Match Preview: Colorado Rapids vs San Jose Earthquakes

April 19, 2014 (WEEK 7, MLS Game #56)
4 p.m. MT/6 p.m. ET (Altitude; CSN-BA)

The Colorado Rapids return home following a two-game Canadian tour for a key Western Conference match against the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday afternoon at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. The Rapids are coming off their first-ever victory at Toronto FC, a 1-0 win last weekend. The Quakes are still looking for their first victory of the season, hitting the road after a 1-1 draw with the Columbus Crew at Buck Shaw Stadium.


REFEREE: Edvin Jurisevic. AR1 (bench): Mike Rottersman; AR2 (opposite): Scott Kachmarik; 4th: Tyler Ploeger
MLS Career: 70 games; FC/gm: 22.5; Y/gm: 3.4; R: 9; pens: 10


ALL-TIME (54 meetings): Rapids 18 wins (2 shootout), 69 goals … Earthquakes 26 wins (1 shootout), 83 goals … Ties 10
AT COLORADO (27 meetings): Rapids 10 wins (1 shootout), 34 goals … Earthquakes 13 wins (0 shootout), 35 goals … Ties 4
RETURN MATCHES: 5/7: San Jose Earthquakes vs. Colorado Rapids, 7:30 p.m. PT; 9/27: Colorado Rapids vs. San Jose Earthquakes, 7 p.m. MT

5/18: SJ 1, COL 1 (Chavez 78 – Sturgis 26)
6/15: COL 1, SJ 2 (Sturgis 67 – Lenhart 11; Cronin 52)
10/9: SJ 1, COL 0 (Wondolowski 69)

  • The Rapids last defeated San Jose in the first meeting in the 2011 season. The Quakes have won five of the seven meetings since, with two draws, including the last two matches.
  • The Quakes have won on their last three trips to Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. The Rapids haven’t defeated San Jose at home since the 2010 season.
  • Coaches record: Mark Watson v COL: P2 W2 L0 D0 … Pablo Mastroeni vs. SJ: first game


The Colorado Rapids won their second consecutive match on the road, defeating Toronto FC 1-0 on Saturday afternoon at BMO Field. The Rapids are in a tie for second place in the Western Conference with 10 points from five games.


  • The game's lone goal came in the 77th minute. A quick series of passes saw Dillon Serna switch the play to Dillon Powers, who then found Edson Buddle with a well-placed pass though he was surrounded by Toronto FC defenders. Buddle was able to get the ball through for an easy tap-in goal past Julio Cesar.
  • Rapids goalkeeper Clint Irwin made four saves as his club claimed a point for the first time ever in Toronto in seven trips.
  • Rapids head coach Pablo Mastroeni made two changes to the team that claimed a 2-1 come-from-behind win against Vancouver Whitecaps FC at BC Place. Nick LaBrocca and Edson Buddle came back into the side, in place of Kamani Hill and Deshorn Brown.
  • COLORADO RAPIDS (4-4-2): Clint Irwin - Thomas Piermayr, Shane O'Neill, Drew Moor, Marc Burch - Nathan Sturgis (Dillon Serna 74), Dillon Powers, Jose Mari, Nick LaBrocca - Edson Buddle, Gabriel Torres (Deshorn Brown 63).


  • The Rapids had never won on six previous trips to Toronto, and completed a two-game swing through Canada with a pair of victories after opening with the win in Vancouver.
  • “I think any time you can go on the road and get three points against a good Toronto side. I think we played well today. They really threw everything they had at us,” said Rapids defender Drew Moor. “But a lot of character showed from the guys in our locker room. That’s kind of been a theme for us early in the season. This is something to build on for sure.” Said Edson Buddle: “To [win] away, for us, is big. It’s not easy to win [on the road] in this league, and every time you do you have to celebrate.”
  • Buddle scored the 99th league goal of his MLS career vs. Toronto FC, where he played in 2007 (and did not score a goal in 10 appearances). Seven players in MLS history have reached the century mark in goals scored.
  • “There was only a few spells of decent soccer being played out there. The rest of it was grit, rolling up your sleeves, second balls and battles,” said Rapids head coach Pablo Mastroeni. … This game’s not going to be about soccer, it’s going to be about determination and will and fight and getting those second balls and shielding and putting balls in dangerous spots.”
  • The Rapids were without midfielder Vicente Sanchez for a second consecutive match, after he missed the Toronto game while attending the birth of his first child.
  • “We set out to play a decent brand of soccer. You come into places with good teams, difficult conditions and it doesn’t look like the way you’ve drawn it out,” Mastroeni said. “It is a credit to characters on the field, finding ways to get these results.”
  • After starting the first four matches of the season, Deshorn Brown began the match on the substitutes’ bench, coming on for the final 27 minutes as a substitute for Gabriel Torres.
  • “The way I’ve looked at this whole season is a process. I look at the big picture,” Mastroeni said. “(Torres) is coming off a 90-minute performance on turf. Coming here the field is heavy. We had Edson (Buddle) who didn’t play last week. So, what I’m trying to do is get the guys rest and prepared for the next week as well.”


The San Jose Earthquakes were left still looking for their first victory of 2014, reaching a 1-1 draw with the Columbus Crew on Sunday afternoon at Buck Shaw Stadium. The Quakes are in ninth place in the Western Conference with two points from four games.


  • The teams traded goals on either side of halftime. In the 44th minute, Federico Higuain opened the scoring, turning home a neat grounded cross from Waylon Francis from the heart of the area.
  • But the Quakes hit for the equalizer six minutes after the restart. From a corner kick – one of a series to start the second half – Chris Wondolowski ghosted in behind Victor Bernardez’s near-post run and deposited an easy header in the back of the net.
  • Quakes boss Mark Watson made one change to the team that fell 2-1 to the New England Revolution at Buck Shaw Stadium. Alan Gordon came in up top for the injured Steven Lenhart.
  • SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES (4-4-2): Jon Busch - Brandon Barklage (JJ Koval 53), Clarence Goodson, Victor Bernardez, Jordan Stewart - Cordell Cato (Yannick Djalo 46), Jean-Baptiste Pierazzi, Sam Cronin, Shea Salinas - Alan Gordon, Chris Wondolowski


  • It was a fourth draw in six matches in all competitions for the Quakes this year, also reaching a pair of draws in the CONCACAF Champions League, to go with the two draws and two losses in four MLS games.
  • “I was a little disappointed with our start again. That’s something we normally do a better job, starting a game with a lot of energy and jumping all over teams. That’s something we’ll have to address,” said Quakes head coach Mark Watson. “I thought the guys responded well after the break. We sorted a few things out in the locker room, and I thought they responded well to get us back in the game.”
  • Chris Wondolowski has scored three goals in four games to start the season. The Quakes have netted five goals in their four games, tied for second-fewest in MLS with four other teams (New England has scored four). Shea Salinas recorded his third assist of the season on the goal.
  • “Shea [Salinas] whipped in a great ball, got it over to the near post and I was able to flick it in. It’s easy to finish chances when you get service like that. I have to give credit to Shea on that one for playing a great ball in,” Wondolowski said.
  • Yannick Djalo had his longest shift since joining the Earthquakes, coming on as a halftime substitute on the right flank in place of Cordell Cato.
  • “I thought he was great,” Quakes midfielder Sam Cronin said. “I know he was happy to get some significant minutes today. You could see after a sloppy first half that we were a little bit sharper, especially early on in the second half. Everyone’s energy and quality picked up, and a lot of that had to do with him, for sure.”
  • Said Djalo: “My mentality was, I needed to change completely the game when I came in. I’m trying to help the team score goals and make opportunities happen on the field. As the opportunities arise, whatever needs to be done, I try do in that moment to help the team score goals.”
  • There could be another injury concern for the Quakes after right back Brandon Barklage was forced from the field early in the second half.
  • “I think we have to do it as a group,” Watson said. “[Djalo] can certainly help. We have to find a way to start games better as a group. That’s every single player.”
  • Rookie JJ Koval came in to replace Barklage, his fourth appearance in four MLS games, all as a substitute.
  • “He shows the maturity of a guy who’s been in the league for 10 years. He’s a good athlete, has a good understanding of the game tactically and has a good head on his shoulders,” Watson said. “I think he’s played right back twice in his life and they were both with us, without preparation. He’s always adapted well.”