The San Jose Earthquakes have seen their lead for the Supporters' Shield shrink in recent weeks so they made sure to stretch that lead out a bit on Saturday night. With the Colorado Rapids in town, the Quakes were clicking and showed their visitors just how dangerous they can be. Alan Gordon and Simon Dawkins each notched a brace as San Jose rolled to a dominating 4-1 victory at Buck Shaw Stadium.
Dawkins got the Quakes going in the 11th minute when he was freed up by some nifty play by Gordon. The forward brought the ball down well, turned and then hit a good ball out to the left for Dawkins. The Englishman cut in to his right then ripped a good shot to beat Matt Pickens for the opening tally.
Just before halftime, San Jose doubled their lead and this time Gordon got to do the finishing. Some nice play down the left by Rafael Baca cleared space for him to get to the endline and cross. There were several Colorado defenders at the top of the six-yard box, but they all allowed the cross to drop within inches of the ground, which allowed Gordon to knock it in for a 2-0 Quakes lead.
Tyrone Marshall did his best to get the Rapids back in the match with a goal on the other side of halftime, but it didn't slow the Quakes down.
A 68th minute goal put the Quakes firmly back in charge and it was Dawkins who did the honors, notching a brace. The Rapids completely forgot to mark Sam Cronin on a throw-in so he was able to stride right down the middle of the field and bring the Colorado defense his way. As soon as they converged on him, he fed Dawkins, who was free to fire past Pickens to make it 3-1.
Dawkins had a pair so Gordon had to match him and late on he did. Ramiro Corrales fed him for his brace as the Quakes made an emphatic statement that they are still the top team in MLS.