The Quakes are still last in the Western Conference, but
after upending defending champion Houston, 2-1, at Buck Shaw Stadium Thursday night on national television they are no longer winless at home, and more importantly, they are generating some real,
After a goalless first half in which the Quakes outshot Houston, 9-4, Kei Kamara
scored for a 2-0 San Jose lead, and they limited the Dynamo to just a clinical near-post finish by Brian Ching
for their first victory at Buck
Shaw, the home of the Santa Clara University soccer upgraded at a cost of $3 million.
San Jose coach Frank Yallop
gave forward Ryan Johnson
his first start, and his high, curling shot forced a spectacular save by Houston keeper Pat Onstad
in the first
half. That chance came after defender Bobby Boswell
stumbled on the ball, one of several very un-Dynamo-like defensive errors committed by a back line that
lost rugged linchpin Eddie Robinson
to an abdominal injury in the 62nd minute.
The Quakes matched Houston's pressuring, swarming effort for much
of the game. They threw themselves into blocks and tackles, they fought for every ball in the air, and despite more than an hour of frustration finally got the goals they deserved. Play in the
midfield, which had ranged from competent to pathetic in the first seven games, seldom dropped in intensity and workrate. Houston's efforts to launch Dwayne De
into the attack were blunted by Ramiro Corrales
and Ned Grabavoy
Right mid Ronnie O'Brien
didn't always supply the best final pass, but he constantly dug out balls, won tackles, kept possession under pressure, and found teammates with
quick, accurate passes. A deflected O'Brien cross produced the first goal.
The battling and running of Johnson and Kamara kept the Dynamo off-balance for much of the game, and the
crisp midfield play forced Ricardo Clark
to tackle and chase rather than link up with De Rosario and Brian Mullan
testing Onstad, Johnson chipped a ball that Kamara flicked on and Guerrero clanked off the post from point-blank range. Guerrero clanked the post, too, and needed a few seconds to recover, but
recover he did to score the winner and finish out the match.
Players on both teams took knocks and twice scuffles broke out. Houston midfielder Stuart
accidentally conked Quakes keeper Joe Cannon
on the head; San Jose central defenders Ryan Cochrane
came up grimacing after heavy collisions, and both also were cautioned after duels with Clark; and Onstad hit the ground hard after a stiff aerial
challenge from Johnson.
Five minutes after Pat Ianni
replaced Robinson, Kamara escaped both Ianni and Richard
to collect a flick-on from Grabavoy and, on the turn with his second touch, smash it low past Onstad. A near-sellout crowd of 10,046, sensing an historic win, celebrated
boisterously. Kyle Brown
nearly tied it up a few minutes later but the Houston sub overplayed a ball running into the Quakes penalty area and
got enough on his shot so Cannon covered it easily.
In the 81st minute, with Houston playing three in the back and sending men
forward, the midfielders were caught upfield and Johnson and Guerrero broke away when an aimless ball drifted free. Guerrero played the ball to Johnson barreling in on the right, Onstad repelled his
hard, low shot, but Guerrero pounced to sting the net with a fierce finish.
Substitute Brad Davis
chipped to the near post for Brian Ching
to volley home in the 88th minute but San Jose held out. Another fracas broke out in the final minutes and teammates had to separate Cochrane and Ching,
former teammates in San Jose and Houston before the new Quakes picked Cochrane in the expansion draft.
The Quakes won't be back at Buck Shaw, their temporary home for three seasons as
a stadium project moves forward, for quite a while. Six of their next seven league matches are on the road, and their only home date during that span will be played June 14 at the Oakland Coliseum,
since it involves the Los Angeles Galaxy, their main rival prior to the move, and a 2-0 winner when the teams met at Home Depot Center April 3.
Yet on Thursday night what had been
billed as a reunion -- a meeting of old and new -- transformed into a rivalry. GAME SUMMARY: May 22 in
Santa Clara, Calif. San Jose 2 Houston 1.
Goals: Kamara (Grabavoy) 67, Guerrero 81; Ching (Davis) 88. Houston --
Onstad, Mulrooney, Boswell, Robinson (Ianni, 64), Barrett, Mullan, Clark, De Rosario, Holden (Davis 75), Caraccio (Brown 55), Ching.
San Jose --
Cannon, Hernandez, Cochrane, Garcia, Denton, O'Brien (Salinas 78), Corrales, Grabavoy, Guerrero, Johnson, Kamara (Kirovski 80), Yellow
San Jose -- Garcia 35, Cochrane 40. Referee:
Jair Marrufo. Att.: