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Published on 08/03/2004 5:33 pm   (Last Updated 08/03/2004 5:41 pm)
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USOC Quarterfinals
By Matthew Whatever
Dark Cloud Nervous Anxiety Chair

2nd round-Milwaukee Wave United (1-0)

3rd round-Colorado Rapids Reserve(2-1)

4th round-La Galaxy(1-0)

Quarterfinals-San Jose Earthquakes

California's MLS teams have had quite a bit of success in the past three years with one of their two teams making the MLS Cup finals. On August 3rd, , last years MLS champions, San Jose Earthquakes are in town to take on the Thunder in the US Open Cup Quarterfinals. The Thunder knocked out the LA Galaxy in the 4th round of the USOC and will look to knock out the other California club from the tourney Wednesday night at the Jimmy.

Although the Earthquakes sit in last place in the Western Conference of MLS they were able to get by the Portland Timbers in the previous round winning 3-0. After going up in the 18th minute on a PK the Quakes were able to hold off a Portland team which was a man down. Fully rested the Quakes have not played since July 24th and will most likely start a fair share of their star players. One of those star players is US national player Landon Donovan who helped lead the US to the quarterfinals of the 2002 World Cup. Donovan has 4 goals this year with 7 assists. The leading scorer for the Quakes this year is former Seattle Sounder Brian Ching, who has scored 10 goals this year and actually leads MLS in goals scored. Scoring goals has been the strong point for the Quakes. Midfielders like Richard Mulrooney, Brain Mullan and Ronnie Ekelund will mean that the Thunder will not be able to solely key up on the forwards.

Unlike LA, San Jose seems to have gone north of the border instead of south for their foreign acquisitions, with the likes of Dwayne De Rosario and Pat Onstad who have both seen time with the Canadian national team . The Quakes also have looked to the USL for some of their players, both De Rosario, Richmond Kickers and Onsted , Rochester Rhinos have played in the A-league as well Bring Ching and Ian Russell who both come from the Seattle Sounders.

Just like in the match up against LA, Minnesota?s hopes will be on the solid performance of the Thunder defense. Although having their worst game over the pervious weekend (3-0 loss @ Syracuse ) the Thunder still have given up the second fewest goals (13). Joe Warren was rested in the Syracuse match as well as Dustin Branan. These two men; as well as Chris Brunt and Brent Jacquette, will need to continue their great teamwork against what will most likely be a world class offense from the very start. Do not expect to see Donovan, Ching and De Resario to all start the game on the bench, like Carlos Ruiz and the La Galaxy.

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