COMMERCE CITY CO (Saturday April 19 2008) – The Colorado Rapids lost to a Western Conference opponent for the first time this season as they fell 2-0 against the San Jose Earthquakes at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park Saturday night.
With the win the expansion Earthquakes captured their first victory of the season and held the Rapids scoreless for the first time all year.
Christian Gomez had the first scoring opportunity of the match in the first minute. The Argentine’s shot went just wide of Joe Cannon’s goal.
In the 26th minute Gomez picked up the ball in the right channel. He played a cross to fellow countryman Facundo Erpen but the defender’s header went over the goal.
A minute later Colin Clark was put behind the Quakes' defense on a quick free kick by Gomez. The Fort Collins native took a low angle shot that went wide of the post.
Ronnie O’Brien had San Jose’s first scoring opportunity in the 30th minute. The Irishman was wide open on the back post faked a shot and pulled the ball to his left foot and shot wide of Bouna Coundoul’s net.
Clark flashed across the Earthquakes box in the 35th minute but was unable to redirect the cross on goal.
Coundoul made his first save in the 37th minute when he pushed a Kei Kamara shot wide. He made his second a minute later as he pushed another Kamara shot onto the crossbar. The ball rebounded high in the air and was blown back towards goal by the wind but it was cleared by Stephen Keel.
O’Brien scored the first goal of the year for the Earthquakes when he put his own rebound into the net in the 43rd minute.
In the 45th minute Omar Cummings drove a ball into the box from the corner of the penalty area but the shot was smothered by Cannon and no rebound was given.
The Rapids made two changes to start the second half and switched their formation to a 3-5-2 as Herculez Gomez and Rafael Gomes entered the match.
The switch paid immediate dividends as both Clark and Herculez had shots early in the second stanza. San Jose then countered with a substitution of their own in Joe Vide with the defender coming on for forward Gavin Glinton.
Kamara doubled the Earthquakes' lead when he snuck a shot under an onrushing Coundoul after he beat Erpen to a ball in the 61st minute.
In the 68th minute Nick LaBrocca who scored the Rapids’ lone goal last weekend was going for goal and fired off a superb blast that saw Cannon get just enough of his shot to push it off the woodwork.
Tom McManus saw his 82nd minute header off a Terry Cooke cross saved by Cannon. Minutes later the Scot took a long pass off the half-volley turned and fired a shot that barely missed over the goal.
San Jose would hold on through five minutes of added time for their first win of the season.
SJ – O’Brien (Riley) 43
SJ – Kamara (Grabavoy) 61
Colorado Rapids – Bouna Condoul Kosuke Kimura (Rafael Gomes 45) Stephen Keel Facundo Erpen Jose Burciaga Jr. Terry Cooke Nick LaBrocca John DiRaimondo (Herculez Gomez 45) Colin Clark Christian Gomez Omar Cummings (Tom McManus 69)
Substitutes not used: Chris Sharpe Kelly Gray Jordan Harvey Jacob Peterson
San Jose Earthquakes – Joe Cannon James Riley Nick Garcia Ryan Cochrane Jason Hernandez Ronnie O’Brien (Shea Salinas 62) Ivan Guerrero Ramiro Corrales (Ryan Johnson 84) Ned Grabavoy Gavin Glinton (Joe Vide 56) Kei Kamara
Substitutes Not Used: Preston Burpo Eric Denton Adam Smarte John Cunliffe
SJ – Garcia (Caution) 43
SJ – Cannon (Caution) 73
Referee: Jozef Batko
Referees Assts.: Peter Manikowski; Greg Barkey
Fourth Official: Abiodun Okulaja