SANTA CLARA, Calif. – For the second time in the first month of the season, the New England Revolution will leave the West Coast with nothing to show for its efforts.
Three weeks after falling to the LA Galaxy in the 2010 season opener at The Home Depot Center, the Revs (2-2-0, 6 pts.) dropped a 2-0 decision to the San Jose Earthquakes (2-1-0, 6 pts.) on Saturday night at Buck Shaw Stadium. The loss snapped a brief two-game winning streak for the Revs, who had won back-to-back games against D.C. United and Toronto FC.
Forward Chris Wondolowski scored what proved to be the game-winning goal in the 57th minute, while rookie defender Ike Opara added an insurance tally – his second goal in as many games – in the 72nd minute to put the game out of reach.
For the third time in four games, the Revs were without the services of influential central midfielder Shalrie Joseph, who re-aggravated a right hip flexor strain while making his 2010 debut against TFC last weekend. Pat Phelan started in place of Joseph, while Marko Perovic made his first start with the Revs as a withdrawn forward behind Zack Schilawski. Central defender Darrius Barnes also made his first start of 2010, replacing Emmanuel Osei in a late switch after Osei was forced out of the lineup with a left foot injury.
San Jose was the livelier side in the opening stages and the hosts twice threatened to take the lead in the first 15 minutes – first through Andre Luiz in the seventh minute and then Wondolowski in the 12th minute – only to be denied by Revolution goalkeeper Preston Burpo both times.
After absorbing the early pressure, the Revs responded with their best chance of the first half in the 19th minute and it was Perovic who was the danger man. The 26-year-old Serbian received a throw-in from Chris Tierney down the left flank and cut past a trio of defenders before rifling a right-footed shot from 20 yards out. The effort forced Earthquakes goalkeeper Joe Cannon into a full stretch, but the shot sailed inches wide of the right post.
Just as he was in the early stages, Burpo was solid when tested again in the 33rd minute. Luiz’s in-swinging free kick from the right wing found the head of Opara at the back post, but Burpo was well-positioned and Opara’s header settled comfortably in the Revolution goalkeeper’s stomach.
The Revs began the second half the brighter side and created their best chance in the 52nd minute from a set piece. Perovic was once again in the middle of the action, whipping an out-swinging corner into the box. The service was met with a diving header by Barnes six yards from goal, but the effort was cleared off the line by an Earthquake stationed on the right post.
Despite the Revolution’s early pressure after the break, it was San Jose which opened the scoring in the 57th minute through Wondolowski. Boston native Ryan Johnson charged toward the box down the right side and slipped a deft pass into the path of Wondolowski, who used his first touch to slide a shot under Burpo.
Johnson threatened to double the Earthquakes’ lead in the 68th minute after dueling with Barnes for a loose ball in the box, but the Revolution defender put him under just enough pressure to force his shot wide.
Just four minutes later, San Jose did double its lead, only it was Opara who ultimately scored the home side’s second goal. Bobby Convey’s curling corner kick found Opara at the back post, and the former Wake Forest defender found the back of the net for his second goal of the season.
New England almost grabbed a consolation goal in stoppage time, but Cannon preserved the shutout with a double-save on second-half substitutes Kenny Mansally and Zak Boggs.
After starting the 2010 season by playing three of their first four games on the road, the Revs will now return to Foxborough for a trio of games at Gillette Stadium. The three-game home-stand will begin on Saturday, April 24, when the Revolution hosts the Colorado Rapids at 7:30 p.m.
New England Revolution (2-2-0, 6 pts.) at San Jose Earthquakes (2-1-0, 6 pts.)
April 17, 2010 -- Buck Shaw Stadium (Santa Clara, Calif.)
SJ - Chris Wondolowski (Ryan Johnson, Joey Gjertsen) 57
SJ - Ike Opara (Bobby Convey) 72
New England Revolution: Preston Burpo, Seth Sinovic (Zak Boggs 82), Cory Gibbs (c), Darrius Barnes, Kevin Alston, Chris Tierney, Pat Phelan, Joseph Niouky, Sainey Nyassi (Kheli Dube 69), Marko Perovic, Zack Schilawski (Kenny Mansally 85)
Substitutes Not Used: Bobby Shuttleworth, Khano Smith, Michael Videira
STATS: Shots 15; Shots on Goal 7; Saves 4; Corner Kicks 4; Offsides 4; Fouls Committed 8
San Jose Earthquakes: Joe Cannon, Ramiro Corrales (c), Ike Opara, Jason Hernandez, Steven Beitashour, Bobby Convey, Andre Luiz, Brandon McDonald, Joey Gjertsen, Ryan Johnson (Ramon Sanchez 92+), Chris Wondolowski
Substitutes Not Used: Jon Busch, Bobby Burling, Brad Ring, Chris Leitch, Justin Morrow, Omar Jasseh
STATS: Shots 14; Shots on Goal 6; Saves 6; Corner Kicks 6; Offsides 3; Fouls Committed 6
NE - Joseph Niouky (caution) 16
Referee: Elias Bazakos
Referee's Assistants: George Gansner, Darren Clark
Fourth Official: Terry Vaughn
Weather: Clear and 67 degrees
- Saturday's match was the 32nd all-time meeting the two teams and the 16th in San Jose.
- With the loss, the Revs are now 11-17-4 all-time against the Quakes and saw their modest two-game winning streak against the club snapped
- The Revolution made three changes to the lineup head coach Steve Nicol used in the last game ... Shalrie Joseph did not make the trip because of injury (R hip flexor), and Pat Phelan was re-inserted into the central midfield ... Marko Perovic entered the starting lineup in place of Kheli Dube at forward ... Darrius Barnes made his first start of the season in place of Emmanuel Osei, who was a late scratch after warm-ups because of a left foot contusion.
- Marko Perovic earned his first starting assignment of his young Revolution career, drawing the start as a withdrawn forward behind Zack Schilawsk ...tonight's match marked his second appearance with the Revs after making a 20-minute substitute showing last week against Toronto FC.
- Emmanuel Osei was originally in the team's starting 11, but was pulled approximately 10 minutes before kickoff with lingering pain form a left foot contusion he suffered earlier this week in training
- Cory Gibbs wore the captain's armband for the third time in four games this season
- With the insertion of Zak Boggs in the 82nd minute, the Revs moved to a 3-5-2 alignment with a backline of Darrius Barnes-Cory Gibbs-Kevin Alston and a midfield of Chris Tierney-Pat Phelan-Marko Pervoic-Joseph Niouky- Zak Boggs and a forward combination of Zack Schilawski and Kheli Dube ... Kenny Mansally came on as a substitute for Schilawski three minutes later.