Vancouver, BC (Sports Network) - The San Jose Earthquakes needed a little luck
for their last win, but there is no doubt at this point in the season the club
is the best in MLS.
San Jose held off FC Dallas on Wednesday when Jair Benitez missed a penalty in
stoppage time, sending the Earthquakes to 43 points - seven clear of the next
highest in the league - after a 2-1 win.
The Earthquakes (13-4-4) visit Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Sunday in search of a
"Every match we are getting better and better," San Jose's Marvin Chavez said.
"We are finding different ways to win," he added, "which is the characteristic
of a winning club."
San Jose has put together an impressive away record this year, winning six and
tying two in 11 road matches. BC Place, where Vancouver is 5-1-4 this season,
will provide a tough atmosphere, but there may not be a more confident team in
MLS than the Earthquakes.
Still, coach Frank Yallop believed the game against Dallas - which is tied for
the fewest points in MLS with the Portland Timbers and Toronto FC - showed how
tough the league can be.
"They played well enough to have that last penalty kick to equalize," Yallop
said. "It goes to show the strength of our conference where there isn't much
separation from top to bottom.
"I always say that every game in this league is difficult and it showed. We
were tested until the final whistle."
Vancouver (8-6-7) settled for a 2-2 draw against the Los Angeles Galaxy on
Wednesday, as it allowed a pair of goals in the last 10 minutes. The Whitecaps
are winless in four straight, and have just one win in their last seven games.
"I think anytime you turtle up and you tie 2-2 it feels like a defeat, but it
was an exciting game, an entertaining game, a fantastic crowd, and a great
atmosphere," Whitecaps coach Martin Rennie said.
Barry Robson scored his first MLS goal for Vancouver in the game and he showed
whey he will be an important piece for the Whitecaps in the second half.
Still fourth in the Western Conference standings, Vancouver remains in good
position. But with consecutive matches against Real Salt Lake following its
match against San Jose, the club needs a positive result this weekend.