Riding a hot start, the Earthquakes returned home to Buck Shaw Stadium to face Vancouver Whitecaps FC. After a breakdown in their solid yet new defense put them down 1-0, the Quakes scored three in the second half to swamp the visiting Whitecaps.
Earthquakes defender Victor Bernardez tracks a bouncing ball.
Whitecaps FC midfielder Davide Chiumiento leaps to control a bouncing ball.
Whitecaps FC midfielder Matt Watson holds off Earthquakes midfielder Tressor Moreno.
My least favorite former US Men’s National Team player (no mean feat) Jay DeMerit captains the Whitecaps:
Whitecaps FC defender Jay DeMerit heads the ball away.
Here DeMerit tries to manhandle (the sum total of his skills) Quakes’ striker Chris Wondolowski before the ball arrives…
Earthquakes forward Chris Wondolowski and Whitecaps FC defender Jay DeMerit battle for position.
…then after it arrives…
Earthquakes forward Chris Wondolowski and Whitecaps FC defender Jay DeMerit battle for the ball.
Earthquakes forward Chris Wondolowski gets behind Whitecaps FC defender Jay DeMerit on his way to scoring a second-half goal.
Jon Busch makes a nice diving save:
Earthquakes goalkeeper Jon Busch makes a diving save.
Earthquakes midfielder Marvin Chavez runs into the Whitecaps defense.
Whitecaps FC defender Jay DeMerit and Earthquakes forward Alan Gordon battle for a header.
After showing promise after the Earthquakes traded for him in 2011, Alan Gordon’s season ended with an injury. His first game back at Buck Shaw produced the winning goal:
Earthquakes forward Alan Gordon celebrates his second-half goal.
Teammates mob Earthquakes forward Alan Gordon after his second-half goal.
Earthquakes forward Alan Gordon celebrates his second-half goal.
The Quakes are off to a 4-1 start, their best in team history. I’m away for the next home game, so I won’t see them again until their May 2nd match against D.C. United.
The U-23 teams full of Olympic hopefuls from Mexico and Senegal faced off at AT&T Park in San Francisco on St. Patrick’s Day. While the score was 2-1 with all goals coming on penalty kicks, Mexico owned the match while Senegal struggled for possession and chances.
Senegal midfielder Souleymane Cisse knocks the ball away from Mexico midfielder Hector Herrera.
Mexico forward Jeronimo Amione leaps to control a pass.
Senegal defender Hadj Sady El Gueye controls a pass.
Mexico midfielder Hector Herrera dribbles by Senegal defender Hadj Sady El Gueye.
Senegal defender Saliou Ciss and midfielder Souleymane Cisse argue a penalty kick call with referee Elias Bazakos.
Senegal midfielder Arthur Yannick Gomisv brings down Mexico midfielder Javier Aquino.
Senegal defender Victor Bindia receives treatment from a trainer.
Senegal goalkeeper Ousmane Mane comes up with the ball.
Mexico midfielder Hector Herrera follows through on a shot.
Mexico goalkeeper Liborio Sanchez makes a diving save.
Senegal midfielder Emile Paul Tendeng carries the ball past Mexico defender Israel Jimenez.
Mexico midfielder Miguel Ponce fouls Senegal midfielder Souleymane Cisse.
Senegal forward Ousseynou Boye winds up for a shot.
In an attempt to get some exposure outside of San Jose, the Earthquakes gave up their home field advantage (the usually packed Buck Shaw Stadium) for a sparse AT&T Park in San Francisco on St. Patrick’s Day.
The only goal of the match came in the 14th minute when Earthquakes goalkeeper Jon Busch and defender Victor Bernardez collided with Dynamo forward Brian Ching at the edge of the San Jose six-yard box. On a play that easily could have been a no-call, referee Chris Penso awarded the Dynamo a penalty kick.
Earthquakes goalkeeper Jon Busch and defender Victor Bernardez foul Dynamo forward Brian Ching in the box.
Earthquakes defender Victor Bernardez and Dynamo forward Brian Ching hold their heads after colliding in the box.
Earthquakes defender Steven Beitashour, goalkeeper Jon Busch, defender Victor Bernardez, and forward Chris Wondolowski argue with referee Chris Penso after Penso awarded Houston a penalty kick.
Dynamo midfielder Brad Davis converts a penalty kick.
The game was hard-fought, but the Quakes just couldn’t get anything going for most of the game, and then started going for broke far too late.
Dynamo forward Will Bruin and Earthquakes defender Steven Beitashour vie for a header.
Earthquakes midfielder Khari Stephenson defends Dynamo midfielder Colin Clark.
San Jose is going to have to do something about Steven Lenhart, who picked up his second yellow card in the Quakes’ first two games. Obviously Lenhart’s job is to be physical, win balls, and lay them off for Wondolowski. But Lenhart isn’t winning balls, and he seems more intent on colliding with opposing players than serving Wondolowski.
Earthquakes forward Steven Lenhart and Dynamo midfielder Geoff Cameron battle for the ball.
Earthquakes forward Steven Lenhart chases after the ball and then looks for a call that was not to be.
Houston committed a few fouls at the edge of their own box late in the game, but made sure not to concede a penalty kick on any of them.
Dynamo defender Andre Hainault brings down Earthquakes midfielder Shea Salinas at the edge of the box.
Dynamo defender Jermaine Taylor brings down Earthquakes forward Chris Wondolowski for a foul.
Earthquakes forward Chris Wondolowski fires a shot with time running down.
The Earthquakes need to get their best 11 on the field at the same time, and it’s possible they will have to change formations to get it right…
Earthquakes defender Ramiro Corrales writhes in pain after a collision.
Earthquakes midfielder Shea Salinas holds his head after his shot went wide.
After an off-season that saw the departure of a few longtime players, the San Jose Earthquakes kicked off the MLS regular season with several new faces they hope will help recreate the success for the 2010 season and not the disappointment of 2011.
Earthquakes goalkeeper Jon Busch prays before the match.
My reflexes were tested early as a Revolution cross came into the box:
Earthquakes goalkeeper Jon Busch makes a save over Revolution midfielder Shalrie Joseph.
Victor Bernardez adds a bit of toughness to the Quakes’ back line:
Earthquakes defender Victor Bernardez pressures Revolution forward Blake Brettschneider.
Marvin Chavez looks to provide a burst of speed to the Quakes’ midfield:
Earthquakes midfielder Marvin Chavez carries the ball.
Rafael Baca came to San Jose in a mid-season trade last year, and displayed great ball skills on the flank:
Earthquakes midfielder Rafael Baca slides for a loose ball.
After his hot start last year, I fully expected Simon Dawkins to return to Tottenham Hotspur, but injuries delayed his plans, and his loan deal was extended another year:
Earthquakes midfielder Simon Dawkins carries the ball.
After starting his professional career with San Jose, Shea Salinas bounced around in two successive expansion drafts, before finding his way home in an offseason trade:
Earthquakes midfielder Shea Salinas holds off Revolution defender Kevin Alston.
Steven Lenhart is back from a long leave of absence, gooning it up but creating a few chances as well:
Revolution defender Kevin Alston knocks Earthquakes forward Steven Lenhart off the ball.
I was pleasantly surprised to see that Ramiro Corrales was back after being moved around a lot last year:
Earthquakes midfielder Ramiro Corrales
Cal grad A.J. Soares didn’t last the full 90, but got off a nice header off a corner kick:
Revolution defender A.J. Soares heads a shot on goal over Earthquakes forward Steven Lenhart.
The Quakes started out with a 1-0 win over the Revolution, but they need to gel quickly to avoid the lull they suffered last year.