MLS Preview from The Sports Network (ET)
05/23/2014 4:57 PM
05/23/2014 5:03 PM
Houston (5-6-2) at San Jose (2-4-4), 10:30 p.m.
Santa Clara, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - A pair of clubs needing rebound performances meet on Sunday as the San Jose Earthquakes welcome the Houston Dynamo to Buck Shaw Stadium.
The 'Quakes earned a much-needed 2-1 win over FC Dallas on May 10, but suffered a 1-0 loss against the Seattle Sounders at CenturyLink Field the following week.
San Jose fell behind early against the Sounders as Obafemi Martins scored a spectacular goal after just eight minutes. Martins, who was passed over by Nigeria for the World Cup, ran down a through ball from Gonzalo Pineda deep on the left side of the penalty area and shielded the ball from San Jose defender Jordan Stewart.
About eight yards from the end line, Martins let the ball bounce once and then clipped it to the far post on his first touch past Earthquakes goalkeeper Jon Busch, who could only watch as the shot nestled into the side netting for Martins' fifth goal of the season.
Houston, meanwhile, is coming off a disappointing 2-0 loss to a resurgent D.C. United at RFK Stadium on Wednesday.
With star midfielder Brad Davis away with the U.S. national team for the World Cup, the Dynamo struggled to find their footing early and United opened the scoring after 28 minutes when Fabian Espindola started the play with an exceptional turn away from Houston defender Jermaine Taylor.
Espindola squared the ball to Chris Rolfe, who was filling in for a suspended Eddie Johnson, and he fired it to the far post past a diving Tally Hall.
Espindola would use a piece of individual skill to double D.C.'s lead in the 64th minute. Running onto a well-played ball from Rolfe, he used a stepover to elude Houston defender David Horst and his left-footed strike skimmed just to the left of Hall and into the back of the net.
Despite already being down a pair of goals, Houston's night got worse in second-half stoppage time when defender Brian Ownby was sent off for violent conduct after striking United defender Cristian Fernandez in the face.
Houston also lost forward Mark Sherrod inside the first 20 minutes when he had to come off due to an injury.
"Two mistakes, you know, they punished us for them," defender Corey Ashe said. "They came out, they were organized and they kind of set the tone and obviously [it] doesn't help with the injury to Mark [Sherrod]. But credit to D.C., they came out, they stuck to their plan and they put their opportunities away."
"I think mentally, Mark's going down and getting stretchered off got to us a little bit and it took us a while to get going," head coach Dominic Kinnear told the league's official website.
The sides met once last season with Houston earning a 2-0 win over San Jose at BBVA Compass Stadium on March 30, 2013.
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