The Quakes have come to the end of another tiring 3-game week with a close loss in Vancouver.
After home wins against Real Salt Lake and FC Dallas, it was disappointing not to come away with at least a point; fortunately, those Quakes who are not playing in the MLS All-Stars game Wednesday will have a week to rest before hosting the Chicago Fire next Saturday at Buck Shaw Stadium.
Newly-minted Whitecap Dane Richards opened the scoring in the 20th minute. San Jose, once again playing without starters Steven Lenhart and Ramiro Corrales, did not allow that lead to stand for too long though. Alan Gordon, proving that Gordon Time can happen at any time, responded in the 38th minute with a signature header to put the Quakes level at 1-1.
The game was ultimately decided by a somewhat questionable call that led to a penalty kick for Vancouver in the 62nd minute. Camilo went down after a slide tackle in the box from Sam Cronin. Referee Jair Marrufo did not initially signal a foul; however, after discussion with his assistant ref he pointed to the spot. Although Vancouver had not scored on a PK so far this season, Barry Robson made no mistake in powering his shot past Quakes keeper Jon Busch to put his team up 2-1.
That penalty kick seemed to throw the Earthquakes off their game a bit for the next 10 minutes or so; however, as is their wont, they kicked it into high gear in the last minutes of the match. Despite a flurry of activity in Vancouver’s defensive half, including a couple free kicks from good spots, San Jose was simply unable to snatch an equalizer.
A loss is always disappointing–at home or on the road–wherever you sit in the standings. However, the Quakes have worked hard enough and put enough of a cushion between them and their closest followers that this loss does not affect their first place status. In fact, they still have a good 4 points on Real Salt Lake.
As was mentioned above, four of the Earthquakes will now take the trip to Philly and turn their attention to some rather intimidating opponents, Chelsea FC of the English Premier League. Chris Wondolowski, Steven Beitashour, Ramiro Corrales, and Justin Morrow were all selected to be a part of the All-Stars team that will face off against the Champions League victors. In keeping with their success so far this season, San Jose is supplying more players to the roster than any other team.
Image courtesy of mlssoccer.com