This & That: Quakes notes for April 2, 2012

Vancouver Whitecaps FC scouting report, road stretch rewind, Academy news and more

03 10 12 Victor Bernardez

Photo Credit: 
John Todd

This Week

The San Jose Earthquakes (3-1-0, 9 pts.) return home following a perfect two-game road stretch to play host to Western Conference opponent Vancouver Whitecaps FC (2-0-2, 8 pts.) on Saturday, April 7. Kickoff at Buck Shaw Stadium is slated for 4 p.m. PT. The match will air live on Comcast SportsNet California, 1590 KLIV (English) and 1370 KZSF (Spanish).

Earthquakes Schedule for the Week of 4/2/12
Monday, April 2 – 10:15 a.m. – Practice at Earthquakes Training Facility
Tuesday, April 3 – 10:15 a.m. – Practice at Earthquakes Training Facility
Wednesday, April 4 – Off
Thursday, April 5 – 10:15 a.m. – Practice at Earthquakes Training Facility
Friday, April 6 – 10:15 a.m. – Practice at Buck Shaw Stadium
Saturday, April 7 – 4 p.m. PT – Vancouver Whitecaps FC at Earthquakes, Buck Shaw Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., LIVE on Comcast SportsNet California, 1590 KLIV and 1370 KZSF
Sunday, April 8 – 11 a.m. – MLS Reserve League – Vancouver Whitecaps FC at Earthquakes, Earthquakes Training Facility in San Jose, Calif.

Injury Report
Out: Joey Gjertsen (R – knee surgery), Tim Ward (L – non-specific soft tissue injury); Doubtful: Sercan Guvenisik (R – hip flexor strain); Questionable: Ramiro Corrales (R – ankle sprain).

Earthquakes vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC All-Time

MLS Regular Season: 0-0-2
Home: 0-0-1 (2 GF, 2 GA)
Away: 0-0-1 (1 GF, 1 GA)
Playoffs: 0-0-0; US Open Cup: 0-0-0
All-Time Scoring: San Jose – 3, Vancouver Whitecaps FC – 3

San Jose’s Record in April: The Quakes are 21-26-13 all-time in April in MLS play.

Opponent Info

Vancouver Whitecaps FC Scouting Report
Vancouver Whitecaps FC visits the Bay Area for the only time this season sporting an overall record of 2-0-2 (8 pts.). After placing last in the Western Conference in its inaugural year in MLS as an expansion side in 2011, Whitecaps FC was alone atop the conference standings through the first three weeks of its sophomore go-around. The ‘Caps are coming off back-to-back scoreless draws, the latter at the Philadelphia Union on March 31. They have conceded a league-best zero goals over 360 minutes to open the new campaign, with former Earthquakes goalkeeper Joe Cannon in the net. The last game marked Vancouver forward Sebastien Le Toux’s return to Philadelphia as the leading goal-scorer in Union history with 25. Le Toux was traded to Vancouver just prior to the start of the season, and scored his new team’s first goal of 2012 in just the fourth minute of a 2-0 home win over the Montreal Impact on March 10. Martin Rennie, a Scotland native, is in his first season in charge of Whitecaps FC.

History of the Quakes – Vancouver Whitecaps FC Rivalry
The Quakes and Vancouver Whitecaps FC drew in each of their first two all-time meetings a season ago. The teams tied 1-1 at Empire Field in Vancouver on May 11 as Chris Wondolowski scored a 39th-minute goal on a back-heeled flick that earned MLS Goal of the Week consideration, with Ryan Johnson assisting. The Earthquakes had the better of play for much of the game, but the ‘Caps found a way to equalize in second-half stoppage time when Davide Chiumiento scored his first goal of the season for a share of the points. The return fixture inside Buck Shaw Stadium on July 20 ended in a 2-2 tie. Wondolowski opened the scoring in the third off assists from Simon Dawkins and Steven Lenhart. An Eric Hassli strike in the 42nd, assisted by current Quake Shea Salinas, leveled matters heading into the halftime break. Wondolowski pushed San Jose ahead again in the 54th, only for Hassli to find another equalizer just seven minutes later, Salinas and Chiumiento aiding in the build-up. Jon Busch and Joe Cannon each made a pair of saves.

Earthquakes Leaders vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC
Chris Wondolowski scored all three goals that the San Jose Earthquakes registered in two match-ups with Vancouver Whitecaps FC last season, in a 1-1 tie in Vancouver on May 11 and a 2-2 draw in Santa Clara on July 20 … Marvin Chavez had a goal and an assist in two meetings with the ‘Caps as a member of FC Dallas a season ago, including the 35th-minute game-winner in a 2-0 home victory on Oct. 15 … Another Quakes newcomer, Jean-Marc Alexandre, had his best offensive day as a three-year member of Real Salt Lake on June 4, 2011, scoring his first MLS goal as the game-winner in the 32nd minute and adding the assist on a 79th-minute clincher in a 2-0 home triumph … Simon Dawkins (one match) and Steven Lenhart (two matches) have one assist apiece … Jon Busch is 0-0-2 with four saves against Vancouver.

Vancouver Whitecaps FC Leaders vs. San Jose
Forward Eric Hassli has two goals in two match-ups with San Jose … Forward Sebastien Le Toux tallied one goal against the Earthquakes as a member of the Philadelphia Union, providing the lone score from the penalty spot in the 76th minute of a 1-0 home victory on April 30, 2011 … Le Toux also has one assist in seven games against the Quakes, while playing for Seattle in 2009 … Midfielder Davide Chiumiento has one goal and one assist in two matches … Goalkeeper Joe Cannon is 1-4-4 with two shutouts in nine career appearances against his former team, and is 0-0-1 with two saves as a member of the ‘Caps.

Earthquakes – Vancouver Whitecaps FC Connections
Vancouver goalkeeper Joe Cannon played for San Jose from 1999-2002 and 2008-10 … He also played under current Earthquakes head coach Frank Yallop with the LA Galaxy in 2007 … Cannon played his college soccer at Buck Shaw Stadium as a former All-American at Santa Clara University (1995-97) … Cannon grew up in Los Altos Hills and attended Saint Francis High School in Mountain View, Calif. … Yallop spent part of his youth in Vancouver from age 10-16, later earning 52 caps for the Canadian men’s national team before serving as its head coach from 2004-06 … Earthquakes assistant coach Mark Watson is a native of Vancouver … Earthquakes midfielder Shea Salinas played for Vancouver Whitecaps FC in 2011 after being selected by the club during the 2010 MLS Expansion Draft … Salinas was traded from Vancouver to San Jose on Nov. 30, 2011, in exchange for allocation money … Salinas and Vancouver defender Jordan Harvey played together with the Philadelphia Union in 2010 … Harvey is a California native (Mission Viejo) who attended UCLA … Whitecaps FC midfielder John Thorrington was a teammate of Quakes players Jon Busch (2007-09) and Tim Ward (2009-10) with the Chicago Fire … San Jose defender Justin Morrow and Vancouver defender Greg Klazura were teammates at Notre Dame from 2007-09 … San Jose midfielder Anthony Ampaipitakwong and Vancouver midfielder Michael Nanchoff were teammates at Akron for four years from 2007-10, leading the Zips to their first national championship in 2010 … Ampaipitakwong also played with ‘Caps rookie forward Darren Mattocks at Akron as a senior in 2010 … Mattocks, who is not expected to be available on April 7, and Earthquakes midfielder Khari Stephenson are both Jamaican nationals … Earthquakes midfielder Sam Garza and Vancouver defender Michael Boxall played together at UC Santa Barbara during the 2010 season … Boxall and Earthquakes goalkeeper coach Jason Batty were both born in Auckland, New Zealand, and have represented their country at the senior international level … Earthquakes midfielder Simon Dawkins (Edgware) and Vancouver midfielder Matt Watson (Bromsgrove) are both natives of England … Earthquakes goalkeeper Jon Busch (1994-96) and Vancouver midfielder Floyd Franks (2002-05) both played at UNC Charlotte … NBA All-Star Steve Nash of the Phoenix Suns, a member of the Vancouver Whitecaps FC ownership group, played basketball at Santa Clara University.

Joe Cannon Returns
Long-time Earthquakes goalkeeper and Bay Area native Joe Cannon will return to San Jose for the third time since being selected by Vancouver Whitecaps FC in the 2010 MLS Expansion Draft. Cannon visited San Jose for an MLS Reserve League contest on March 22, 2011, a match the Quakes won, 2-1, and was back at Buck Shaw Stadium for a 2-2 draw with the Quakes last July 20. During his career with the Earthquakes (1999-2002, 2008-10), Cannon started 171 games, won the MLS Cup in 2001, and earned MLS Goalkeeper of the Year distinction in 2002. He still holds the club’s all-time goalkeeping records for appearances, starts, minutes, saves, wins and shutouts. Cannon earned the MLS Save of the Week award for Whitecaps FC in Week 2 and Week 3, the latter a diving effort to his right to tip away a header that skipped low off the ground by D.C. United’s Hamdi Salihi in the 67th minute of what ultimately was a scoreless draw on March 24. The 37-year-old Cannon is now in his 15th MLS season.

Wondo Unkind to Neighbors From the North
In eight games against Canadian opposition as an Earthquakes player, Chris Wondolowski has tallied nine goals. He 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, topping 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. His other three strikes against Canadian foes came in San Jose’s two matches a year ago against expansion side Vancouver Whitecaps FC, this Saturday’s opponent. Following the upcoming home date with the ‘Caps, Wondolowski and the Earthquakes still face three more matches with Canadian sides in 2012, with two road trips to Vancouver and one to expansion side Montreal Impact.

Quakes in the Community

Get Earthquakes Fit Presented by Kaiser Permanente Closing Ceremony Assembly
Who: Earthquakes goalkeeper Evan Newton
What: Newton will congratulate students for completing the five-week fitness program and talk to them about how he maintains an active and healthy lifestyle and the types of healthy foods he likes to eat. After the presentation, he will sign autographs for all the kids.
When: Tuesday, April 3, at 1:30 p.m.
Where: McKinley Elementary School, 651 Macredes Avenue, San Jose 95116
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 in their third- and fourth-grade curriculum.

Comcast Spring Break
Who: Earthquakes player TBD
What: An Earthquakes player will be signing autographs and mingling with fans. The Earthquakes Street Team will also be in attendance, with the Earthquakes inflatable slide and Earthquakes booth.
When: Thursday, April 5, at 2:30 p.m.
Where: Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, 400 Beach Street, Santa Cruz 95060
Details: Hit the beach for Comcast Spring Break at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. Enjoy the beach, rides, interactive games, celebrity appearances and live music. Visit http://beachboardwalk.com/springbreak for more information.

Miscellaneous Notes

Earthquakes Take Second Straight Road Victory at Seattle Sounders FC, 1-0
Chris Wondolowski buried a 24th-minute penalty kick and Jon Busch kept his third shutout already of 2012 as the Earthquakes posted a 1-0 victory over host Seattle Sounders FC at CenturyLink Field on Saturday night, March 31. The game’s lone goal came after Sounders defender Marc Burch was called for a foul against Steven Lenhart inside his own penalty area. Wondolowski, again the Quakes’ leading scorer with four goals through four contests, sent Seattle goalkeeper Michael Gspurning to the opposite side of his hard shot to the right netting. Busch made a season-high six saves, including a pair of incredible stops late on top Sounders threat Fredy Montero in the 70th and 84th minutes. The result meant that the Earthquakes took a maximum six points from their two-game road stretch without allowing a single goal in 180 minutes of play, returning to San Jose with a share of first-place in the Western Conference standings.

Road Stretch Rewind
In winning back-to-back games on their just-concluded two-game road stretch, the San Jose Earthquakes recorded several notable achievements … San Jose has kept back-to-back clean sheets and consecutive road shutouts for the first time since Oct. 2 (0-0 at Columbus) and Oct. 9, 2010 (2-0 at D.C. United) … San Jose has three shutouts through four games in 2012 after producing just one over its final 15 games a year ago … The Quakes already have two road victories in 2012 after winning just three times away from home in 2011 … They have back-to-back road wins for the first time since Sept. 5 (2-1 at Houston) and Sept. 25, 2010 (3-2 at Toronto FC) … The Quakes won road games in consecutive weeks for the first time since Aug. 8 (1-0 at Kansas City) and Aug. 13, 2003 (3-0 at Dallas) … San Jose has come out on top in its first two road games to open a season for the first time since 2003, having previously done so in 1999 … The Quakes have never won their first three road games to begin a season … The Quakes have earned the most points (9) over their first four games to start a new campaign since 2003, when they picked up 10 points from a 3-0-1 run for openers en route to their second MLS Cup … The nine points thus mark their second-best four-game haul in club history … With just one goal conceded through four games, this is the best four-game defensive start in club history … Through 360 minutes of play this season, the Earthquakes have still yet to concede a goal during the run of play … The Quakes now have a pair of 1-0 victories in 2012 after going through the entire 34-game MLS schedule in 2011 without one … San Jose is 2-1-0 in one-goal decisions this season after posting a 2-7-0 mark in such games a year ago … Entering the match in Seattle at halftime, Jason Hernandez made his 2012 debut and 100th appearance in an Earthquakes uniform … Alan Gordon also made his 2012 debut as a second-half substitute against the Sounders, playing in his first MLS game since Aug. 6, 2011 … Chris Wondolowski’s game-winning goal was his third already this season and 18th of his career, improving on his club record and moving him into a tie for 14th on the all-time league chart … Jon Busch’s 63rd career shutout moved him into sole possession of seventh in the MLS record book, one behind former Quake Pat Onstad.

Home Sellout Streak at Buck Shaw Continues
The San Jose Earthquakes remain on a club-record streak of seven straight sellouts inside Buck Shaw Stadium. The Quakes extended their stretch of consecutive sellouts at their regular home venue in Santa Clara with another capacity crowd (10,525) on hand for MLS First Kick 2012 against the New England Revolution on March 10. The streak dates back to San Jose’s game against D.C. United on July 30, 2011, and also includes matches 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.

Opara Completes Stint With U.S. U-23 Men’s National Team
Earthquakes defender Ike Opara played the full 90 minutes at center back of all three matches during group play for the U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team during the CONCACAF Men’s Olympic Qualifying tournament, but the U-23 MNT fell short of the desired result of entry into the 2012 Olympic Games. The U.S. was tasked with defeating El Salvador in its third match at LP Field in Nashville, Tenn., on March 26 in order to secure a berth in the tournament semifinals at LiveSTRONG Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kan., on March 31, with the two semifinal winners earning trips to England this July. A goal in the fourth minute of stoppage time, however, produced a 3-3 final and eliminated the U.S. (1-1-1, 4 pts.) from contention for one of those two spots. In the U.S.’s 6-0 defeat of Cuba to open the competition on March 22, Opara assisted on the game’s fifth goal by Freddy Adu in the 62nd minute. 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.

Earthquakes Reserves Blank Timbers, 1-0, to Open Reserve League Season
The San Jose Earthquakes edged the Portland Timbers, 1-0, in the 2012 MLS Reserve League opener for both sides on Tuesday, March 27, at the Earthquakes Training Facility in San Jose. Jean-Marc Alexandre struck a left-footed shot from distance for the game’s lone goal in the 53rd minute, with assists going to Alan Gordon and Anthony Ampaipitakwong. David Bingham made four saves in preserving the shutout in goal. Center back Jason Hernandez captained the side, with the match also marking Gordon’s return to competitive action after multiple surgeries had kept him out at length. The veteran striker rejoined the Quakes at training on March 19. The Earthquakes reserves (1-0-0, 3 pts.) next host the Vancouver Whitecaps FC reserves (0-0-1, 1 pt.) on Sunday, April 8, with future home dates set for May 14, Aug. 12 and Sept. 4. All home matches are scheduled to kick off at 11 a.m. at the Earthquakes Training Facility. Reserve League games in San Jose are open to the public and free of charge.

Earthquakes Select Noama Iftekhar as BAASST Program Honoree
The San Jose Earthquakes selected Wilcox High School senior Noama Iftekhar as their recipient of a $3,000 scholarship in conjunction with the Bay Area All-Star Scholarship Team (BAASST) Program. Iftekhar was presented with her scholarship check by Q and Quakes community relations representatives during a surprise ceremony in front of classmates and teachers at her school in Santa Clara on Thursday, March 22. The Earthquakes had previously announced their partnership with BAASST, joining the Golden State Warriors, Oakland Athletics, Oakland Raiders, San Francisco 49ers, San Francisco Giants and San Jose Sharks in awarding a $3,000 scholarship to a deserving college-bound student on behalf of the Earthquakes Community Fund. In addition to earning the prestigious award, the recipients are recognized during ceremonies at the various home venues of the participating teams around the Bay Area.

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 five goals through four games, the current donated total for the new season stands at $1,250. 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 has a team-leading four goals through four 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.

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

Highlights for Academy Quartet
Earthquakes Youth Development Academy products Cristian Cruz, Angel Heredia, Julio Cervantes and Christian De Luna had memorable weeks. Cruz, who has two goals in 19 appearances for the U-16 side this season, completed a week-long training camp with the U.S. U-18 Men’s National Team at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., on April 1. Heredia, a member of the U-16 team, was just named on April 2 as one of five midfielders on the 18-player U.S. U-17 Men’s National Team roster for the 40th Mondial Minimes in Montaigu, France. The squad traveled to France on April 1 for the 12-team tournament that runs from April 4-9. Cervantes, who leads the U-18s with six goals in 15 matches, and De Luna, a defender who has started 19 times for the U-16s this season, each made their MLS Reserve League debuts as second-half substitutes during the Earthquakes’ 1-0 home win over the Portland Timbers on March 27.

Earthquakes Youth Academy Sends Pair of Squads to Dallas Cup XXXIII
Two Earthquakes Youth Development Academy teams flew to Dallas, Texas, over the weekend to compete in the Dr Pepper Dallas Cup XXXIII, which staged its Opening Day festivities on Sunday, April 1. The two Quakes representatives will compete in the U-15 and U-14 age groups, and are comprised of core members of the U-14 and U-16 Academy sides, as well as Pre-Academy players from throughout Northern California. Both squads will play three group-stage games on April 2, April 3 and April 4, needing to win their groups to advance to the knockout rounds. Dallas Cup is the largest and most prestigious international youth soccer tournament in the U.S. Visit dallascup.com to follow the Quakes Academy’s progress.

Academy U-18s and U-16s Idle
The Earthquakes U-18s and U-16s did not play this past weekend. Both academy squads are off again in the coming week before continuing their lengthy road stretches with a pair of divisional games in the state of Washington, April 14-15.