for this game

Earthquakes rally for 2-2 tie against United

Jul 26, 2009 - 5:51 AM By GEOFF LEPPER STATS MLS Correspondent

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) ? D.C. United coach Tom Soehn wanted no part of another road tie, not after seeing Christian Gomez score twice to build an early two-goal lead against the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday night.

Instead, the surprising Earthquakes rallied to force a 2-2 tie behind goals from Ryan Johnson and Cornell Glen.

"We've constantly talked about making sure we become a better team and have the killer instinct," Soehn said. "We should have put them away."

United (6-3-10), which had been hunting for their second road win, dropped to third in the Eastern Conference, three points behind Columbus and two back of Chicago. D.C. is now 1-3-6 away from RFK Stadium.

"Maybe we thought it was going to be an easy game," United captain Ben Olsen said. "They got tired of watching us possess the ball, and then they got into it."

San Jose (3-10-5), which is the worst team in the Western Conference, suffered some of its familiar defensive breakdowns early but responded by dominating play over the final hour.

"It was all about resilience tonight," Earthquakes defender Mike Zaher said. "We rebounded from nightmare after nightmare and then we got a point out of it."

United broke on top after just three minutes. Chris Pontius flicked a header into open space inside the Earthquakes' penalty box, and Zaher collided with United forward Luciano Emilio to concede San Jose's first penalty kick of the season.

Gomez slotted a low shot to his right, away from diving Earthquakes goalkeeper Joe Cannon.

Zaher played a part in D.C.'s 21st-minute goal as well when Andrew Jacobson unleashed a 25-yard shot. The ball deflected off of Zaher and died some 10 yards from the net; Gomez pounced on the rebound for his second goal of the night and third in as many matches.

"It's not easy, in the hole we're in (in the standings), and then you're 2-nil down, on goals you think are a little bit controversial," said Earthquakes coach Frank Yallop, who disagreed with the penalty on Zaher and felt Gomez was offsides on the second goal. "But they didn't quit."

Showing a resolve that belied their status, the Earthquakes drew within a goal before intermission. Glen nodded on a cross from Zaher to the right foot of Johnson, who sent a volley into the upper netting.

Johnson, San Jose's leading scorer with seven goals, exited five minutes later due to a sprained left shoulder, but his teammates kept the pressure on. San Jose outshot D.C. 12-4 after the 30th minute.

"We came out and probably played one of the worst halves I've seen," Soehn said of the second half. "Mental errors, there were tons of 'em. We just didn't have it. That's not a sign of a team that wants to become better. And that's something that we still have to work on."

The Earthquakes pulled even with a penalty kick of their own in the 62nd minute. Rodney Wallace was called for a hand ball after Darren Huckerby's cross eluded D.C. 'keeper Josh Wicks.

Glen, a May 26 signing making just his second start for the Earthquakes because of visa problems and national team duty for Trinidad and Tobago, fired the ball past a diving Wicks to knot the score.

"If we're mid-table and we're doing OK, it's a good performance, but obviously, with the points we need to get, it's disappointing not to win at home," Yallop said.