Brian Ching scores goal in Dynamo's loss to Earthquakes
By GREG BEACHAM
AP Sports Writer
By GREG BEACHAM
SANTA CLARA, Calif. — For at least one night, the expansion San Jose Earthquakes were better than the champions they replaced.
Kei Kamara and Ivan Guerrero scored second-half goals, and the Earthquakes beat the Houston Dynamo 2-1 tonight in a match between the current and former editions of Major League Soccer's Bay Area franchise.
Brian Ching, a Kamehameha alum from Hale'iwa, scored in the 88th minute of an unusual homecoming night for the Dynamo, which is largely comprised of erstwhile Earthquakes.
Houston's core was first assembled in San Jose, where the Quakes won two league titles before moving to Texas in 2006. The Dynamo have since won back-to-back MLS Cups under coach Dominic Kinnear, a Bay Area native who moved along with the club, while a new ownership group secured an expansion team that kept the Quakes' history and colors.
Houston is off to a slow start in its second defense, falling to 2-3-4 after opening the season with a six-match winless streak.
San Jose, which had an MLS-low four goals and five shutout losses entering the game, earned its first home victory of the season with a surprising second-half effort in front of a delighted near-sellout crowd at Buck Shaw Stadium.
The crowd booed Houston even though Kinnear fielded a starting lineup with eight former Earthquakes: goalie Pat Onstad; defenders Richard Mulrooney, Wade Barrett and Eddie Robinson; midfielders Brian Mullan, Ricardo Clark and Dwayne De Rosario, the only player to be a part of all four championships in San Jose and Houston; and Ching, the Quakes' fourth-leading career scorer.
Houston also had three former Quakes on its bench, but the fans chanted "You're not Earthquakes any more!" and other game-specific songs at Santa Clara University's stadium, where the Quakes will play most of their home games until they build the soccer-specific stadium that eluded the first version of the club, contributing to its departure for Houston.
Both teams wasted plenty of scoring chances in the first 60 minutes, but Kamara got his second goal of the season in the 67th minute when Ned Grabavoy's header landed at his feet for a quick turnaround shot. Kamara, a Sierra Leone native who spent the last two seasons with Columbus, is the only San Jose player with multiple goals this season.
Guerrero added his first goal in the 81st minute, banging home Onstad's deflection of Ryan Johnson's shot. Ching deflected home Brad Davis' pass for a late goal in a hookup of two former Quakes, but Ching sent a potential tying header wide during injury time.
Robinson, who served a three-game suspension earlier in the season, left in the 64th minute with an abdominal injury.