COLUMBUS OH - OCTOBER 2: Scott Sealy #9 of the San Jose Earthquakes keeps control of the ball in front of Chad Marshall #14 of the Columbus Crew on October 2 2010 at Crew Stadium in Columbus Ohio. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)

Quakes Earn A Point In Columbus After 0-0 Draw

Catch the Quakes against the Columbus Crew this afternoon at 4:30 pm PST on KDOW 1220 radio

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Not Much Offense During Scoreless Draw

Amidst weather not conducive to goal scoring, two tired teams earned a point in a goalless draw. Frank Yallop made three changes from Wednesday’s starting lineup, though the end result wasn’t more offensive production. Chris Wondolowski came closest to scoring for the Quakes, Steve Lenhart and Chad Marshall for the Crew. But what few good chances each team had were dealt with by two solid goalkeepers. Jon Busch and William Hesmer earned their clean sheets.

The Quakes will stay on the road by traveling to D.C. for a game against the rock-bottom last place United. With Kansas City’s 1-0 loss to New York the Quakes moved a big step forward towards the playoffs without even winning. Still, San Jose will likely feel that, with just four games to play, anything but a win in Washington will feel like a blown opportunity. The Quakes only need six more points to clinch a playoff berth, so a win in D.C. would mean only one win in three games would be needed.

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Quakes Travel To Columbus To Face Best Team In the East

San Jose missed a big opportunity to move up in the playoff race on Wednesday against the struggling Chicago Fire, and are now faced with the difficult challenge of bouncing back against the best team in the Eastern Conference. The Columbus Crew have actually been struggling in their last three games on the MLS schedule, including blowout losses to Seattle and Los Angeles. It's possible the Crew are suffering from fixture congestion with the team still alive in the U.S. Open Cup and CONCACAF Champion's League. While San Jose had to travel to Toronto, back to San Jose, and on to Ohio in a week, Columbus had it worse, playing a game in Guatemala on Wednesday.

With just five games remaining the Quakes need 10 points to assure a playoff spot. While a draw would be an adequate result on the road against a fellow playoff caliber squad, a win would wash away the bad feeling from Chicago's 3-0 drubbing. The main improvement San Jose needs to make from Wednesday's loss is in the finishing department. The Quakes outshot the fire 16-10 and put 6 shots on target but none found the back of the net.

Columbus is led by Argentinian forward and former MLS MVP Guillermo Barros Schelotto.  The 37 year old veteran paces the team in both goals and assists and his involvement is crucial for the Crew's attack. Frankie Hejduk is the other most recognizable member of the Crew. Look for him to move forward into attack from his defensive left back position. Andy Iro makes up one half of the central defense pairing, but Chad Marshall may miss the game with neck spasms.

For San Jose it will be interesting to see if Frank Yallop makes any changes in the lineup after sending out the same eleven two games in a row. Considering that it would be their third game in 8 days and that the lineup was only marginally effective and faded badly in the second half against Chicago one would expect a few changes. My guess is that Joey Gjertsen, Bobby Burling, Brad Ring and perhaps even Eduardo may get a chance to start.

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