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Alvarez, Huckerby lift red-hot Earthquakes to victory

Sep 7, 2008 - 6:18 AM SAN JOSE, California (Ticker) -- Darren Huckerby scored and set up another goal as the San Jose Earthquakes held on for a 2-1 victory over D.C. United on Saturday.

Arturo Alvarez tallied and Joe Cannon stopped two shots for the Earthquakes (7-9-7), who are unbeaten in their last eight matches. Alvarez scored in the 18th minute and Huckerby tallied in the 62nd minute.

Santillo Quaranta scored and Louis Crayton stopped two shots for D.C. United (10-11-2), which suffered its first loss in four matches.

"I am very happy to get the three points," San Jose coach Frank Yallop said. "We didn't play that well and we could have scored more goals. It was a good home win for us and we look forward to the rest of the games we have."

Meanwhile, San Jose moved to within two points of Chivas USA (8-9-6) for the eighth and final playoff spot.

Huckerby was instrumental for the Earthquakes on Saturday, as he carried the ball into defenders and sent a pass through traffic to Alvarez, who drilled a low shot inside the right post for his sixth goal of the season.

"I got a nice ball in the box and I took a quick touch and I was able to finish it," Alvarez said. "I am happy to score and help the team get a result. We are in a good spot now and we have to keep playing well."

"We are just enjoying the game right now," Huckerby said. "The team has been putting in the work during the week and getting rewarded on Saturdays. Every game we are growing and getting results, so we just have to keep playing this way and working hard."

San Jose extended its lead in the 62nd minute, as Eric Denton sent a pass to Scott Sealy, who pushed it up the left side to Huckerby. Huckerby controlled Sealy's pass and blasted a low liner into the left corner for his fourth goal of the season.

Quaranta cut the lead in half with his fourth goal of the season in the 76th minute, when he dribbled through two defenders and fired a left-footed shot that bent inside the right post.

"I was just trying to make runs, and cause the defense problems," Quaranta said. "I have been doing that lately and been successful. I just took a chance, it is never bad to take a chance, and I had a pretty good finish."

The Earthquakes appeared to stretch the lead to 3-1 in the 78th minute, but Sealy was ruled offside after he tapped in a pass on a 3-on-1.

San Jose prepares for a home-and-home series with Houston (9-5-8), which sits atop the Western Conference with 35 points.

"These next two games are obviously huge," San Jose captain Nick Garcia said. "We have our own destiny in our hands now. Houston is a very good side, so it will be tough, but we have the guys in here to get two good results and stay in the playoff hunt."

United was hit hard by injuries last week during U.S. Open Cup win, and was forced to start Francis Doe as a lone forward with Marcelo Gallardo as the attacking midfielder.

"I thought they had the better in the first half, we gave up the ball in really bad spots," United coach Tom Soehn said.

"And I expected that with all the guys we had out (injured) the soccer was not going to be the greatest. You have to make up for it by competing. To our credit, the young guys really turned it up in the second half. I thought we had the better of the second half."

  • MLS

    Sep 7 12:01 AM
  • 20
    RUWTbot Added 20 roots (Close Finish)

    D.C. United 1, Earthquakes 2  89'Sep 6 11:53 PM

    SAN JOSE 2
    DC UNITED GOAL: Santino Quaranta in the 76th minute

    D.C. United 1, Earthquakes 2  76'Sep 6 11:42 PM

    SAN JOSE 2
    SAN JOSE GOAL: Darren Huckerby in the 62nd minute

    D.C. United 0, Earthquakes 2  62'Sep 6 11:27 PM

  • MLS

    Sep 6 11:09 PM

    SAN JOSE 1
    SAN JOSE GOAL: Arturo Alvarez in the 18th minute

    D.C. United 0, Earthquakes 1  18'Sep 6 10:26 PM