The goal-scoring touch that powered the San Jose Earthquakes to the Supporters’ Shield last season has deserted them. They’re going to need to find the net more if they hope to climb the standings.
The Earthquakes look to snap a four-game winless streak when they visit Chivas USA on Saturday night.
San Jose was by far the most prolific scoring team in 2012 with 72 goals –13 more than the next team. Its plus-29 goal differential was a big reason why they finished with the most points in the league.
It’s been a different story so far in 2013. The Earthquakes (2-3-3) have managed more than one goal just once all season – a 2-1 victory over New York on March 10 – and have scored just twice during this winless stretch, which includes a pair of 1-all draws. They have just six goals in eight games and have scored only once away from San Jose all season.
The Earthquakes got a 92nd-minute equalizer to salvage a point in one of those draws last Saturday at home against Portland. Rookie Adam Jahn scored his second goal of the season, set up by a touch from reigning league MVP Chris Wondolowski – who was denied a goal in the 22nd minute by a great save from Portland goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts.
“We had enough chances to win the game and I thought we deserved to win. It wasn’t the prettiest game to be honest but we dug deep and got a point. That was important for us,” Earthquakes head coach Frank Yallop told the official MLS website. “For us not to score a goal in this game would not have been good with the quality of chances that we had. We had at least four good looks before the goal.”
Wondolowski – who’s scored three of the team’s six goals this season – has six in 12 career appearances against Chivas, including a goal in a 2-0 victory last September at the Home Depot Center. San Jose went 2-0-1 against Chivas in 2012, outscoring the team 7-1.
Chivas (3-3-1, 10 points) also needs to regain its scoring touch after back-to-back 1-0 losses caused it to fall from second to fourth in the conference.
In fact, Chivas hasn’t posted a point since a 2-1 win at home against Vancouver on March 27. It doesn’t get any easier for the team either, as it goes on the road for two weeks to face Eastern Conference leader Sporting KC and then Portland – which is tied with Chivas at 10 points.
Chivas lost 1-0 to Real Salt Lake last Saturday and missed a penalty kick for the second straight game. Edgar Mejia – who was denied from the spot – later was ejected from the game for getting a red card in stoppage time for fighting and will miss this match.
“We had our opportunities, we just have to put the ball in,” Chivas midfielder Eric Avila told the official MLS website. “We changed our mind set in the second half we were finding pressure a little bit more and it was that one mistake at midfield. Salt Lake, they put it away.”
Chivas has allowed one goal in each of its last six matches. Despite the scoring drought, the team is efficient. Chivas has scored 10 times – tied for fifth in MLS – on just 27 shots on goal.