Quakes get stuck in New England chill

After winning consecutive games for the first time since last August, the San Jose Earthquakes fell 2-1 in New England Saturday to the Revolution on a snowy and frigid afternoon at Gillette Stadium.

Rev attacker Kelyn Rowe led the way for the home team, scoring the team’s first goal of 2015 in the 21st minute before completing the brace to make it 2-0 16 minutes later. The win is the Revolution’s first in four matches to start the season.

San Jose striker Chris Wondolowski gave the Earthquakes some life an hour into the match, scoring from the penalty spot after Clarence Goodson was fouled in the box by New England’s Scott Caldwell.

San Jose nearly completed the comeback in the final minute, but Jean Baptise-Pierazzi could not capitalize on an opportunity in front of goal, skying the potential equalizer over the net.

Pierazzi was the only change to the Starting XI from last weekend’s 3-1 victory over Chicago, replacing rookie sensation Fatai Alashe who was called up to the U.S. Under-23 team earlier this week.

The Earthquakes hardly resembled the group who shot out of the gate against Chicago, however, allowing six shots on target and managing just one of their own in the first half. Five of those came via Rowe, who could have easily had a four-goal half if not for last-ditch deflections from Clarence Goodson and David Bingham.

Rowe needed help from San Jose’s Shaun Francis to end New England’s drought after 291 scoreless minutes, with his 21st-minute shot deflecting off the Earthquake defender’s head leaving Bingham flat-footed.

The goal was a cruel ending on a rough sequence for Francis, who also gifted the goal-scoring opportunity by losing the ball in possession just seconds prior. Rowe doubled his tally in the 37th minute knocking in an easy goal after the Quakes failed to clear an excellent corner delivery from New England right back Darrius Barnes.

After what Kinnear dubbed a “sleepy” first half performance, the coach made two halftime changes, swapping winger Shea Salinas for Sanna Nyassi and forward Adam Jahn for defensive mid JJ Koval. Kinnear was forced to use his final sub after just 55 minutes when right back Marvell Wynne picked up what appeared to be a left hamstring injury.

The severity of the injury is currently unclear, but an extended absence for Wynne would be rough for San Jose, as the right back has been one of the team’s brightest spots since arriving last offseason. The Quakes also don’t have a sufficient replacement at the position, with midfielder Cordell Cato Kinnear’s best option against New England. Wynne is the second Earthquake defender to start the season with hamstring issues, with Paulo Renato still recovering from a right hamstring pull suffered against Seattle.

The Earthquakes’ play improved in the second half, but the visitors were ultimately unable to capitalize on two late opportunities, culminating in Pierazzi’s miss.

Snow fell for nearly the entire game, but Wondolowski said it had little effect:

“The field actually played pretty well. It was a little cold, but it was fine. Our mentality was off.”

Center backs Goodson and Victor Bernardez made their first start together since July 11 of last season. Goodson returned from his extended injury lay off last weekend, but Bernardez was serving a suspension from his red card in Seattle.

The Earthquakes return home on Easter Sunday for a 2 p.m. start against visiting Real Salt Lake. The game will be broadcast nationally on ESPN2.


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