeat on March 17 … Of his team-leading three goals, Chris Wondolowski has scored one with his right foot, one with his head, and one with his left foot … Chris Wondolowski increased his club-record total of game-winning goals to 17, and is now 17th on the all-time MLS chart … With his two goals, Wondolowski now has six strikes in six games against TFC as a member of the Quakes, and has scored more times against the Reds than any other MLS club, surpassing the five he has tallied against Chivas USA … All six goals that Wondolowski has scored against TFC, have come in his last three appearances at Toronto’s BMO Field … Wondolowski now has nine goals in eight games against Canadian opposition as a Quakes player … Wondolowski’s two-goal performance marked the seventh multi-goal game of his career, and he is now one off of Ronald Cerritos’ club mark of eight such games … Wondolowski’s multi-goal game was San Jose’s first since a Simon Dawkins brace in the 2011 finale versus FC Dallas … Sam Cronin produced his first career multi-assist game against Toronto FC, the team that selected him with the second overall pick of the 2009 MLS SuperDraft … Cronin’s multi-assist game was San Jose’s first since Anthony Ampaipitakwong helped on both goals in a 2-2 tie at the Chicago Fire on May 28, 2011 … Marvin Chavez’s assist on Shea Salinas’ goal marked his first helper for the club.

Opara Competing for U.S. U-23s in Olympic Qualifying
Earthquakes defender Ike Opara has started both matches thus far for the U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team during the CONCACAF Men’s Olympic Qualifying tournament. Opara played 90 minutes at center back in both the U.S.’s 6-0 defeat of Cuba on March 22 in Nashville, Tenn., assisting on the game’s fifth goal by Freddy Adu in the 62nd minute, and a 2-0 loss to Canada on March 24. The third-year Quake was among 20 players named by head coach Caleb Porter to the official U.S. U-23 roster for Olympic qualifying on March 20. Opara was previously in camp with the U-23s from Feb. 19-29. He wore the captain’s armband and played all 90 minutes as the Americans blanked Mexico on Feb. 29, 2-0, at FC Dallas Stadium in Frisco, Texas. Opara was unavailable to the Earthquakes against the Houston Dynamo on March 17 as the U-23 group convened in Nashville on March 13, and also missed the Toronto FC match on March 24. The U.S. next faces a must-win tilt with El Salvador on March 26 (6 p.m. PT / Universal Sports Network, mun2, CONCACAF.com) to conclude Group A play at LP Field in Nashville. The U.S. must win the match in order to secure a berth in the semifinals at LiveSTRONG Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kan., on Saturday, March 31, most likely against Mexico at 3 p.m. PT, with a trip to the 2012 Olympic Games on the line. The two semifinal winners earn their way to London, England, in July.

Earthquakes Reserves Set to Open Reserve League Season
The San Jose Earthquakes reserves host the Portland Timbers in the 2012 MLS Reserve League opener for both sides on Tuesday, March 27. Kickoff at the Earthquakes Training Facility in San Jose is slated for 11 a.m. This will be the first of 10 matches for the Earthquakes reserves this season, with all five home contests scheduled for 11 a.m. starts at the Earthquakes Training Facility. Reserve League games in San Jose are open to the public and free of charge.

Earthquakes Announce Inaugural 5K/10K Challenge
The San Jose Earthquakes announced last week that the club will stage its first annual Quakes 5K/10K Challenge, benefitting The Health Trust and the San Jose Earthquakes Community Fund, on Sunday, May 27. More information and a registration link are available at www.quakeschallenge.com. The 5K/10K Challenge begins at 8 a.m. with three options for runners of all ages. The costs of entry are $45 for the 10K, $35 for the 5K, and $10 for a Kids Fun Run. All participants get a race t-shirt, a ticket to a future Earthquakes home game at Buck Shaw Stadium, and access to a post-race celebration. The Memorial Day Weekend event will start and finish at the site of the Quakes’ planned new stadium at 1125 Coleman Avenue in San Jose. Supervisor Ken Yeager of District 4 will serve as honorary chair.

Earthquakes, Wondolowski Support Street Soccer USA
Two-time MLS leading goal-scorer Chris Wondolowski and Street Soccer USA, a non-profit organization that seeks to end homelessness through sports, have partnered to make a difference in the lives of the homeless in the Bay Area through the “One Goal at a Time” campaign. For every goal Wondolowski scores during the 2012 season, the Quakes star has pledged a $100 donation to Street Soccer USA (SSUSA), and is asking fans to join in his mission. Additionally, the Earthquakes Community Fund will match Wondolowski’s donations. Wondolowski, who has been a national ambassador for SSUSA since August of 2011, got an early start on his 2012 scoring account with a goal in San Jose’s season opener on March 10, and added two more strikes at Toronto FC on March 24.

Wells Fargo Goals for Education
Wells Fargo has again pledged to donate $250 for each goal the Earthquakes score in 2012 through the Goals for Education Program. With four goals through three games, the current donated total for the new season stands at $1,000. Thanks to 40 goals in 2011, the partnership raised $10,000 for local youth soccer and athletic development programs a year ago. After fielding dozens of grant applications, the Earthquakes and Wells Fargo awarded 16 grants to deserving organizations, and with Quakes midfielder Anthony Ampaipitakwong on hand, made special check presentations at America SCORES Bay Area and Castro Valley Soccer Club in January.

Following Go-Ahead on New Stadium, Two Suites Remain
The San Jose Earthquakes have already sold 10 of 12 available field-level luxury suites for its new stadium, generating over $3.5 million in revenue for the project. For more information about the remaining suites, visit www.sjearthquakes.com/newstadium, email suites@sjearthquakes.com or call 408-556-7700. The San Jose Planning Commission voted 6-0 to uphold the Earthquakes’ Planned Development Permit on Feb. 22, paving the way for the club to break ground on its new stadium at 1125 Coleman Avenue.
 
Quakes President Dave Kaval’s Office Hours
Earthquakes President Dave Kaval’s office hours continue during the 2012 season. Fans can drop by his office at 451 El Camino Real, Suite 220 in Santa Clara, Calif., on Tuesdays between 3 and 5 p.m. PT. Participants will be seen on a first-come, first-served basis. Be sure to follow his blog, Kaval’s Kickoff, exclusively at www.sjearthquakes.com, and new this year, follow him on Twitter at @QuakesPrez.

New Quakes Jerseys and Other Merchandise Available for Purchase
Fans can purchase new San Jose Earthquakes jerseys and other merchandise by logging on to the club’s online store at earthquakes.yorder.it, or in person by visiting team headquarters at 451 El Camino Real, Suite 220, Santa Clara, CA 95050. The Quakes’ first-choice kit in 2012 features a black top with blue trim, black shorts with blue trim and black socks with white hoops. The new No. 2 kit includes a blue top with black trim, blue shorts with black trim and blue socks with white hoops. The club’s third kit features a white top with black and blue trim, white shorts with black and blue trim and white socks with black hoops.

Earthquakes Youth Academy Update

Cristian Cruz Named to U.S. U-18 Men’s National Team
Earthquakes Youth Development Academy product Cristian Cruz was named on March 23 to the U.S. U-18 Men’s National Team roster. Head coach Javier Perez selected a squad of 35 players for a week-long training camp at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., from March 25-April 1. Cruz was one of nine forwards to make the list. A native of Hercules, Calif., he is currently a junior at Hercules High School. Cruz has two goals in 19 appearances, 17 of them starts, for the Earthquakes Academy U-16 side this season.

Academy U-18s Beat Cal Odyssey on the Road
The Earthquakes U-18s posted a 2-0 victory over Clovis’ Cal Odyssey in Fresno, Calif., on March 24. Brian Randall produced the two-goal brace for the U-18s, with assists going to Jesse Morales and Armando Leon. Austin Black and Nedin Tucakovic combined on the clean sheet in goal. With the result, the U-18s are now 9-10-2 overall and 4-4-1 in the Northwest Division.

Academy U-16s Blank Cal Odyssey
The Earthquakes U-16s edged Cal Odyssey, 1-0, also in Fresno on March 24. Roberto Mendoza scored the winner in the 73rd minute, off assists by Darren Sinclair and Efrain Gutierrez, with JT Marcinkowski posting the shutout in goal. Cristian Cruz, selected just the day before to the U.S. U-18 Men’s National Team roster, started and played 64 minutes before joining the U-18 MNT for its camp in Carson. The U-16s evened their overall record at 9-9-3, while improving their Northwest Division mark to 5-3-1. Both academy squads continue their lengthy road stretch with a pair of divisional games in the state of Washington this weekend.