The San Jose Earthquakes’ winless streak now stands at five after a listless 0-0 draw against host Colorado Saturday evening.
In a defensive struggle that didn’t include many chances from either side, the Rapids provided the game’s only shot on goal in the 34th minute.
The most notable event took place in the 87th minute, when Earthquakes substitute Adam Jahn was issued a straight red card after catching the face of Rapids’ midfielder Jared Watts with his shoulder. Jahn was on the pitch for three minutes before being sent off.
San Jose wasted no time getting started when Alan Gordon hit a right-footed volley off the crossbar via a Shea Salinas corner less than a minute in.
Precise Salinas set piece deliveries continue to be a dangerous weapon for the Quakes, as Wondo struck a clear header also from a Salinas free kick, only to sky it over the bar in the 38th minute.
The Quakes made four changes to last week’s team, including starting debuts for rookie midfielder JJ Koval and newly acquired right-back Andreas Gorlitz, who took the field for the first time in a San Jose uniform.
Surprisingly, Yannick Djalo started on the bench once again, despite a standout performance last week versus Columbus.
The changes to the back line, with left-back Ty Harden as the other defensive inclusion, seemed to pay dividends. San Jose kept their shape and stifled the Colorado attack throughout the match, allowing only one shot on target despite Colorado holding possession 60 percent of the time.
San Jose also employed a new tactical formation, with Coach Mark Watson deviating from his trusted 4-4-2 and employing a 4-1-4-1 featuring Alan Gordon up front and Chris Wondolowski in a midfield role.
Wondo’s tireless work rate defensively helped to smother a Colorado side that looked lost for much of the afternoon. San Jose’s numbers in the middle of the park forced the Rapids and their one-touch passing to move in the wrong direction.
Frustration continued for Colorado in the second half, as the San Jose defense succeeded in keeping Colorado strikers Edson Buddle and Deshorn Brown quiet throughout.
Colorado began to assert themselves in the 69th minute with a sequences of crosses into the box that tested San Jose in front of goal.
Despite the onslaught, multiple clearances by center-backs Clarence Goodson, named man of the match, and Victor Bernardez, helped the Quakes clear their lines.
The added pressure from Colorado led to Djalo’s inclusion in the 70th minute. The winger chipped a lovely ball for a streaking Gordon in the 78th, but the Quakes striker, who would leave in the 83rd with a knock, could not get on the end of it.
Minutes later, Djalo gave San Jose their best chance of the half, beating his man down the left flank and squaring a dangerous ball that could’ve found the back of the net with a touch.
Jahn was sent off shortly after, which led to Djalo’s return to the bench, as Cordell Cato brought on for defensive coverage.
The Quakes (0-2-3) continue their quest for their first win of the season when they return home next Saturday to face Chivas USA (1-2-3). Coverage begins at 7:30 p.m. on CSNCA.