Friday, February 15, 2008

Report From New San Jose Earthquakes First Exhibition Match

I got this email from a reader named DougO, and wanted to share it with everyone:

I took my 9-yr old to PAL (Police Athletic League) Stadium in San Jose last night. This match was the first time our newly reconstituted EQs have taken the field, so it was bittersweet to watch them go up against the Dynamo. Dynamo won 1-0 on a 43rd minute goal from Ricardo Clark off a goal-mouth scramble, as you've probably already heard.

Dynamo certainly had the better of the run of play and controlled more possession, generated more chances- but the Quakes were swift and opportunistic, penetrating on several slashing combinations in each half. Dynamo started out with many of our old favorites- Ching up front (with Wondolowski), DeRosario, Clark, Holden, and Mulrooney in M, and Robinson and Onstadt anchoring the D (couldn't see the other D). EQ started Glinton up top, and wow is he fast. Kamara started as well. Mids were Guerero, Grabavoy, Vide, and (couldn't see the right mid). In the back I can't say I saw Cochrane- although the disappointment I felt over Yallop's trade for Garcia was only amplified when he hacked DeRo from behind twice in the 4th minute and was whistled for similar antics in the 8th- he kept it up all game, and I must say I hope Yallop gives up on him sooner than later. Riley impressed, as did Cannon. Again, I missed some of the starting D.

PAL Stadium is not very wide nor long, so play was constricted, or I think Houston would have run all over us. As it was, the tight quarters gave both teams opportunities, which bodes well for Yallop's approach to talent, (slow, hacky Garcia aside)- after only two weeks it's still very sloppy but the attempts and infrequent successes suggest that a lot of these guys have the talent to play a nice fast tight passing game, as the old EQs did under him and under Kinnear, and as they've continued to do so well since leaving. No subs in the first half, a few at the break and after, then in the 60th minute both teams ran a wholesale bench-swap- everybody not playing came on except Waibel, and maybe Davis stayed out.

New EQs who impressed- Glinton, Riley, Guerrero, Cannon, Burpo, Smarte, Taylor, Morales, Curry- and whoever was wearing (Cochrane's) #5 after the substitutions the last 30 minutes- he was fast and tricky (4 guys are listed on the roster we rcv'd without numbers, one of those- probably Nunez from Brazil). Kamara was fast enough and good enough with the ball to get into good positions and receive the ball, but too slow to decide what to do with it; got stripped again and again.

Well, enough rambling- hope you find something you can use. We enjoyed it, and it wasn't the slaughter we expected.

MLS has returned to San Jose, and this is good.


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