COMMERCE CITY CO - AUGUST 07: Chris Wondolowski #8 of the San Jose Earthquakes gets off a shot as Pablo Mastroeni #25 of the Colorado Rapid defends at Dick's Sporting Goods Park on August 7 2010 in Commerce City Colorado. The Rapids defeated the Earthquakes 1-0. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
1 Total Update since August 14, 2010
almost 3 years ago Update 0 comments
Behind a new-look lineup and unexpected contributions, San Jose broke their losing streak and picked up a critical three points with a 1-0 win over the Kansas City Wizards. San Jose’s one goal came in the 35th minute, a beautiful one-time shot across goal by Chris Wondolowski from an excellent looping, over head pass from Khari Stephenson. Stephenson was arguably the story of the game. Signed just five days prior to the game from Aelesunds in Norway, the Jamaican made his debut and immediately left his mark on the game. From his position in midfield he created chances for his teammates and hit the crossbar on one dead ball shot attempt. With San Jose’s recent struggles in midfield, Stephenson’s arrival may bode well for the conclusion of the season.
Meanwhile, Tim Ward, Jason Hernandez, Brandon McDonald, and Bobby Convey formed an unusual but effective back line, and Joe Cannon returned to the starting lineup and earned a clean sheet with seven saves. Bobby Burling and Steve Beitashour both ended up not playing to rest their injuries, but both were available as substitutes and Burling even entered the game in the 89th minute. Having both back will allow more players to return to their natural positions with the Los Angeles Galaxy coming to town.
almost 3 years ago Update 0 comments
At 7:00 pm tonight San Jose will be looking to end a damaging two game losing streak and gain three points against a mediocre Kansas City Wizards side. With only one win in their last eight league games, San Jose desperately needs to hold serve at home against an Eastern Conference team unlikely to be involved in the playoff race. The Wizards have just one win and four goals in eight away contests, a run of form that bodes well for the Quakes. But San Jose's inability to find goals and injury ravaged defense means that no game will be easy.
The Earthquakes carry a few unanswered questions into this game. Among them include:
Who starts in goal? - Jon Busch has generally shown excellent form in front of the net, but his ugly own goal against Seattle has reopened the battle for starting minutes with Joe Cannon. Frank Yallop has yet to announce his decision. Despite the uncertainty, this is still San Jose's most worry-free position because both are usually solid choices.
Are there enough bodies left to play defense? - Defenders Chris Leitch, Ike Opara and Ramiro Corrales are all out with injuries. Bobby Burling is probable with a toe contusion, but if he is unable to play San Jose may truly be in dire straits. The injury situation is so bad that Frank Yallop floated the idea of playing attacking winger Bobby Convey at left back, a move that strikes me as detrimental for the offense and the defense.
Can any strikers create pressure in front of goal? - Ryan Johnson, Cornell Glen, Chris Wondolowski, Arturo Alvarez, Scott Sealy. Yallop has tried all of them in various combinations and none have resulted in a consistently dangerous offense. Some of that blame surely falls on the midfielders, who have trouble maintaining possession and linking up with the forwards. Still, San Jose needs somebody to step up and find the back of the net so the season risks falling further towards irrelevancy.
Kei Kamara, Kansas City Forward - The South African dominates Kansas City's attack. He has nearly twice as many shots as any other teammate and half of his team's goals. Stop him and KC's weaker players will be forced to step up. The question of this game may be if San Jose has anybody left on the back line capable of holding him in check.