Eartquakes deliver Galaxy tough KO
Smile to the camera. Robbie Keane points it out to David Beckham after scoring a beautiful free kick for LA Galaxy
ALO ALTO, Calif. ● The San Jose Earthquakes took the LA Galaxy’s best punch on Saturday – and responded with a knockout of their own.
Down 3-1 just before halftime after conceding three goals in 10 minutes, the Quakes stormed back with their own trifecta of goals – the clincher a mindbending side-foot job by MLS leading scorer Chris Wondolowski – to deliver a pulsating 4-3 victory over the Galaxy in front of a packed house at Stanford Stadium.
San Jose (11-3-3) extended their winning streak to three straight matches in MLS play and improved their hold on the Supporters’ Shield lead, moving three points clear of D.C. United, who took over second place from Real Salt Lake.
Through 41 minutes, the Galaxy (6-9-2) looked like they would walk off with their fourth consecutive victory thanks to goals from David Beckham and Landon Donovan sandwiched around an own-goal by Quakes defender Jason Hernandez.
But Víctor Bernárdez scored his first MLS goal in the 44th minute to give San Jose hope, and Sam Cronin provided an equalizer just two minutes after halftime.
That set the stage for Wondolowski, who broke away from his marker, LA defender A.J. DeLaGarza, and deftly redirected Ramiro Corrales’ flick on from a Marvin Chávez corner kick in the 61st minute.
However, the sellout crowd couldn’t celebrate until San Jose withstood a final push from the Galaxy.
Second-year goalkeeper David Bingham, called upon at the half after starter Jon Busch suffered a swollen left eye in an early collision with Bernárdez, came up with a huge parry in the 74th minute after Beckham burst alone into the Quakes’ penalty area.
San Jose left back Justin Morrow walled off Chad Barrett and smothered a rebound attempt by David Júnior Lopes in the 85th to snuff out the Galaxy’s last best chance.
Lenhart had put the Quakes up in the seventh minute, tapping home a Chávez drive that Saunders could only parry with his right hand, but after early pressure from the Quakes, LA responded magnificently.
Beckham, playing his first match since being omitted from the British Olympic team, ginned up a world-class response to that snub in the 31st minute after Magee was pulled down by Chávez 21 yards from the Quakes goal. A flat-footed Busch could only watch Beckham’s masterfully struck free kick sail into the upper corner at the near post.
Not long after, Hernandez tried to clear Hector Jimenez’s dangerous cross in the 36th minute, but instead knocked it past the helpless Busch to hand the Galaxy the lead.
Donovan then put the Galaxy in the driver’s seat with his 41st-minute score, a clinical finish to make San Jose pay for a bad defensive gaffe.
With the Quakes put under pressure by a probing Beckham delivery, Hernandez sent a back pass to Busch — only to see it intercepted by Mike Magee inside San Jose’s six-yard box. With his back to the goal, Magee fed a square pass to Jimenez, who found Donovan wide-open for his sixth goal this season, and fourth in the last three matches.
Bernárdez pulled the Quakes back from a 3-1 hole with a critical goal just before the half, making a near-post run to meet Chávez’s corner kick with a good dose of malice, beating Saunders to the far side.
Cronin pulled San Jose even after a wild first half, outracing LA goalkeeper Josh Saunders to a nearly 50-yard pass from Steven Beitashour that skipped through the Galaxy defense. Cronin’s sliding touch from 15 yards was enough to beat the onrushing Saunders.
LA went unchanged from the lineup that pasted Vancouver 3-0 a week earlier, featuring the dangerous Designated Player pairing of Donovan and Keane up top.
San Jose, having to do without injured Simon Dawkins, once again moved up captain Ramiro Corrales to left midfield. Rafael Baca, who rested last weekend in order to start against Seattle in a US Open Cup quarterfinal this past Tuesday, returned as the Quakes’ center-of-the-park maestro.
San Jose will return to action on June 3 when they travel to Portland, while LA host the Philadelphia Union on July 4.
Crew 2, Real Salt Lake 0
Tony Tchani scored for the second straight game and Eddie Gaven also tallied and the Columbus Crew defeated Real Salt Lake 2-0 on Saturday.
The Crew (6-5-4) are 4-1-3 in the past eight games while RSL (10-6-2) lost a third consecutive game for the first time since July 2007.
Tchani was 12 yards off goal to convert a pass by Emilio Renteria in the 16th minute.
Gaven doubled the lead in the 44th off a corner kick that began with Chris Birchall. Josh Williams took the ball and passed to Gaven for a shot off the crossbar and in.
The match was delayed an hour because electricity was out at Crew Stadium until Saturday afternoon following Friday’s storms.
Rapids 3, Timbers 0
Jaime Castrillon of the Colorado Rapids celebrates with teammates Marvell Wynne and Omar Cummings
and Conor Casey scored four minutes apart in the first half and the Colorado Rapids defeated the Portland Timbers 3-0 Saturday.
It was Casey’s first goal of the year. Colorado (7-8-1) snapped a two-game losing streak with the win.
Jamie Smith scored in the 89th minute to cap the scoring.
Goalkeeper Matt Pickens earned his fifth shutout of the season. Pickens is the franchise leader with 27 shutouts and has 37 in his career.
Portland (4-7-4) had few chances against Pickens in falling to 0-5-2 on the road this year. The Timbers were shut out for the sixth time this year.
Dynamo 2, Union 1
Brian Ching scored on a penalty kick in the 83rd minute, and the Houston Dynamo held on for a 2-1 win over the Philadelphia Union on Saturday.
Houston (6-5-5, 23 points) won for the second time in its past four games, while Philadelphia (3-9-2, 11 points) has lost three of the past four and six of its past eight games.
Ching knocked the penalty kick just under the crossbar inside the near post and in. Ching drew the penalty kick in the 81st minute after being taken down from behind by Philadelphia’s Gabriel Farfan in the box.
Keon Daniel tied the game at 1-1 in the 46th minute, taking a pass from Brian Carroll in the center of the field, turning and shooting from 25 yards out into the left net.
DC United 3, Impact 0
Chris Pontius scored at the 45-minute mark of the first half and Robbie Russell and Hamdi Salihi added second-half goals and DC United blanked the Montreal Impact 3-0 Saturday night.
United (10-5-3) took sole possession of first place in the Eastern Conference with 33 points as the New York Red Bulls (9-4-4) played to a 1-1 draw against Toronto.
United have won 6 of 8 overall and are unbeaten in their past nine home games.
The expansion Impact (5-10-3) managed just one shot on goal. Montreal has dropped 5 of 7 and is 1-8-1 in road games.
Sounders 2, Revolution 2
Diego Fagundez of the New England Revolution celebrates his last second game-tying goal with goalie Matt Reis
Diego Fagundez headed home a cross from Fernando Cardenas in the fourth and final minute of stoppage time and New England pulled into a tie with Seattle.
The 17-year old Fagundez’s first goal of the season extended an unbeaten streak to four matches (2-0-2) for New England (5-7-4).
Eddie Johnson headed home a pair of goals within a 13-minute span during the first half for Seattle (7-5-5), which had extended its winless streak to eight matches (0-4-4).
Johnson headed home a cross out of the left side from Mauro Rosales in the 23rd minute to tie the match at 1-1 and followed that by scoring his seventh goal of the season in the 36th minute, finishing off a cross from Marc Burch.
Red Bulls 1, Toronto FC 1
Danny Koevermans scored and Toronto FC earned a 1-1 tie with the New York Red Bulls on Saturday night.
Both goals came in the first six minutes of a wide-open game.
Toronto (2-10-3) is 1-1-3 under Paul Mariner, who succeeded Aron Winter as head coach.
Star striker Thierry Henry started for the Red Bulls (9-4-4), after coming off the bench last week as he battled a calf strain. Mexican international Rafa Marquez (thigh) did not dress.
Jan Gunnar Solli tapped in a cross from Brandon Barklage on the right in the fourth minute after the Red Bulls strikers moved to the ball to the flank from the center.