Quakes tie Galaxy 1-1, Los Angeles advances, San Jose's MLS future uncertain
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES FAN CHEERS THE TEAM OFF THE FIELD
LOS ANGELES MIDFIELDER COBI JONES
SJ EARTHQUAKES #14 DWAYNE DE ROSARIO
The San Jose Earthquakes tied the Los Angeles Galaxy 1-1 Saturday, in the second round of the Western Conference Semifinals. Los Angeles advances to the Western Conference Finals with an aggregate goal total of 4-2. The mood was apprehensive for San Jose fans as the waning moments ticked down. Then it turned grim as many realized this could be the last San Jose MLS game played at Spartan Stadium.
A photo gallery with a few photos from the evening is here. Thanks to the Quakes for letting me shoot from the field. More notes and links later today.
Unofficial box score from the SJ Earthquakes:
L.A. Galaxy (1-0-1) vs. S.J. Earthquakes (0-1-1)
October 29, 2005 -- Spartan Stadium
SJ -- Brian Ching 1 (Brian Mullan 1) 42
LA -- Ned Grabavoy 1 (Landon Donovan 1, Peter Vagenas 1) 67
Los Angeles Galaxy -- Kevin Hartman, Chris Albright, Ugo Ihemelu, Tyrone Marshall, Todd Dunivant, Cobi Jones (Ednaldo da Conceicao 78), Paulo Nagamura, Peter Vagenas, Ned Grabavoy (Alan Gordon 72), Landon Donovan, Herculez Gomez,
Substitutes Not Used: Pablo Chinchilla, Steve Cronin, Troy Roberts
San Jose Earthquakes -- Pat Onstad, Kelly Gray (Kevin Goldthwaite 74), Danny Califf, Eddie Robinson, Wade Barrett (Ronald Cerritos 72), Brian Mullan, Ricardo Clark, Dwayne De Rosario, Mark Chung, Brian Ching, Alejandro Moreno,
Substitutes Not Used: Chris Aloisi, Ryan Cochrane, Jon Conway, Julian Nash, Danny O'Rourke, Ian Russell, Chris Wondolowski
total shots: SJ - 18 (Brian Ching 5), LA 6 (Ned Grabavoy 2), shots on goal: SJ - 7 (Brian Ching 2), LA - 3 (Ned Grabavoy 2), fouls: SJ - 15 (Brian Ching 3), LA - 18 (3 tied with 3), offsides: SJ - 1 (Alejandro Moreno 1), LA - 2 (Landon Donovan 2), corner kicks: SJ - 6 (Dwayne De Rosario 3), LA - 1 (Landon Donovan 1), saves: 2 SJ - (Pat Onstad 2), LA - 6 (Kevin Hartman 6).
SJ -- Kelly Gray (caution; Pushing, Holding) 44
SJ -- Ricardo Clark (caution; Pushing, Holding) 89
referee: Alex Prus
Referee's Assistants: Craig Lowry; George Vergara
4th official: Ricardo Salazar
time of game: 1:52
weather: Partly Cloudy -and- 60 degrees
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES HEAD COACH DOMINIC KINNEAR
Quakes 1, Galaxy 1 -- quote sheet - SJearthquakes.com.
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES HEAD COACH DOMINIC KINNEAR
On the game:
"I am very proud of the guys. They created chances and they showed great determination throughout the game. The second goal just wouldn't come. On another night, we might score two or three goals."
On the season:
"I told the guys after the game that they had a great season and they deserved better than this. They played correctly the whole year and gave the effort game in and game out. From week one to week 32 and beyond, I thought we played good, attractive soccer and the guys should feel proud of that."
LOS ANGELES GALAXY FORWARD LANDON DONOVAN
On beating his former team:
"It was a little bit of revenge. They've been nasty to me all year, and I don't think it's warranted or justified, and it's nice to just get it over with."
On the emotion of facing the Earthquakes:
"I needed to get down for this game. I was excited starting last night. But I think we played well. Giving up the first goal hurt us, but Ned's goal just gave us the lift we needed ... That killed them."
Quakes' offensive woes lead to loss - MLSnet.com.
"It was like a shooting gallery out there," said San Jose midfielder Mark Chung. "But no ducks."
[Update] Notes from the game: De Rosario rushed down the right side early in the first half and crushed a shot all the way from the sideline that missed wide by a few feet. Late in the first half, the ref called a yellow card, a phantom penalty that halted a SJ rush, and missed a Galaxy hand ball all in the span of a few minutes. Near the 60th minute, 4 rolls of toilet paper came streaming from the end zone onto the field. Both coaches argued with the official over whether the clock should stop, it did not. The last 20 minutes of the game, Los Angeles did little more than clear the ball as San Jose pressed hard to finish on its numerous scoring chances. The Galaxy held on for a 1-1 tie.
[Update2] Donovan motivated by 'idiots' in stands, Quakes fans now fuel him with jeers instead of cheers - SJ Mercury News.
Landon Donovan credited the fans who tormented him at Spartan Stadium for helping him and the Los Angeles Galaxy sink the Earthquakes.
"It's too bad, because they had a good team, a team that had a chance to be champion," said Donovan. "But the idiots in the stands motivated me to a level I haven't felt in awhile."
This is a little ridiculous. You leave San Jose to fulfill your obligations in Germany, fine. That does not work out and you return to Los Angeles, the arch-rival of the Earthquakes, and San Jose does not receive anything for losing their star player? Be prepared to be booed. Of course there will be a few individuals who take it too far, but most of the "idiots" rushing to the front rail to boo Landon on Saturday were under 16. The prevent offense, and hair-trigger flopping on display at Spartan Stadium will not earn a championship if they have to face Chicago.
[Update3] An unfortunate postscript from Grahame L. Jones of the Los Angeles Times.
For the Earthquakes, meanwhile, the future looks bleak. Saturday night's game could well have been the last in their 10-year history. A phone call from AEG in Los Angeles or from MLS in New York could soon pull the plug on the two-time MLS champions.
Neither the Earthquakes — who drew a playoff record crowd of 17,824 to Spartan Stadium on Saturday — nor the Kansas City Wizards are selling season tickets for the 2006 season. Both teams are expected to be relocated by the league during the off-season.
There is a slight chance that a local buyer could come through at the last minute for the Earthquakes, but the odds on that are not promising.
The San Jose Earthquakes played in the North American Soccer League at Spartan Stadium from 1974-1982, and as a franchise of the Western Soccer Alliance from 1985 to 1988. Pele came out of retirment with the NY Cosmos in 1977 and lost to the Earthquakes 2-1 in a regular season game at Spartan Stadium.
The San Jose Clash joined the MLS as an inaugural franchise in 1994, and began play in 1996. San Jose switched back to the Earthquakes team name in 1999, and later won MLS Cups in 2001 and 2003. In 2005, the San Jose Earthquakes set the record for fewest losses in a season, and won the supporters shield with the best overall record in the MLS [18-4-10].
[Update4] Soccer: Mark Chung considering retirement and other Earthquakes-Galaxy post-game notes - San Jose Mercury News sports blog. And another Hartman watching the ball sail by him photo courtesy of the Soccer Silicon Valley blog.
[Update5] Gone Freddie Gone? - Offwing.
Know this: D.C. United may very well be the flagship MLS franchise. But the folks who run MLS and the U.S. Soccer Federation care more for the game as a whole, than they do about being fair to D.C. United. And if they come to the conclusion that Adu and the state of the sport in America would be better served if he left Washington, expect it to happen in a New York (or L.A.) minute.