SAN JOSE, Calif. – Slumping forward Cornell Glen has a message for San Jose Earthquakes fans wanting to vent their frustrations about his inability to convert goal-scoring opportunities of late:
There’s nothing you can say that he's not already telling myself.
“I’m my own worst enemy,” Glen told MLSsoccer.com. “I’m my own worst critic. I criticize myself worse than anyone else, so it doesn’t matter to me much what people say.”
Tongues have been wagging of late because Glen has been the point of San Jose’s rather dull spear. The Quakes have just two goals in their last five matches, while Glen has seen several prime opportunities sail out of bounds after an errant touch with his feet or head.
Against Kansas City on Aug. 14, Glen steamed down the middle of the pitch on a counter and drew out goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen, but he couldn’t put his 26th-minute shot on net. Three minutes later, Khari Stephenson found Glen with a chip pass, and Glen correctly deduced which direction Nielsen would go – but put his header wide of the open goalmouth [WATCH HERE].
Last weekend in Red Bull Arena, Glen beat the hosts’ offside trap and pounced on a lead pass from Chris Wondolowski in the 25th minute, but he pushed his 12-yard shot over a sliding Bouna Coundoul wide past the far post [WATCH HERE]. He also made a sliding stab at a perfect cross from Omar Jasseh in the 65th minute, but he couldn’t control it as it flew over the crossbar [WATCH HERE].
“[Glen] works hard at his finishing in training,” coach Frank Yallop told MLSsoccer.com. “It’s a bit like when Wondo had that stretch where he couldn’t seem to score, and then he scores two in a row.”
Maybe so, but the two in the row haven’t yet come for Glen, who has just one goal to Wondolowski’s eight on the year. And even after more than a decade as a professional, Glen admits that misses such as the ones he had against New York still get into his head.
“Definitely,” Glen said. “But it’s something that you’ve got to put a mental block to and just try to forget it and move on to the next one. Especially games like this, where we have chances and missed chances, sometimes you have sleepless nights. You just come out the next day and work hard, work on doing the correct stuff and hope it goes well the next game.”
Yallop looks at those examples as proof that Glen should remain in the starting lineup.
“Cornell played well on Saturday,” Yallop told MLSsoccer.com. “His all-around game was good, he was very dangerous, he ran the line well and played a good game without getting that goal that he deserved. But it’ll come. We’ve got to make sure we don’t get too down on players that are working hard and trying hard for the team, which he is doing.”
Glen knows that opprobrium comes with the territory as a forward. After all, even on a night with a hat trick, fans almost always think you could have scored one or two more goals.
“You can play well, but as forward, all [fans] see are the chances you miss, because primarily, that’s your job,” Glen said.
Geoff Lepper covers the Earthquakes for MLSsoccer.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org . On Twitter: @sjquakes