San Jose Earthquakes 1 LA Galaxy 3 (2-3 on aggregate)
Next: 6 p.m. Sunday at Home Depot Center against either Real Salt Lake or the Seattle Sounders in the Western Conference final.
Missed opportunity: San Jose striker Chris Wondolowski reacts to a miss in the Earthquakes loss to the Galaxy Wednesday in San Jose. You could say much the same about the game for San Jose (Photo by San Jose Mercury News Staff Photographer Nhat V. Meye).
Who saw that coming?
A devastating three goals in 18 minutes including a two-goal explosion by Robbie Keane and a pair of Landon Donovan assists enabled the Galaxy to dump the Supporters Shield winning San Jose Earthquakes out of the MLS playoffs and erase a frustrating season when it counted against a club that had their number all year long.
An typically late 82nd minute goal from the Earthquakes – they scored 40 in the final 30 minutes of games during the season – threatened, but did not prove fatal to the Galaxy.
Yeah, injuries played a role, but the Galaxy are banged up, too (will defender A.J. DeLaGarza be fit for Sunday)?
Here’s the bigger reason the Earthquakes lost via Chris Wondolowski: “I legitimately had three scoring chances; I missed them all. In the first half, we were down a goal and [Josh] Saunders was down and I tried to get some lift on the ball, but missed the equalizer. Toward the end, we had our chance to force extra-time, but couldn’t execute. It just wasn’t our night.”
Here’s the game story from our sister paper The San Jose Mercury News.
The let’s not get ahead of ourselves thought for the evening:
If @lagalaxy reach the MLS Cup, the only way they’d be at home is against Houston. That MLS Cup rematch would be a 4 seed vs. a 5 seed
The big games against Mexico occur in March south of the border and in September north of it. Is that enough time to schedule a trip to the Azteca and strike that off your stadium bucket list?
Here’s more from the Associated Press:
MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (AP) — The United States opens the final round of World Cup qualifying at Honduras on Feb. 6 and plays three of its first four games on the round.
The Americans play at Mexico on March 26 and host El Tri on Sept. 10, according to the draw conducted Wednesday.
Seeking its seventh consecutive World Cup appearance, the United States hosts Costa Rica on March 22 and then goes to Mexico four days later. The Americans are at Jamaica on June 7, host Panama four days later and are home against Honduras on June 18.
They play at Costa Rica on Sept. 6 before hosting Mexico, then host Jamaica on Oct. 11 and close at Panama four days later.
The top three teams in the hexagonal qualify for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil and the fourth-place team advances to a home-and-home playoff against the Oceania champion, likely New Zealand, for a spot in the 32-nation tournament.
There are three MLS playoff games today beginning with New York-D.C. United at 5 p.m. live on the NBC Sports Network (assuming the weather cooperates)..
Lawndale’s Kei Kamara is seen as the key player in the Sporting KC-Houston match set for 6 p.m. on the MLS Live app and the Galaxy-Earthquakes match-up is at 8 p.m. on ESPN2 (check out these local viewing parties).
The odds are stacked against the Galaxy as they head north to the Bay Area for Wednesday’s do or die MLS playoff game against the San Jose Earthquakes as I explore in this week’s column (along with a suggestion for improving the MLS playoff system).
The hosts, meanwhile, are on a roll with striker Chris Wondolowski being named MLS Player of the Month for October. Here’s more from MLS: The honor is Wonolowski’s second consecutive MLS Player of the Month and his fourth this season. In Major League Soccer history, no player has ever received the accolade this many times in one season.
Through three matches in October, Wondolowski led San Jose to a 1-0-2 record to help capture the club’s second Supporters’ Shield. The Earthquakes forward also set individual records during the month. Entering October, Wondolowski needed five goals to tie the MLS single-season goal record, set by Roy Lassiter in 1996. After a hat trick against Colorado and a goal against the LA Galaxy, “Wondo” tied Lassiter at 27 goals during San Jose’s final match in Portland.
“I was thinking don’t do what I did on the one before, which is put it in the 20th row,” said goalscorer Mike Magee, whose cult status among fans continues to grow, of his goal. “My eyes got big.”
Notable: Christian Wilhelmsson, out of tonight’s game with what coach Bruce Arena described as a ‘tight quad” is expected to be available for selection Sunday.
Vancouver’s loss was crushing: “The most disheartening thing is that the season’s over,” said Whitecaps coach Martin Rennie. “We really believed we could win tonight. We really believed we could cause an upset. I think we were a long way towards doing that, so that’s the most disheartening, disappointing thing we wanted to take a playoff game back to BC Place to play San Jose, and we believed we did well enough to be very close to doing that tonight.