for this game

Earthquakes extend unbeaten streak to six in draw with Chivas

Aug 24, 2008 - 5:54 AM By Billy Witz PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

CARSON, California (Ticker) -- The San Jose Earthquakes are finally living up to their name.

The Earthquakes extended their unbeaten streak to six games on Saturday, forcing a scoreless draw with Chivas USA.

For more than three months, San Jose (5-9-7) looked like the expansion team it was, unable to find much offense, or victories.

But the Earthquakes, who sent shockwaves through the league with a 4-0 rout of New England last week, continued their recent awakening. San Jose hasn't dropped a game since a 1-0 defeat to Chivas on July 5.

Despite still finding itself in the Western Conference cellar, San Jose's recent surge has pulled it to within four points of FC Dallas (6-7-8) for third place.

"You didn't see the best of us, but we fought and scrapped and got a point,'' San Jose coach Frank Yallop said.

The Earthquakes' improvement can be traced to the addition of Darren Huckerby and emergence of Ronnie O'Brien.

"It's given us a total new look,'' O'Brien said of the additions of Huckerby and Arturo Alvarez, who was acquired from Dallas last month. "(Huckerby) gives me more freedom. And as a natural right-footed player, I know if he cuts the ball back, he'll come to me at the backpost.''

However, none of three found the back of the net against Chivas.

Huckerby managed San Jose's first shot, but it didn't come until the 63rd minute. He also unleashed its most dangerous chance, a shot that nearly handcuffed Chivas keeper Zach Thornton in the 93rd minute, just before the final whistle.

But the game was controlled mostly by Chivas (6-9-6), which is searching for points and healthy bodies.

It lost goalkeeper Brad Guzan, who transferred to Aston Villa last month, in addition to a season-long spate of injuries. Captain Jesse Marsch was the latest to go down, suffering a broken jaw last week in a tie with the Galaxy.

"I don't think you can get around that we've had guys miss a total more than 100 games,'' said forward Ante Razov, who played through a sinus infection. "Every team has injuries, but with the weight of our injuries, a lot of teams would be in big trouble. We're still treading water."

Chivas had several good chances, including Razov's free kick midway through the first half from just beyond the top of the box.

Razov had goalkeeper Joe Cannon frozen on his line, but his shot was just wide of the right post. Chivas' most serious threat came in the 77th minute, when Atiba Harris rifled a shot that Cannon saved with a dive to his right.

The ball found its way to Alecko Eskandaian, but his shot was wide of the far post.

"We couldn't find the goal, but I was pleased with the effort,'' Chivas coach Preki said. "The commitment of the group was pretty good. We had good quality plays. I was just hoping one of those quality plays would find the net.''