This & That: Quakes notes for April 16, 2012

Preview of Western Conference first-place showdown, injury update, Wondo tidbits and more

Steven Beitashour vs Houston Dynamo

Photo Credit: 
John Todd

This Week

The San Jose Earthquakes (4-1-1, 13 pts.) return home this week to host Real Salt Lake (5-2-0, 15 pts.) in an early-season battle for first-place in the MLS Western Conference on Saturday, April 21. Kickoff at Buck Shaw Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., is scheduled for 7:30 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 4/16/12
Monday, April 16 – Off
Tuesday, April 17 – 10:15 a.m. – Practice at Earthquakes Training Facility
Wednesday, April 18 – Off
Thursday, April 19 – 10:15 a.m. – Practice at Buck Shaw Stadium
Friday, April 20 – 10:15 a.m. – Practice at Earthquakes Training Facility
Saturday, April 21 – 7:30 p.m. PT – Real Salt Lake at Earthquakes, Buck Shaw Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., LIVE on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area, 1590 KLIV and 1370 KZSF
Sunday, April 22 – Off

Injury Report
Out: Victor Bernardez (L – MCL sprain), Joey Gjertsen (R – knee surgery), Shea Salinas (L – fractured clavicle), Tim Ward (L – non-specific soft tissue injury); Questionable: Cesar Diaz Pizarro (R – hamstring strain), Alan Gordon (L – hamstring strain), Steven Lenhart (R – hamstring).

Earthquakes vs. Real Salt Lake All-Time

MLS Regular Season: 3-5-5
Home: 2-3-1 (9 GF, 10 GA)
Away: 1-2-4 (5 GF, 10 GA)
Playoffs: 0-0-0; US Open Cup: 0-0-0; US Open Cup Play-In: 0-2-0
All-Time Scoring: San Jose – 14, Real Salt Lake – 20

San Jose’s Record in April: The Quakes are 22-26-14 all-time in April in MLS play.

Opponent Info

Real Salt Lake Scouting Report
Real Salt Lake (5-2-0) is coming off of a 1-0 loss in a meeting of conference leaders with Sporting Kansas City on Saturday, April 14. The lone goal at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park came through an Aurelien Collin header from a Graham Zusi corner kick in the 63rd minute as Sporting KC remained the only unbeaten side in MLS. Collin’s score snapped RSL’s shutout streak at 267 minutes. Real Salt Lake is led in midfield by Kyle Beckerman. The RSL captain tallied two of his three goals a season ago against San Jose while also providing a career-best nine assists. Beckerman has played all 630 minutes thus far in 2012, and scored the 93rd-minute decider in a come-from-behind 3-2 victory at the Portland Timbers on March 31. Real Salt Lake striking options include Argentine Fabian Espindola (3 goals), Costa Rican Alvaro Saborio (2) and Brazilian Paulo Junior (1). Defensively, Colombian center back Jamison Olave, a Best XI selection in 2010 and 2011, anchors the RSL back line while Nick Rimando, one of the top MLS goalkeepers of all-time, will be between the pipes.

History of the Quakes – Real Salt Lake Rivalry
Real Salt Lake has had the upper hand recently in the all-time series between these two Western Conference rivals … The Quakes have gone winless at 0-4-2 over the last six meetings in all competitions, including an 0-3-2 mark in the last five MLS regular-season match-ups, and a loss via penalty-kick shootout in a 2010 US Open Cup play-in contest at Buck Shaw Stadium … The Quakes have suffered two-straight home defeats in league play during this stretch, including back-to-back season openers in 2010 (3-0) and 2011 (1-0), since a 2-1 win at Buck Shaw on May 30, 2009 … San Jose enters the April 21 date on a scoreless drought of 387 minutes in four-plus league games against RSL … The Quakes and Real Salt Lake last faced off at Buck Shaw to kick off the 2011 season on March 19, in a match later dubbed The Great Deluge as RSL took a 1-0 decision in a driving rainstorm through a 64th-minute Kyle Beckerman strike from 25 yards out that glanced off the left post and went in … That game marked Simon Dawkins’ MLS debut for the Quakes as a 66th-minute substitute … RSL swept the 2011 season series with a 4-0 triumph in Utah on July 23 … The two teams played to a 2-2 draw in their first-ever meeting on April 30, 2005, at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City, with Alejandro Moreno providing a late equalizer for San Jose … After going 2-0-2 over their first four MLS regular-season meetings, the Quakes dropped their first league tilt to RSL, 3-1, on May 31, 2008, at Rice-Eccles … RSL was the last Quakes opponent to play a regular-season match at Spartan Stadium, earning a 2-2 tie on Oct. 8, 2005 … RSL knocked the Quakes out of the 2010 US Open Cup, advancing 5-3 on penalty kicks after the first 120 minutes ended 3-3 in a play-in game … RSL joined MLS as an expansion side prior to the 2005 campaign.

Earthquakes Leaders vs. Real Salt Lake
RSL is one of just four clubs among the 19 in MLS in 2012 that Chris Wondolowski has not scored a goal against in a regular-season MLS match, with the others being Houston, Portland and newcomer Montreal, whom he has yet to face … Wondolowski has made five appearances against RSL all-time, with four as a Quakes player … Steven Lenhart had one goal and one assist against RSL in 2009 while with the Columbus Crew, and missed both meetings with RSL in his first year with the Quakes in 2011 … Alan Gordon had one goal and two assists against RSL while with the LA Galaxy, and has not faced them as a Quakes player … Jon Busch is 3-2-4 with five shutouts against RSL for his career, including 0-2-1 with a shutout in his first start at RSL as the Quakes’ goalie in a scoreless draw on June 25, 2010.

Real Salt Lake Leaders vs. San Jose
Argentine midfielder Javier Morales has four goals and five assists in eight career appearances against San Jose, all with RSL … Midfielder Kyle Beckerman has two goals and five assists in 19 career games against the Quakes, with both goals (2011) and two assists (2011, 2008) coming in seven matches with RSL since 2008 … Forward Alvaro Saborio has two goals and one assist, all coming in a 4-0 RSL win at Rio Tinto Stadium on July 23, 2011, in four matches over the past two seasons … Forward Fabian Espindola has one goal and one assist in seven games … Defender Jamison Olave has one goal (2011) in eight matches … Defender Tony Beltran has one assist (2011) in five games … Goalkeeper Nick Rimando is 10-4-7 with seven shutouts all-time against the Quakes, and 5-1-3 with five shutouts with RSL since 2008.

Earthquakes – Real Salt Lake Connections
Quakes midfielder Jean-Marc Alexandre was selected by Real Salt Lake in the first round (No. 12 overall) of the 2009 MLS SuperDraft, making 38 league appearances for the club over three seasons, all of which ended with qualification into the MLS Cup Playoffs, prior to being traded to San Jose on Dec. 1, 2011 … Quakes forward Chris Wondolowski and RSL goalkeeper Nick Rimando have played together twice for the U.S. Men’s National Team, most recently featuring in head coach Jurgen Klinsmann’s starting lineup earlier this year on Jan. 25 for a 1-0 win over Panama in Panama City … Quakes midfielder Tressor Moreno, RSL defender Jamison Olave and RSL midfielder Sebastian Velasquez were all born in Colombia, with Moreno and Olave having played previously for Colombian side Deportivo Cali … RSL midfielder Ned Grabavoy appeared in 24 games for San Jose in 2008 … Grabavoy also played under current Earthquakes head coach Frank Yallop while with the LA Galaxy during the early part of the 2006 season, and was a teammate of Quakes goalkeeper Jon Busch with the Columbus Crew later in 2006 … Grabavoy played with Quakes forward Alan Gordon for the LA Galaxy from 2004-06 … Busch also played alongside RSL defender Chris Wingert with the Crew in 2004-05 … Wingert (St. John’s) and Quakes defender Jason Hernandez (Seton Hall) played against each other in the BIG EAST Conference from 2001-03 … Quakes rookie midfielder Sam Garza and rookie RSL defender Diogo de Almeida were teammates on the adiPure side at the 2012 MLS Player Combine in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. … Garza (2008) and RSL defender Nat Borchers (1999-2002) each played at the University of Denver … Garza (2010-11) and RSL goalkeeper Kyle Reynish (2002-06) each played at UC Santa Barbara … Quakes midfielder Sam Cronin (2005-08) and defender Ike Opara (2007-09) played with RSL midfielder Cody Arnoux (2006-08) at Wake Forest, guiding the Demon Deacons to the program’s first national title together in 2007 … Rookie defender Chris Estridge, RSL’s newest addition, also played with Cronin (2008) and Opara (2008-09) at Wake … Estridge spent his final two years of college eligibility at Indiana University (2010-11), where Quakes midfielder Brad Ring (2005-08) and Ring’s fellow Illinois native Grabavoy (2001-03) previously played and RSL defender Chris Schuler redshirted (2005) … Quakes defender Justin Morrow and RSL midfielder Jonny Steele both played for the Tampa Bay Rowdies in 2010 … Rimando (Montclair, Calif.), RSL defender Tony Beltran (Claremont) and Quakes rookie forward Cesar Diaz Pizarro (Chino) are all alumni of the Arsenal FC club program based in Temecula, Calif. … Second-year Real Salt Lake assistant coach C.J. Brown is a Hayward, Calif., native who starred in the South Bay in his college playing days at San Jose State (1993-96) prior to a 13-year MLS career, all with the Chicago Fire … Quakes head coach Frank Yallop (52), assistant coach Mark Watson (77) and RSL defender Will Johnson (24) have all earned caps for the Canadian men’s national team, with Johnson having played under Watson at various youth levels, including U-23 during 2008 CONCACAF Olympic qualifying … Quakes captain Ramiro Corrales and RSL assistant coach Jeff Cassar played 90 minutes together for the now-defunct Miami Fusion on May 31, 1998, against the then-Dallas Burn at the Cotton Bowl, with current RSL head coach Jason Kreis scoring the 37th-minute winner in a 2-0 Dallas victory in what was Corrales’ only appearance for Miami … RSL general manager Garth Lagerwey was the back-up goalkeeper for the Burn that day … Corrales also played with RSL assistant coach Miles Joseph with the New York/New Jersey MetroStars from 1998-2000.

Quakes in the Community

Opening Ceremony - Get Earthquakes Fit Presented by Kaiser Permanente
Who: San Jose Earthquakes
What: Kicking off Get Earthquakes Fit presented by Kaiser Permanente at Walsh Elementary
When: Monday, April 16, 1:30 p.m.
Where: P.A. Walsh Elementary School, 353 W. Main Avenue, Morgan Hill, CA 95037
Details: Get Earthquakes Fit presented by Kaiser Permanente is a fun, five-week program designed by Earthquakes head athletic trainer Bruce Morgan and the Santa Clara County Office of Education to increase physical activity in the classroom and at home. This spring, 12 local schools will be incorporating this program into their third- and fourth-grade curriculum.

Opening Ceremony - Get Earthquakes Fit Presented by Kaiser Permanente
Who: San Jose Earthquakes
What: Kicking off Get Earthquakes Fit presented by Kaiser Permanente at Randall Elementary
When: Tuesday, April 17, 1 p.m.
Where: Robert Randall Elementary School, 1300 Edsel Drive, Milpitas, CA 95035
Details: Get Earthquakes Fit presented by Kaiser Permanente is a fun, five-week program designed by Earthquakes head athletic trainer Bruce Morgan and the Santa Clara County Office of Education to increase physical activity in the classroom and at home. This spring, 12 local schools will be incorporating this program into their third- and fourth-grade curriculum.

Tree Planting with Our City Forest
Who: Earthquakes midfielder Jean-Marc Alexandre
What: The Earthquakes are partnering with Our City Forest to help plant eight trees at McCollam Elementary School in honor of Earth Day.
When: Wednesday, April 18, 9-10:30 a.m.
Where: McCollam Elementary School, 3311 Lucian Avenue, San Jose, CA 95127
Details: The Earthquakes and Shakers will join about 50 students from McCollam to plant trees at their campus. Afterwards, they will sign autographs for all the kids.

Volunteer at Veggielution Community Farm
Who: Shakers squad
What: The Shakers will be participating in a full morning of farm maintenance work (compost, greenhouse, weeding, pruning, planting and seeding, bed preparation).
When: Wednesday, April 18
Where: 647 S. King Road, San Jose, CA 95116
Details: Veggielution is a two-acre, non-profit community farm dedicated to creating a more sustainable food system in San Jose. We empower people to change the way they think about food by getting their hands in the soil, connecting with the land, and tasting the fruits of their labor.

REACH Youth Scholarship Awards Breakfast
Who: Earthquakes defender Steven Beitashour and Earthquakes Ambassador Kelly Gray
What: (Former San Francisco 49er great) Ronnie Lott and Friends are hosting the REACH Youth Scholarship Awards Breakfast to honor high school seniors who have overcome adversity to excel both academically and athletically.
When: Friday, April 20, 7:30-9 a.m.
Where: San Jose Marriott, Grand Ballroom, 301 South Market Street, San Jose, CA 95113
Details: REACH is an acronym for “Recognizing Excellence, Adversity, Courage and Hard-work.” The scholarship was established to recognize the role that sports play in helping young people develop self-confidence and the strength to persevere in the face of adversity.

Five-Year Season Ticket Holders “Scarfing”
Who: Earthquakes midfielder Joey Gjertsen
What: In an effort to recognize our season ticket holders who have been with us for five years, we will be presenting them with a five-year anniversary scarf.
When: Saturday, April 21, 6:30-7:10 p.m.
Where: Fan Relations Booth in Epicenter at Buck Shaw Stadium
Details: Season ticket holders have received an invitation and a voucher to receive their five-year anniversary scarf.

Miscellaneous Notes

Battle for Western Conference Supremacy in Week 7
The top spot in the Western Conference will be on the line on Saturday, April 21 when Real Salt Lake visits Buck Shaw Stadium to play the San Jose Earthquakes. The Earthquakes (4-1-1, 13 pts.) trail RSL (5-2-0, 15 pts.) in the conference standings by two points with a game in hand. This week’s first-place showdown at Buck Shaw Stadium was set up when Sporting Kansas City held on for a 1-0 home win over Real Salt Lake on Saturday, about an hour and a half after the Quakes rallied from a pair of one-goal deficits to earn a point on the road through a 2-2 draw with the New York Red Bulls.

Earthquakes Fight Back to Earn Valuable Road Draw at NYRB
The Earthquakes overturned a pair of one-goal deficits in the first half to earn a 2-2 draw with New York at Red Bull Arena on Saturday night. The hosts grabbed an early fifth-minute lead through Kenny Cooper’s seventh goal of the campaign, with Thierry Henry providing the short through ball to beat the offside trap after a Roy Miller throw-in on the left sideline. The Quakes answered 10 minutes later as Rafael Baca stole possession with Sam Cronin’s help and continued his run into the penalty area after passing off to Chris Wondolowski. Wondolowski, meanwhile, fed forward to Khari Stephenson, whose one-touch cross toward the far post was met with a first-time shot by Baca into the back of the net. New York regained the advantage through a right-footed side-volley by Dax McCarty after Cooper had flicked on a Dane Richards cross from the right end line in the 22nd minute. Wondolowski leveled matters a second time in the 35th minute as Shea Salinas looped a ball destined to cross the end-line over Red Bull center backs Markus Holgersson and Stephen Keel for Wondolowski to head home his seventh goal of 2012.

Weekend Wrap-Up
San Jose overturned multiple one-goal deficits to earn at least a point for the first time since an identical 2-2 draw, at home against Seattle on April 2, 2011, when they also answered two first-half Sounders FC strikes … After accumulating 15 points away from home a year ago (3-8-6), the Quakes are already almost halfway to that mark with seven through three road dates in 2012 (2-0-1) … Rafael Baca’s goal was his first this season and second of his career, with the other one coming in a 4-2 home victory over FC Dallas in the 2011 finale … Chris Wondolowski’s strike was his seventh overall and fourth on the road this year, both league bests … The assists by Wondolowski and Khari Stephenson on Baca’s goal were the first of 2012 for each player … The contributions by Steven Beitashour and Shea Salinas on the Wondolowski score gave each player his second helper of 2012, tying them with Ramiro Corrales and Sam Cronin for the team lead … Ike Opara made his 2012 MLS debut, coming on as a substitute for the injured Corrales for the final 10 minutes … The Quakes’ top pick in this year’s SuperDraft, Sam Garza, was named to the 18-player game roster for the first time, while Sercan Guvenisik was back in the 18 after missing the previous two matches through a hip injury suffered in the first half of the Quakes’ Reserve League opener on March 27.

Keep the Streak Alive
The San Jose Earthquakes enter their April 21 home meeting with Real Salt Lake still on a club-record streak of eight straight sellouts inside Buck Shaw Stadium. The Quakes have extended their stretch of consecutive sellouts at their regular home venue in Santa Clara with capacity crowds (10,525) on hand for MLS First Kick 2012 against the New England Revolution on March 10 and for the Vancouver Whitecaps FC match on April 7. The streak dates back to San Jose’s game against D.C. United on July 30, 2011, and also includes games against Portland on Aug. 6, Colorado on Aug. 13, Chicago on Sept. 10, Sporting Kansas City on Oct. 1 and FC Dallas on Oct. 22. With an added stand on the South End, the attendance for the 2011 season finale with FC Dallas actually rose to 10,744 spectators.

Six-Game Superlatives
At 4-1-1 and 13 points, this is the second-best six-game start to a year in the San Jose Earthquakes’ 15-season club history. In 2003, the eventual MLS Cup champion Quakes trotted out to a 4-0-2 start for 14 points. They were 4-2-0 to begin both the 2010 (12 pts.) and 1999 campaigns, picking up just four points in 1999, however, through four shootout victories. With just four goals conceded thus far, this is the franchise’s best six-game defensive start. San Jose allowed five goals over its first six matches in both 2002 and 2003. At 2-0-1 for seven points over their first three road dates, the Quakes have equaled their best three-game road start. They were an identical 2-0-1 with seven points following their first three road forays in 2003. San Jose was 2-1 after three road tests in 1999, but with only two points after a pair of shootout triumphs.

Race for the Budweiser Golden Boot
Quakes star Chris Wondolowski came away from last Saturday night’s showdown of top MLS goal-scorers with a share of the Budweiser Golden Boot lead. Wondolowski is now equal on seven goals with Thierry Henry and Kenny Cooper of the New York Red Bulls through six weeks. He and Cooper each completed the 2-2 draw at Red Bull Arena with a goal and an assist, while Henry aided on Cooper’s opener. Having had his club-record goal-scoring streak snapped at six games against Houston on March 17, Wondolowski has reeled off another four-game run since then to equal the second-best stretch of his career. It is currently tied with Cooper’s for the longest scoring streak in MLS, while Wondolowski also remains the league leader with three game-winning strikes. Of his seven goals, Wondolowski has tallied three with his right foot (vs. NE, at SEA, vs. VAN), two with his left foot (at TFC, vs. VAN) and two with his head (at TFC, at NY).

It’s Wondo’s World…
-Seven goals in first six games of 2012 (tied for MLS lead with Thierry Henry and Kenny Cooper of NYRB)
-Currently on a four-game goal-scoring streak (tied with Cooper for best active streak in MLS)
-Leads MLS in game-winning goals for third-straight year with three
-Leads MLS for second straight year in road goals with four
-13 goals over the last 11 games dating back to 2011
-15 goals over the last 15 games
-Scored in 12 of the Quakes’ last 15 games
-Scored 13 of the Quakes’ last 19 goals
-Since start of 2010 season, scored 41 of San Jose’s 84 goals, 49 percent
-Since start of 2010 season, 41 goals in 64 matches equals a per-game average of 0.64
-Since start of 2010 season, tallied winning goal in 17 of the Earthquakes’ 25 victories, or 68 percent
-41 goals since 2010 is 10 more than next closest in MLS during same stretch (Dwayne De Rosario)
-Has most game-winning goals (17) and road goals (21) in all of MLS since start of 2010 season
-Trails only Ronald Cerritos (61) for No. 1 on the all-time San Jose scoring chart with 44
-Club records of 18 game-winners and eight multi-goal performances (tied with Cerritos for latter)
-San Jose is 21-4-9 all-time in games in which he scores
-Closing in on goal No. 50 for his MLS career, currently at 48

Yallop on the Verge of 100 MLS Victories
Eighth-year Quakes head coach Frank Yallop is just a single win away from 100 regular-season triumphs in his MLS career, which also includes a two-year stint with the LA Galaxy in 2006-07. Yallop is currently 99-96-70 (.506) as an MLS head coach in regular-season matches. He ranks sixth on the all-time MLS chart in wins, behind Sigi Schmid (160), Bruce Arena (130), Bob Bradley (124), Steve Nicol (112) and former pupil Dominic Kinnear (102). He would be just the sixth coach in MLS history to reach the 100-win plateau.

Defense a Key Early in the Season
The Earthquakes allowed more than one goal in a game for the first time this season in the 2-2 draw at New York on Saturday. Having still conceded just four scores thus far in 2012, San Jose’s performance to-date represents the best six-game defensive start for the Quakes in club history. San Jose previously gave up five goals over its first six matches to begin the 2002 and 2003 campaigns. Against Vancouver Whitecaps FC on April 7, the Quakes finally let in their first goal in open play after 408 minutes to begin the year, or just over four and a half games, as ‘Caps forward Sebastien Le Toux struck in the 49th minute of the Quakes’ 3-1 win at Buck Shaw Stadium. Prior to that score, the only other goal the Quakes had allowed came from a 14th-minute penalty kick by Brad Davis in the 1-0 Houston Dynamo defeat at AT&T Park on March 17. San Jose already has three shutouts after producing just one over its final 15 games a year ago. The results at Toronto FC (3-0 on March 24) and Seattle Sounders FC (1-0 on March 31) marked back-to-back clean sheets for the first time since Oct. 2 (0-0 at Columbus) and Oct. 9, 2010 (2-0 at D.C. United).

Hernandez Awaiting Milestone Start No. 100
The next starting assignment drawn by veteran Quakes center back Jason Hernandez will mark No. 100 for him in San Jose since he joined the franchise prior to the 2008 season. Hernandez is steadily climbing the all-time club charts, as he is one start away from tying Eddie Lewis (1996-99) for No. 8 on that list, and ninth in minutes played (8,847), right behind Lewis (8,867). Hernandez made his 100th appearance in an Earthquakes uniform in his 2012 debut when he entered the March 31 match at Seattle at halftime.

A Look Back at Week 5 MLS Honors and Considerations for Quakes
Quakes captain Ramiro Corrales and Chris Wondolowski were each named to MLSsoccer.com’s Team of the Week for Week 5, while Frank Yallop was selected Manager of the Week and Shea Salinas earned honorable mention. Corrales was also nominated for Latino de la Jornada 5 (Latino of the Week 5) by FutbolMLS.com for his two-assist performance against Vancouver on April 7. Chris Wondolowski’s opener against Whitecaps FC was up against Alan Gordon’s winner for AT&T Goal of the Week, falling short in the fan vote to Real Salt Lake’s Alvaro Saborio, who pays a visit to Buck Shaw Stadium this Saturday, April 21.

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 10 goals through six games, the donated total for this season currently stands at $2,500. 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 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.

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 strike in San Jose’s season opener on March 10, and now has a league-leading seven goals already through just six contests.

Earthquakes to Host Inaugural 5K/10K Challenge
The San Jose Earthquakes will stage the first annual Quakes 5K/10K Challenge, benefitting The Health Trust and the San Jose Earthquakes Community Fund, on Sunday, May 27. 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. More information and a registration link are available at www.quakeschallenge.com.

Join the Earthquakes in Celebrating Earth Day
The San Jose Earthquakes will host an Earth Day celebration this Saturday, April 21, when they take on Real Salt Lake in a clash of Western Conference leaders at Buck Shaw Stadium (7:30 p.m. PT). The night will feature a number of giveaway items as the Quakes partner with MLS W.O.R.K.S., the charitable arm of Major League Soccer. Fans can also take home a buy-one-get-one ticket voucher, courtesy of Odwalla, by recycling their Odwalla bottles at the game. Additionally, fans who drive a hybrid car to the game will receive $5 off parking, while patrons who take VTA or Caltrain to the match get a $5 discount for a game ticket by showing their VTA or Caltrain receipt. The Quakes will offset the carbon footprint for energy used at Buck Shaw Saturday night, provide further Earth Day-related features inside their Epicenter fan zone on game day, take part in a tree planting on Wednesday morning and participate in a league-wide contest dubbed, “How Green Are Your Goals?,” all in recognition of Earth Day on April 22. Click HERE for full details.

Earthquakes Announce Partnership with Alaska Airlines
The San Jose Earthquakes announced a partnership last week with Alaska Airlines that will give the club’s fans the opportunity to win trips to Cabo San Lucas, Hawaii, Reno/Tahoe and Los Angeles through the “Score a Direct Kick” sweepstakes. The Quakes will select three winners from four separate drawings, one for each location. Winners will receive two tickets to a San Jose home game, where they will participate in a halftime contest, with the grand prize a trip courtesy of Alaska Airlines. Entries are currently being accepted. For more information about the contest, complete rules, and to enter to win, visit alaska.sjearthquakes.com.

Earthquakes Partner with T-Mobile
The San Jose Earthquakes have partnered with T-Mobile to launch the T-Mobile 4G Power Zone at all remaining home games for the 2012 season. The promotion gives fans the opportunity to purchase great seats for only $15 - the most affordable Earthquakes tickets available to the public. Through the agreement, T-Mobile has rebranded the Corner Flag Section 107 at Buck Shaw Stadium in Santa Clara as the T-Mobile 4G Power Zone, which made its debut during the April 7 home match against Vancouver Whitecaps FC. Fans can purchase tickets with a regular day-of-game price of $24 for only $15 at 41 participating T-Mobile stores throughout the Bay Area. The vouchers can be used toward any home game, subject to availability, including the June 30 California Clasico with the LA Galaxy at Stanford Stadium beginning at 7 p.m. PT. The vouchers can be redeemed at Earthquakes team headquarters at 451 El Camino Real, Suite 220, Santa Clara 95050, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, or at the stadium on the day of the game. For more information on the T-Mobile 4G Power Zone promotion and participating stores, please visit: www.sjearthquakes.com/t-mobile-4gpowerzone.
 
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.

Earthquakes Youth Academy Update

Academy U-18s Split in Washington State
The Earthquakes Youth Development Academy U-18 side traveled north to the state of Washington this past weekend, splitting a pair of matches. The U-18s first shut out Seattle Sounders FC, 2-0, in Tukwila on Saturday morning. In Sammamish on Sunday, they dropped a 3-1 decision to Crossfire Premier, with Jorge Soto scoring the lone Quakes goal in the 20th minute to tie the game at 1-1. The U-18 club is now 10-11-2 overall and 5-5-1 in the Northwest Division.

Academy U-16s Drop a Pair in Pacific Northwest
The Earthquakes U-16s were topped in their two games in Washington over the weekend. The U-16s lost to division-leading Seattle Sounders FC, 5-0, on Saturday. The Quakes were then blanked on Sunday afternoon by Crossfire Premier, 2-0. The U-16s are 9-11-3 overall and an even 5-5-1 in their division. Both academy squads are idle in the week ahead before continuing their lengthy road stretches locally at De Anza College in Cupertino against Northwest Division rival De Anza Force on April 28.