SAN JOSE, Calif. – The San Jose Earthquakes kept a clean sheet and earned a point Sunday afternoon against the Portland Timbers in front of a sellout crowd of 18,000 at Avaya Stadium. San Jose has now recorded a shutout in four of their last five MLS matches at Avaya Stadium.
San Jose was forced to play the match without one of their two starting center backs, Clarence Goodson, due to a left leg injury that he sustained during the Quakes last game against Vancouver Whitecaps FC. His replacement, Jordan Stewart, made his first start of the season at center back, while midfielder Marc Pelosi made his first league appearance at Avaya Stadium, entering the match in the 78th minute.
The Earthquakes nearly got on the board in the 7th minute. Midfielder Shea Salinas sent a cross into the middle of the box to Quakes forward Chris Wondolowski, who was able to sneak behind the Portland back line unguarded. Wondolowski took the shot from only a few yards away, but Portland goalkeeper Adam Kwarasey was able to make the save.
In the 34th minute, San Jose almost found the back of the net again after Salinas chipped a shot from the left side of the penalty area to the back post. The shot narrowly avoided the punch by Kwarasey, but drifted just wide.
In the 47th minute, Portland forward Fanendo Adi hit a low shot, which snuck past Quakes keeper David Bingham, but smacked the far post.
The Earthquakes created another chance in the 61st minute. Quakes defender Marvell Wynne floated in a cross, but midfielder Fatai Alashe’s header went just high.
Two minutes later, San Jose defender Shaun Francis held possession on the left flank, cut back onto his right foot and curled his shot up and over Kwarasey. His shot attempt drifted just long, landing on top of the net.
In the 75th minute, Portland seemed destined to take the lead when a penalty was drawn, but midfielder Diego Valeri’s PK attempt caromed off the crossbar, eventually being cleared out of danger.
San Jose’s next match is against the Houston Dynamo at BBVA Compass Stadium on Saturday, August 8. The match kicks off at 6:00 p.m. PT and will be broadcast live on CSNCA, 1590 KLIV and 1370 KZSF.
MLS Regular Season
San Jose Earthquakes 0-0 Portland Timbers
August 2, 2015 – Avaya Stadium
Scoring Summary: None.
Misconduct Summary: SJ – Shaun Francis (caution) 14; SJ – Jordan Stewart (caution) 88.
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES: David Bingham, Marvell Wynne, Victor Bernardez, Jordan Stewart, Shaun Francis, Fatai Alashe, Cordell Cato (Sanna Nyassi 64), Chris Wondolowski, Matias Perez Garcia (Tommy Thompson 82), Shea Salinas (Marc Pelosi 78), Quincy Amarikwa.
SHOTS: 12; SHOTS ON GOAL: 3; SAVES: 5; FOULS: 16; CORNER KICKS: 11; OFFSIDES: 1.
Portland Timbers: Adam Kwarasey, Alvas Powell (Taylor Peay 46), Nat Borchers, Liam Ridgewell, Jorge Villafana, Will Johnson, Diego Chara, Diego Valeri, Darlington Nagbe, Rodney Wallace (Maximilano Urruti 80), Fanendo Adi (Lucas Melano 66).
SHOTS: 15; SHOTS ON GOAL: 5; SAVES: 3; FOULS: 11; CORNER KICKS: 5; OFFSIDES: 0.
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES HEAD COACH DOMINIC KINNEAR
On the team’s overall play against Portland, and earning a point:
“A point is better than the last month. So we’re happy about that. We definitely had some chances. I thought we played better than we have in a while. That’s the positive of it. Obviously you’d love to have the win. Looking on their side, they missed a penalty kick with about 15 minutes to go, so a little bit of fortune. But I thought overall, our game was much better today and that should be the standard we set for the rest of the season.”
On what specifically he felt was improved:
“Finding Matias’ [Perez Garcia] feet a little bit more. I think we moved the ball better. We got isolated 1-on-1. I thought Shea [Salinas] was very effective in the first half. And at times we were running at the ball a little bit too much. But I thought defensively we were better, our commitment to defending was better and just overall I think our attitude was better.”
On the team’s play in the back with Clarence Goodson out of the lineup:
"I thought we did pretty good. Obviously David [Bingham] makes a real good save on [Lucas] Melano. Other than that, most of the time it was stuff from outside the box – and obviously the penalty kick – but I think at times today we were very good and helpful, and at times their chances came from our hesitations, which is, not to be expected, but you can understand the reason why. But I thought Fatai [Alashe] had a better game today, and that was a part of that, where they weren’t going from defending into attack as easily as it has been. And also we played better with the ball, and that keeps the opposing team away from your goal better.”
On what the result means going forward, facing Houston next:
“It just means we have to build on this. We got one point closer to teams that are more than one point ahead of us. This last month of July, we were playing conference teams and that’s the quickest way to make up ground or the quickest way to lose ground. So it’s a conference opponent, one that’s right above us and we need to start winning games.”
On what it will take to start finishing opportunities:
“The goalie makes a good save. You can’t just say, ‘Hey, get out of the way, I’m shooting, give us a goal.’ And they’re a good defensive team and [goalie Adam] Kwarasey, the more I watch him the more I think he’s a very good goalkeeper. At times we kind of had good buildup play and we let ourselves off the hook by either rushing the shot or making the wrong decision. But I thought we had enough chances to be good for a goal today. So when we cross that line we’ll be celebrating, and hopefully it leads to more in bunches.”
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES GOALKEEPER DAVID BINGHAM
On Diego Valeri penalty kick:
“I was pretty confident on that one. I kind of had a feel of where he was going. We study those guys a couple of times a year. I was standing there and knew I would have it covered. I went the right way, but it just bounced off the cross bar.”
“I think we stepped up our defensive level. The last month, as a whole, has not been where we’ve needed it to be – not to our standard. We know that. We worked on it this week and we knew with Clarence [Goodson] being out that someone was going to have to step in and we feel Jordan [Stewart] did that admirably.”
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES DEFENDER VICTOR BERNARDEZ
“The first half we came out strong with a ton of intensity. We were the better team. By the second half, we cooled off and our fire disappeared. That is why you saw them have chances that they did not have before. We are going to keep fighting and we have to over these last 13 matches. Now we have to shift everything we have to Houston.”
On team mentality:
“We are working to get back on track. We need to come out strong in August as we are playing the teams we need to catch. It would have been more of a disappointment if we lost on a penalty kick. We deserved a better result than that. Like I said, now we have to finish those chances and take that out on Houston.”