Earthquakes Cruise past NY Red Bulls

10 05 2010

San Jose made it look easy against the Red Bulls Saturday night at Buck Shaw, handing New York a 4-0 beat down. Couples of notes from the game before you read the game story (and give Frank Yallop a little time with the video):

• The Sharks locked up a spot in the WCF last night with a 2-1 win. As we headed in to interview the Earthquake players after the game the T.V in the dressing room had the game on. I, and the rest of the media, members watched the final five minutes. My favorite part was when a toweled Joe Cannon, after giving fist bumps to his teammates, sat in front of us on one of the recliners and caught some of the game like a true SJ fan.
• Shout out to the Earthquakes fans — the paid attendance was 9,711 … not too shabby considering a certain team in the Bay Area who’s having trouble getting people to the go to their park. Even today, Sunday, with Dallas Braden’s perfect game, only 12,000 made it to the Coliseum. Step your game up, Oakland. San Jose fans have shown they’ll fill up the seats … even for soccer. Can you imagine how many fans they’d bring if they had a team in San Jose?
• Another shout out to the San Jose Earthquake players. They make a great effort to reach out to the fans. Post game you can see several signing hundreds of autographs as they trickle into the locker room. You can’t ask more from a sports franchise. Story time. Stick until the end and catch some Chris Wondolowski video.

Earthquakes cruise past the Red Bulls
By Julio Lara * Daily Journal Staff

 Two weeks in a row a team with double-digits points has walked into Buck Shaw stadium to face the San Jose Earthquakes. And for two straight weeks, they’ve left with nothing — no goals, zero wins.

Their latest performance against the New York Red Bulls, a team that came into Saturday’s match with a 5-1-0 record, was the most impressive yet for the Quakes. An early break led to a man advantage for 77 minutes of play and San Jose took full advantage cruising to a 4-0 victory.

It’s been a while since you can use “cruising” and “Earthquakes” in the same sentence; but that’s exactly what San Jose did Saturday night.

“I think tonight is exactly how I wanted (us) to play,” said head coach Frank Yallop. “I think we have to, especially at home, we have to be the aggressor. This team is starting to believe that they can dominate teams here. I think we have to make it difficult for anybody to play here.”

The win moves the Earthquakes to 4-2-0 and 12 points — a total they didn’t reach until 14 games into the 2009 season.

It was a great win considering that at times, it’s difficult to do what you’re “supposed” to in sports.

Saturday night the Earthquakes were expected to compete at home against one of the East’s best teams — but that all changed 13 minutes in when Luke Sassano’s reckless foul on Bobby Convey led to a straight red card and expulsion from the game.

Now with a man advantage the whole dynamic of the game changed — anything less than a win would have been disappointing.

San Jose wasted no time in putting the pressure on New York. Ryan Johnson and Andre Ruiz had good scoring opportunities midway through the first half with the Quakes dominating possession.

Despite their play the Quakes looked like they were headed into halftime to nothing to show for their work. That is, until their last offensive wave in the 44th minute. In it, Convey curled a beautiful ball to Johnson who one-timed it into the New York net for the 1-0 lead. As passes go, Convey’s couldn’t have been hand-placed any better. It was the start of a terrific night for the midfielder, who finished the contest with three assists.

“It was just a good build-up play by us,” Johnson said. “Those things are what we work on at practice. It’s nice that it’s finally paying off. I can’t be nothing but satisfied tonight.”

The goal was the first of the season for Johnson who led the Quakes in scores in 2009.

San Jose might have played their best offensive half of the year in the game’s final 45 minutes.

Their three goals were all scored in different ways, displaying great versatility on offense.

The first score came on a terrific individual effort by Joey Gjertsen in the 54th minute that featured a great cut back to his right and a strong finish from just inside the box that snuck underneath the New York goalkeeper.

The second was a sensational transition goal in which Convey led a fast-break style offense down three-quarters of the pitch. Ramiro Corrales received credit for a pinpoint low cross that Chris Wondolowski tapped in at the doorstep for the 3-0 advantage. The goal was the fourth in four starts for the white-hot Wondolowski.

“You have to chalk (the goal) up to the teammates,” Wondolowski said. “Ramiro just put it on the platter for me (with a) great ball across and I just had to tap it in.”

The exclamation point of the half came in the 85th minute on a corner kick that Bobby Burling headed in for his first of the season.

At the heart of all the San Jose scores was Convey, who is enjoying arguably his best season as an Earthquake.

“He’s right back to where he was three, four years ago (when he was) playing in England,” Yallop said. “He feels good now so expect good things from Bobby over the season. And they will be there.”

Lost in the offensive output by the Earthquakes was their defensive effort. Joe Cannon collected his third straight MLS shutout at home. He faced only two shots in the second half.

“Obviously the red card for them makes a difference in the match,” Yallop said. “But I think sometimes you don’t tend to play well when that happens. I think we played our best game, just in ball movement and the desire to win it.”

“It’s easy to feel confident when the team is playing so well,” Wondolowski said. “I’m just able to do my part, just try to add some energy, try to keep the ball for us. The team does a great job, fighting, scraping, and today I think we kept the ball really well.”