San Jose Earthquakes milestone alert: Club is one win away from 200

Joe Nuxoll | Center Line Soccer

With a win at Real Salt Lake on Saturday, the San Jose Earthquakes will reach the 200 MLS victories milestone. In last week's CenterLine Report at the club's official website, Robert Jonas highlighted 8 of the most memorable wins from the first 199. And now, with the #Marchto200 back on, he expands the list even further.

Going into last weekend's home match against the Vancouver Whitecaps FC, the San Jose Earthquakes stood on the threshold of making history: one more win and the club could celebrate its 200th MLS regular season victory. Buck Shaw Stadium was packed for the occasion, but the Quakes, peppering the 'Caps defense with 22 shots, had to settle for a scoreless draw. And so, the next chance for San Jose to meet the 200 win milestone comes this weekend, when the Earthquakes travel to Rio Tinto Stadium to face Western Conference darlings Real Salt Lake.

Well, there's always next Sunday at Chivas USA!

While the opportunity to win #200 must certainly be a rallying call for the Quakes, the more immediate impetus is likely to be the need to collect points toward a potential MLS playoff berth. As detailed in this report, the odds are definitely stacked against San Jose, so realistically only a victory keeps the Earthquakes playoffs hopes alive. And that means earning club win #200 in front of RSL's sold out RioT-ous crowd, certainly a result that would go down as one of the most memorable in franchise history.

In the halcyon days following win #199, a solid 1-0 clean sheet win against the visiting Philadelphia Union back on September 8, Earthquakes fans found themselves in a dream state, recalling all the amazing wins that San Jose has put together since the very game of MLS back in 1996. In the CenterLine Report that week, the 8 most memorable club victories were chronicled. With more time to reflect on the history of the ClashQuakes, and with #200 possibly on tap Saturday night, it's a good time to expand that list.

San Jose Clash/Earthquakes (199-191-103): 1996-2005, 2008-2013

#1 - (April 6, 1996) Clash 1, DC United 0 - With a sellout crowd in attendance at Spartan Stadium and an impressive television audience watching from around the nation, San Jose and DC kicked off the start of MLS back in the Spring of '96. DCU, which would eventually go on to win the inaugural MLS Cup (and a second one in as many years the next season), fell victim to a late goal from star U.S. international forward Eric Wynalda that booked San Jose a place in MLS history.



#17 - (April 22, 1997) Clash 4, Galaxy 1 - After being eliminated by Los Angeles in the MLS playoffs the season before, San Jose exacted a measure of revenge in shellacking the Galaxy for the club's first-ever regular season California Clasico victory.



#25 - (August 17, 1997) Clash 3, Galaxy 2 - San Jose wins its first road match against its SoCal rival.



#50 - (July 4, 1999) Clash 1 (3), DC United 1 (2) - When is a draw actually a win? Try the early years of MLS, when the league used a shootout to determine the winner of matched tied at the end of regulation. And on Independence Day 1999, San Jose earned one of its best shootout victories ever. In front of 73,123 soccer fans, the largest crowd ever to watch a San Jose game, gathered at Stanford Stadium as part of a doubleheader with the Women's World Cup, the Clash didn't disappoint in knocking off DC United 3-2 in the shootout. That the U.S. Women defeated Brazil 2-0 that day also provided an indelible highlight for the record crowd.



#59 - (October 6, 1999) Clash 1, Wizards 0 - Perhaps not so important for what happened on the field, this end-of-the-season win against Kansas City marked the end of a four year run when the club carried the moniker the Clash. By the start of the 2000 season, the long-familiar nickname Earthquakes was back on the San Jose uniform, as was the still beloved Blue and Black color scheme. For long-time fans of San Jose soccer, the Earthquakes was the only name that would ever matter


#62 - (June 3, 2000) Earthquakes 4, Rapids 2 - While the Goonies label wasn't instilled until 2012, a game that definitely makes this list, it could easily have been applied to the Quakes all the way back in 2000. Trailing the Rapids 2-1 with the clock entering the 88th minute, the Earthquakes rallied to score 3 goals in 4 minutes to turn the result on its head and give the patient Spartan Stadium crowd the first Goonies moment in club history.



#67 - (April 7, 2001) Earthquakes 3, Galaxy 2 - Of the 199 franchise victories amassed by San Jose, former head coach Frank Yallop earned 99 of them. His first at the helm of the Quakes came in his first game in charge, against the Galaxy no less, and set the tone for the clubs first championship season under the rookie coach.



#75 - (July 14, 2001) Earthquakes 2, Mutiny 1 - In the last ever visit to San Jose by Tampa Bay, the Quakes held on for an important 2-1 victory. The Mutiny would be contracted, along with the Miami Fusion, in the MLS offseason.



#91 - (July 24 3, 2002) Earthquakes 1, Fire 0 - Spartan Stadium was a house of horrors for visiting teams in 2002, as the Quakes put together a 12 game winning streak in front of their home fans. A comprehensive 1-0 shutout win over Chicago marked the last game in that amazing streak as San Jose finished the 2002 season with a 12-1-1 record at home.

#93 - (September 7, 2002) Earthquakes 4, Crew 3 (OT) - After scrapping the much maligned shootout following the 1999 season, MLS instituted the golden-goal overtime period as a way to find a winner in matches that ended regulation in a tie. However, this method was not kind to San Jose, as in 4 years under the format, the Quakes managed a 1-1-28 record. The overtime win against Columbus marked the only regular season golden-goal victory for the Earthquakes.



#100 - (July 19, 2003) Earthquakes 2, DC United 1 - In a season when they had a better road record (7-3-5) than home record (7-4-4), the Earthquakes marked franchise win #100 with a 2-0 victory at DC United.



#107 - (September 27, 2003) Earthquakes 5, Burn 2 - Fans at this game missed a great start for the Quakes as Dwayne De Rosario scored the fastest goal in MLS history (11 seconds into the match!) on his way to recording a hat-trick for San Jose against visiting Dallas.


#110 - (May 22, 2004) Earthquakes 4, Galaxy 2 - Fresh off their second MLS Cup championship in 3 years, the Quakes made easy work of LA at the start of the 2014 season. Headliners Brian Ching, Brian Mullan, and De Rosario all found the back of the net for new coach Dominic Kinnear in the romp.



#120 - (June 18, 2005) Earthquakes 3, Real Salt Lake 0 - With the team still experiencing an early season scoring malady, the visit of expansion RSL to Spartan Stadium was just what the doctor ordered. Three goals matched the highwater mark in the season thus far and ensured the Quakes a solid start to what would be a spectacular summer of results.



#125 - (July 23, 2005) Earthquakes 2, MetroStars 1 - Coming at the midway point of the club's first Supporters' Shield winning season, this summertime affair is most remembered for the courageous comeback by the Quakes. After falling behind by a goal, San Jose stormed back to earn the victory at Spartan Stadium. Amazingly, the club's next home comeback win would not be collected until April of 2012, the year of the Goonies.



#132 - (September 21, 2005) Earthquakes 2, Fire 0 - In just two months, the Quakes doubled their points haul from 28 to 56 in the summer of 2005. Shutting out the Fire 2-0 marked San Jose's sixth home win in a row - something not matched until the present day - as the Quakes built towards a unblemished 9-0-7 season record at Spartan Stadium.

#134 - (October 1, 2005) Earthquakes 2, Revolution 0 - With just 3 games remaining on its schedule, San Jose went into Gillette Stadium with a chance to cement its status as the best team in MLS. New England was racing neck-and-neck with the Earthquakes in the chase for the Supporters' Shield, but this impressive road result virtually guaranteed that the regular season title would go to San Jose. The Shield was clinched a week later when the Revs failed to pick up a needed win, but the Quakes knew it was there's after beating the Revolution.

#136 - (May 22, 2008) Earthquakes 2, Dynamo 1 - In the first regular season battle between the old Quakes and the new Quakes, San Jose came up on top in front of a packed Buck Shaw Stadium and national TV audience on ESPN. Goals from Kei Kamara and Ivan Guerrero made the difference, as they led the team to its first home win as the new Earthquakes.

#138 - (August 3, 2008) Earthquakes 3, Galaxy 2 - After coming up short in the first two Cali Clasicos of the season, the Quakes made amends in this summer classic at the Oakland Coliseum. Scoring twice to take and early lead, LA clawed itself back into the contest, and the match seemed headed to a draw. However, with stoppage time looming, the Quakes pressed forward with numbers, and in the 89th minute, defender Ryan Cochrane stabbed home a loose ball in front of the Galaxy net to send the over 26,000 fans home happy.



#145 - (June 20, 2009) Earthquakes 2, Galaxy 1 - Ho hum, just another win over the Galaxy. This time, LA was without big guns Landon Donovan and David Beckham, but that didn't dampen the enthusiasm of the home support in the Oakland Coliseum.

#146 - (August 2, 2009) Earthquakes 4, Sounders 0 - Avenging a pair of road losses to the MLS newcomers, the Quakes dominated the home leg against the Sounders after Seattle picked up an early red card. San Jose's biggest margin of victory of the season was enough to earn the club the inaugural Heritage Cup.



#150 - (April 10, 2010) Earthquakes 2, Fire 1 - Winning on the road is never easy, but in order to make it to the MLS postseason it is vital. The Quakes did both in 2010, and it all started with this impressive victory in the "Natural Diaster" rivalry.



#160 - (September 25, 2010) Earthquakes 3, Toronto FC 2 - The 2010 season will not just be remembered for the Quakes playoff run to the Eastern Conference championship game, but also for the emergence of Chris Wondolowski as a bona fide MLS superstar. On the road and in front of a hostile crowd, Wondo netted a hat-trick to lead San Jose to an important late season victory against Toronto.

#162 - (October 20, 2010) Earthquakes 3, Chivas USA 0 - As if scoring a hat-trick is not impressive enough, Wondolowski singlehandedly dispatched of Chivas USA by netting thrice - all after coming off the bench as a substitute. Less than a week later, Wondo was celebrating his first MLS Golden Boot award and the Earthquakes were in the MLS Cup playoffs.



#167 - (June 11, 2011) Earthquakes 4, DC United 2 - Continuing the hat-trick theme, it was Steven Lenhart's turn in the stoplight. With Wondolowski away with the U.S. Men's National Team participating in the Gold Cup, Lenhart stepped up and delivered against DC United in the nation's capital.


#170 - (October 22, 2011) Earthquakes 4, FC Dallas 2 - In their last game of the season, the Quakes ran roughshod over the Hoops as a Simon Dawkins brace highlighted an early 4-0 lead. Wondolowski, seeking to capture his second straight Golden Boot but needing one more goal, was constantly fed the ball throughout the second half, but the Quakes MVP just couldn't find the finish he needed.



#175 - (April 21, 2012) Earthquakes 3, Real Salt Lake 1 - A sign of things to come - San Jose would beat Salt Lake three times in 2012 by a combined score of 10-2 - the Quakes broke down a resilient 9-man RSL squad protecting a 1-1 tie and scored twice in stoppage time to earn a big victory. Delirium at Buck Shaw ensued, surpassed in 2012 only by Blond-haired Bedlam against the Fire on Lenhart Wig Night, as San Jose reached first place in the Western Conference in style.

#177 - (May 2, 2012) Earthquakes 5, Real Salt Lake 3 - It was unofficially "Orthodontist Night" at Buck Shaw Stadium, as braces from Wondolowski and Lenhart punctuated a wild win against DC United.

#178 - (May 23, 2012) Earthquakes 3, Galaxy 2 - After completing a stunning comeback from a two-goal deficit when Alan Gordon nodded home the game winner deep into stoppage time, Lenhart quipped that San Jose was like the Goonies - "Never Say Die!" The legend was born, as the Quakes embodied that mantra throughout the 2012 season, capturing the attention of MLS Nation with their penchant for scoring dramatic late goals.


#181 - (June 30, 2012) Earthquakes 4, Galaxy 3 - In front of the largest stand-alone soccer crowd in franchise history, the Quakes defeated rival LA in what many consider the greatest MLS match of 2012. Again, falling behind by two goals, San Jose battled back to gain the lead as none other than Wondolowski netted the game-winning-goal with a skill-check back heel. As a national TV audience on ESPN could agree, these Goonies were for real.



#189 - (October 6, 2012) Earthquakes 4, Rapids 1 - Cruising toward the club's second ever Supporters' Shield, the Quakes stopped by Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Colorado to lay a pasting on the Rapids. A hat-trick from Wondolowski paced San Jose and proved vital in his remarkable achievement of matching Roy Lassiter's MLS record for goals in a season with 27. Wondo's performance erased all doubts as to the caliber of season he was having, and the Quakes MVP was elected the 2012 MLS MVP by season's end.



#194 - (June 29, 2013) Earthquakes 3, Galaxy 2 - What is it about the Cali Clasico that makes for such great theatre? For the second straight year, in front of another packed house at Stanford Stadium, the Quakes pulled off another amazing comeback from a two-goal deficit. This time, it was Shea Salinas and Gordon with the heroics, as each found the back of the net in stoppage time to stun visiting LA. Like the 2012 edition, you will get no arguments that this game is the MLS match of the year.



#199 - (September 8, 2013) Earthquakes 1, Union 0 - With new coach Mark Watson at the helm, the Quakes have seen a renewed focus on defense lead to a change in fortunes for the team. In fact, San Jose and goalkeeper Jon Busch have earned clean sheets in 4 of their last 5 victories. The win over Philadelphia also pushed the Quakes home unbeaten streak to 13 games. Fortress Buck Shaw, anyone?

Have another memorable match to add to the list? Share your favorite San Jose victories in the comments below.

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