SAN JOSE, Calif. - The San Jose Earthquakes defeated the Houston Dynamo 1-0 Saturday night at Avaya Stadium to extend their unbeaten streak at home to seven and move above the playoff line. Earthquakes forward Danny Hoesen scored his third goal of the season in the 33rd minute to secure the Quakes' three points.
Forward Chris Wondolowski made his 251st appearance for San Jose during the match, breaking the club record set by Ramiro Corrales. He is just the 10th player in MLS history to make more than 250 appearances for a single club.
With the win, the Earthquakes improved to 8-1-5 at home this season and surged from seventh place in the Western Conference to fifth, passing FC Dallas and tonight's opponent Houston. The Quakes have only lost one game at home in their last 16 MLS regular season matches.
The Quakes hit the road to take on D.C. United on Saturday, Sept. 23 at 4 p.m. PT. The inter-conference showdown will be the broadcast live on NBC Sports California, KNBR 1050 and 1370 KZSF.
MLS Regular Season
San Jose Earthquakes 1 - 0 Houston Dynamo
Sept. 16, 2017 - Avaya Stadium in San Jose, CA
Scoring Summary: SJ - Danny Hoesen (Kofi Sarkodie, Marco Ureña) 33.
Misconduct Summary: SJ - Kofi Sarkodie (caution) 36; HOU - Tomas Martinez (caution) 53; HOU - Alberth Elis (caution) 81; SJ - Andres Imperiale (caution) 86; HOU - A.J. DeLaGarza (caution) 91.
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES: Andrew Tarbell; Shea Salinas, Andres Imperiale, Francois Affolter, Kofi Sarkodie; Vako (Tommy Thompson 65), Florian Jungwirth, Jackson Yueill, Danny Hoesen; Marco Ureña (Quincy Amarikwa 86), Chris Wondolowski.
SHOTS: 15, SHOTS ON GOAL: 5; SAVES: 4; FOULS: 12; CORNER KICKS: 5, OFFSIDES: 1.
HOUSTON DYNAMO: Tyler Deric; Adolfo Machado, Leonardo, DaMarcus Beasley, A.J. DeLAGarza; Boniek Garcia, Juan Cabezas, Tomas Martinez (Vicente Sanchez 70); Romell Quioto, Erick Torres (Mauro Manotas 78), Alberth Elis.
SHOTS: 15; SHOTS ON GOAL: 4; SAVES: 4; FOULS: 13; CORNER KICKS: 4; OFFSIDES: 2.
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES HEAD COACH CHRIS LEITCH
On his impressions of the game:
"It's nice to be at home and to get a win. First impressions, I think we slowly worked ourselves into the game. In the first half, we ended up controlling the game. It was good to see 11 guys that wanted the ball. Our movement was really good. We started to sniff how to become more dangerous in that game. If you ask me specifically about the first half, I thought it was a very professional first half. It's good to see that when you know it's a big game."
On the decision whether to play Vako on the wing or closer to goal:
"He's goal-dangerous anytime he's on the field. He had a couple get away from him, but he's goal dangerous anytime he's close to the goal, which is where I like him. He's also skilled at beating a player as well. If you could stick him close to the goal and make sure that the other guys give him service, that would be great, but you're also saying could you drop in the hole a bit and get more touches. It's a balance somewhere in there. He's a creative, technical, intelligent player."
On the importance of this win towards the goal of the playoffs:
"I thought that in the game as a whole you could tell that the team wanted this tonight. They want to build on this. You could just tell that. I didn't have to say a whole lot. I could feel it when the boys came in today."
On Danny Hoesen's scoring:
"It's great. It goes to the competition within the team. He's probably been on the wrong end of the decision on my part of picking another guy over him potentially. Credit to him. He has trained and been extremely professional through all of this and has pushed himself and others. I have all the confidence in the world giving him the start tonight. Kofi Sarkodie played a great ball in from the wing for sure, but I thought his touch was first class. You like to see big players show up in big games, and tonight Danny obviously made a big impact with his goal."
On his confidence in Jackson Yueill in the central midfield:
"You start him in an MLS match with everything on the line. Words can't describe it. It's more of the action. He has a huge responsibility right there next to Florian Jungwirth who hasn't played there. We don't necessarily have a ton of options in there, but those two guys plugged up some holes and put in some good shifts."
On Chris Wondolowski earning his record 251st Quakes appearance:
"You can't even talk about how important he is. He is so important in so many ways. He is a leader in every sense of the word. When your best player and your captain is also the guy that works the hardest and stays the longest at training and continues to make the extra defensive run time after time as you saw tonight, you can't ask for much more than that. That's a pretty humongous record that he broke this evening, and it couldn't have happened to any other guy. That's why he has the record. He's the most fit to have the record."
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES FORWARD CHRIS WONDOLOWSKI
On setting the Quakes record for most games played:
"Yeah, it's pretty cool. Still sinking in. Great to get that win. I think that tonight's win kind of embodies this team and what we are trying to accomplish."
On the team's performance:
"I think that tonight it kind of was grinded out. It was grind out three points, but also, it had bits and pieces of what we wanted to show. I thought we connected passes well. I thought we linked up and had good possession. We created a lot more opportunities than maybe 1-0, but I think that we need to do better to finish them off. But one was enough tonight and I think it's almost good, especially this time of year. We preach it was a playoff-esque game and I think that it kind of grinded out."
On whether he was aware of reaching the most games played record beforehand:
"No, this one really sneaks up on you. I saw my first appearance when I came on and I remember that like it was yesterday. I really do. It's crazy to think that it was 250 in between there and I remember each one pretty vividly. If you tell me the game, I'll tell you what happened. It's pretty crazy to think about that."
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES FORWARD DANNY HOESEN
On his first touch that led to his goal:
"I think it was pretty perfect. I think was straight in my stride and I could slot it in the goal, so it was a good goal I think."
On scoring tonight:
"It feels great. Obviously, I was not happy to be on the bench. Nobody's happy to be, but when you get a chance to play again, you have to try and help the team and you want to score and make it hard for the coach to put you on the bench again."
On playing in various positions this season:
"I've played in a few different positions. Sometimes I didn't play, so it's a good learning season for me, as well. I got to know myself a little bit better as a player. But yeah, different positions, how you have to play there and how you have to handle different situations. Obviously, I want to play in the number nine spot, but if the coach needs me to be somewhere else, he's the boss and he decides, so I'm happy to work for the team wherever."