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Saturday, September 10, 2011
Rapid Reaction: Earthquakes 2, Fire 0

By Charlie Corr

Here is a quick look at the Chicago Fire's 2-0 loss against the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday at Buck Shaw Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif.:

How it happened: San Jose forward Chris Wondolowski gave the Quakes a 1-0 lead in the 10th minute, getting behind Fire left back Dan Gargan for his 10th goal of the season. Ramiro Corrales then pushed the San Jose lead to 2-0 with a 70th-minute goal from up close. Earlier in the 53rd minute, Fire goalkeeper Sean Johnson made a huge penalty kick save against Wondolowski, diving to his right to maintain a one-goal deficit. Former Fire and current Quakes goalkeeper Jon Busch came up with two big saves in first-half stoppage time to maintain a 1-0 lead heading into halftime.

What it means: The Earthquakes improved to 6-10-11 and 29 points, moving ahead of the Fire in the playoff bid for a wild card spot. San Jose ended a 13-game winless streak. Chicago falls to 4-8-15 and 27 points. The Fire's four-game unbeaten run of 2-0-2 comes to a close.

Outside the box: Heading into Saturday, the Fire's defensive focus was on how Chicago interim head coach Frank Klopas would approach the back line with left back Gonzalo Segares out because of yellow card accumulation. Klopas shifted typical right back Gargan to the left, moved captain Logan Pause from the midfield to right back, and inserted Baggio Husidic into the midfield. Gargan lost track of Wondolowski on the Quakes' 10th-minute goal, and he picked up a yellow card for dissent in the 56th. Gargan will now miss next Saturday's Chivas USA match. However, Gargan lost track of Wondolowski as the Quakes gained the early goal. The Fire's defensive maneuvering continues next week.

Up next: The Fire host Chivas de Guadalajara at 8 p.m. Wednesday at Toyota Park for an international friendly. Chicago then returns to league play against Chivas USA at 3 p.m. Saturday at Toyota Park.