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Earthquakes comeback falls short in 3-1 loss to Toronto

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Ramiro Corrales scored is first goal of the season in San Jose's 3-1 loss to TFC. Photo: Joe Nuxoll, centerlinesoccer.com
Ramiro Corrales scored his first goal of the season in San Jose's 3-1 loss to TFC. Photo: Joe Nuxoll, centerlinesoccer.com

Center Line Soccer's complete coverage includes a photo gallery from the match. 

(Santa Clara) A first half goal from Chad Barrett and two second half goals from Dwayne DeRosario lifted Toronto FC past the San Jose Earthquakes 3-1 Saturday night at Buck Shaw Stadium.

Toronto's win, their first on the road this season in six tries, was closer than the final score indicated. After spotting Toronto a 2-0 lead, San Jose got on the scoreboard in the 76th minute when Ramiro Corrales headed home a Bobby Convey corner kick. But the Earthquakes comeback fell short, and in added time when goalkeeper Joe Cannon came forward to join a last second attack, Toronto's defense blocked a San Jose free kick, and Nick LaBrocca played DeRosario ahead to tap it into the empty goal to finish the game off.

The loss drops San Jose into a third place tie with Houston in the MLS West with a 5-3-1 record, while Toronto now sits second in the Eastern Division with a 5-4-1 mark.

Like San Jose, Toronto came into the game having found their stride after stumbling out of the gate. TFC lost three of their first four, but since then have won four and tied one of their last six games.

Preki started the night with three changes in his side that beat New England last weekend, with forward O'Brian White, midfielder Nick LaBrocca, and defender Nana Attakora replacing Fuad Ibrahim, Sam Cronin, and Raivis Hscanovics respectively. Dwayne De Rosario started the game on the bench after returning from a trip to Argentina, where he played 89 minutes for the Canadian National Team last Tuesday.

The Earthquakes made one change in their lineup from last weekend's win in Seattle. Andre Luiz, suffering a bit of swelling in his knee after 90 minutes on Qwest Field's artificial turf, did not even dress for the game, leaving rookie Brad Ring to take his place in midfield.

Toronto opened the scoring at the half hour mark via some hard work by Chad Barrett. The play began harmlessly enough, a long ball bouncing high in the box with Barrett in pursuit, a step behind Jason Hernandez. The San Jose defender tried heading the ball back to Joe Cannon, and Barrett pounced on his weak effort. Barrett's shot was not hit well, but it trickled past the onrushing goalkeeper to put Toronto up 1-0.

It was the first goal allowed by San Jose in over a month — 394 minutes of MLS action. Barrett was awarded a yellow card for "unsporting behavior" after taking a corner flag out of the ground as part of his post-goal celebration.

San Jose created several scoring chances in the first half, but went into intermission still down 1-0. A Bobby Convey line drive cross from the left wing was re-directed on goal by Joey Gjertsen camped inside the six yard box, forcing a quick reflex save from Toronto goalkeeper (and UC Berkeley alum) Stefan Frei in the 24th minute.

Convey had a go himself in the 35th minute, a left footed blast from the top of the arc that had Frei diving to his left to pull it down.

A Ramiro Corrales cross in the 39th minute found Ryan Johnson 8 yards from goal, but Johnson's header missed wide right.

At the start of the second half, both coaches made changes in their offense. Frank Yallop brought on Arturo Alvarez for Joey Gjertsen, while Preki countered with Dwayne DeRosario and Julian de Guzman subbing in for O'Brian White and Martin Saric.

Throughout the first 20 minutes of the second half, San Jose threatened to tie the game.

Just three minutes after intermission, a Ryan Johnson cross from deep in the left wing corner reached Chris Wondolowski at the six yard box. Wondo's bouncing header forced Frei to make a quality save, pushing it wide at the right post.

Convey had another clear shot, a right footer from 25 yards in the 58th minute that Frei caught easily.

Yallop added Cornell Glen for Brad Ring a minute later, with Glen taking a spot up top while Wondolowski dropped back into midfield as the Earthquakes searched for an equalizer. But it was Toronto that scored the game's next goal.

From the midfield stripe, Dan Gargan played a long ball to DeRosario, racing ahead of Bobby Burling. Joe Cannon came out to challenge DeRosario at the top of the box, but the Toronto forward slid a shot past him and inside the right post to double TFC's lead.

San Jose kept pressing forward. In the 70th minute, a 20-yarder from Convey clipped the right post as it went wide.

Brandon Mc Donald's cross found Arturo Alvarez near right post in the 72nd minute, but Alvarez's volley with his right (off) foot missed poorly, high.

San Jose finally broke through in the 76th minute. From the left corner, Bobby Convey curled a corner kick to the far post for Ramiro Corrales to drive home an open header. The Corrales goal snapped Toronto's scoreless streak at 486 competitive minutes (three MLS matches and two Canadian Championship matches).

Needing a second goal, Yallop went to his bench again, bringing Scott Sealy on for Chris Leitch as the Earthquakes switched to a 3-5-2. But despite having all their most dangerous players on the field, San Jose struggled to create a clear shot in the game's closing minutes.

The Earthquakes' best opportunity came in stoppage time, when a long diagonal ball from Bobby Burling reached Ryan Johnson on the left side, ten yards from goal. From a tight angle, Johnson ripped a left footer that flew just over the top left corner of the goal.

Desperate to tie the game, Joe Cannon came forward to join the attack when the Earthquakes had a free kick seconds before the final whistle. The Toronto defense blocked the kick, then Nick LaBrocca fed DeRosario ahead of the pack to finish off the game with an empty net goal.

DeRosario now has eight goals this season, and is second only to Edson Buddle among the league scoring leaders.

After suffering their first loss in five matches, the home stand continues for San Jose with a game Wednesday, when two-time defending Supporters Shield Winners Columbus Crew come to Buck Shaw Stadium for a 7:00 kick off.

• • •

San Jose Earthquakes (5-3-1) vs. Toronto FC (5-4-1)
May 1, 2010 – Buck Shaw Stadium
Attendance: 10,214

Scoring Summary: TFC – Chad Barrett (unassisted) 31; TFC - Dwayne De Rosario (Dan Gargan) 66; SJ - Ramiro Corrales (Bobby Convey) 76; TFC -- Dwayne De Rosario (Nick LaBrocca) 94+.

Misconduct Summary: TFC – Martin Saric (caution) 8; TFC – Chad Barrett (caution) 31; SJ -- Bobby Convey (caution) 89; TFC -- Julian de Guzman (caution) 93+.

San Jose Earthquakes – Joe Cannon, Ramiro Corrales, Jason Hernandez, Bobby Burling, Chris Leitch (Scott Sealy 77), Bobby Convey, Brandon McDonald, Brad Ring (Cornell Glen 59), Joey Gjertsen (Arturo Alvarez 46), Ryan Johnson, Chris Wondolowski.

Statistics: Shots: 16; Shots on Goal: 7; Fouls: 9; Offsides: 2; Corners: 6.

Toronto FC – Stefan Frei, Nick Garcia, Nana Attakora, Adrian Cann, Dan Gargan, Amadou Sanyang, Nick LaBrocca, Martin Saric (Julian de Guzman 46), Jacob Peterson, Chad Barrett (Sam Cronin 82), O’Brian White (Dwayne De Rosario 46).

Statistics: Shots: 9; Shots on Goal: 3; Fouls: 12; Offsides: 3; Corners: 5.