Earthquakes defeat the Galaxy

25 08 2010

So, it’s super late — but it’s worth posting because it is a monster win for San Jose.

Busch saves the day for Earthquakes
By Julio Lara Daily Journal Staff
It’s been an up-and-down year for the San Jose Earthquakes — but they might just have hit their peak.
In what has to be seen as one of the biggest wins since their return to Major League Soccer, San Jose scored early and held on to beat the L.A. Galaxy, the team with the best record in MLS, 1-0, in front a record crowd at Buck Shaw stadium.

The win, coupled with a Colorado loss, propels the Quakes right back into the playoff picture with 29 points.

“For us to get a clean sheet against a team like that, it shows the character we have in our dressing room right now,” said San Jose head coach Frank Yallop. “We picked up three valuable points today. It’s not about how you do it, it’s about getting it done.”

How they did it shouldn’t come as a surprise anymore to anyone that follows the league — with their 8th home shutout in 2010 the Quakes have demonstrated that there might be a tougher team to score on at home than San Jose.

In their latest win the defensive conversation begins and ends with goalkeeper Jon Busch, who was anointed the starter earlier this week after Joe Cannon went down with an ankle injury.

The nine-year MLS veteran was superb between the posts for the Earthquakes, making several key saves including a pair on Landon Donovan, the U.S team star, who is loved and hated around theses parts.

“We knew we could play with them,” Busch said. “They’re probably the best team in the league right now (but) we knew we could compete with them.”

Call it the rivalry, or maybe it’s that San Jose knew that Saturday marked a big stretch of games that could determine their postseason aspirations, but the Quakes seem to have a little extra in the tank when they’ve played against the Galaxy.

Saturday marked the second time that an early goal has fueled San Jose. In Los Angeles, Bobby Convey put the Earthquakes ahead in the second minute. On Saturday Chris Wondolowski was the benefactor of a defensive miscommunication by the Galaxy in the 4th minute.

After receiving a pass by Arturo Alvarez, Convey crossed the ball into the L.A. 18. Galaxy goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts started for the ball but then let up and Wondolowski found himself alone on the end line with the ball at his feet — to his credit San Jose’s leading scorer still had to execute a shot on a difficult angle to convert the score.

Down 1-0, the Galaxy, who came back twice against the Earthquakes in late July to steal a draw, went to work. But at the end of their best efforts was Busch.

Due to injuries, San Jose is still trying to patch things up on their backline — and that showed Saturday.

Three times L.A. was gift-wrapped goals on defensive lapses by San Jose but none greater than in the 39th minute when Donovan was 1-on-1 against Busch. The San Jose keeper went low and to his left to make a marvelous save.

“If that isn’t the save of the week, there must be some amazing save,” Wondolowski said.

“I kind of block everything out,” said Busch on his approach to 1-v-1 opportunities. “I drift off into Jon Busch Land and today, it was a good place to be.”

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