Albert Einstein is reported to have branded insanity as “doing the same thing over and over and over again and expecting different results”.
The San Jose Earthquakes, and in particular defensive duo Clarence Goodson and Victor Bernardez, should have no issues with that definition.
At one point last season the veteran pair, ably assisted by goalkeeper David Bingham, embarked upon a shutout spree lasting 448 minutes and conceded 39 goals – a figure only bettered in MLS by the Vancouver Whitecaps.
And this year Goodson and Bernardez, each 33, have picked up right were they left off as Dominic Kinnear’s men posted a 2-0-0 record.
“We’re actually a little disappointed to concede the one goal we have,” said Goodson, after the Quakes opened the season with a 1-0 victory over Colorado Rapids and a 2-1 triumph over the champion Portland Timbers. “I think we have continued where we left off defensively. We make ourselves hard to break down and we are fully committed in what we do.”
Amid all the continuity there has, however, been one enforced change, with Superdraft third round pick Kip Colvey coming in at left back following a succession of injuries in the squad. The young Kiwi has performed well and Goodson admitted he is quick with advice for the 22-year-old.
“I think Kip’s done well,” he said. “He’s a confident guy on the field, he reads the game well and is confident on the ball which helps out a ton. I am who I am - I am going to talk regardless and always be in guy’s ears but Kip’s done well.”
Goodson, himself drafted in 2004, now has more than a decade of experience under his belt and, ahead of today’s California Clasico trip to Los Angeles, has his travelling routine down.
“Each trip is different,” he said. “This one is a short flight so that’s good. I usually lay back, relax and get some good music and a good book.”
The reading choice for this particular away day, Goodson revealed, is Wild at Heart.
“It’s about a dad, a journey into adulthood, being a father,” the defender added.
Goodson, one of the Quakes leaders, will be hoping to lead the path to victory over the Galaxy and acknowledged the rivalry adds a little spice to the occasion.
“It’s a big game,” he said. “You always want to do well against them and win those games. At the end of the day it’s three points but have you to keep that a little in perspective.”
Wise words. But make no mistake – this one means plenty to the players.
“We absolutely want to win the game,” Goodson added. "It’s a big one.”