Still buzzing from last weekend’s 1-0 win over Montreal, the San Jose Earthquakes will head into Saturday night’s match against Vancouver Whitecaps FC full of confidence. The players executed a sharp game plan laid out by the coaching staff and the acquisitions brought in by general manager Jesse Fioranelli and technical director Chris Leitch all proved they belong.
Looking ahead to Saturday, there are several questions that need to be answered.
1. What will the starting XI look like on Saturday?
Over the past two years, head coach Dominic Kinnear has expressed a desire to keep a winning side in tact from one week to another, barring injuries or suspensions. It remains to be seen if he will continue that sentiment into 2017. Jahmir Hyka
and Danny Hoesen
are the two most likely candidates to force their way into the XI at some point, but any absences should be more attributed to the play of those starting, and not by any fault of their own.
2. Can Anibal Godoy continue to be a force on the offensive end?
After tallying three goals and two assists over a year and a half with the team entering 2017, Godoy
was an offensive force last weekend, scoring the game-winning goal and providing dangerous passes all match long. According to the Audi Player Index, Godoy was not only the top overall player in Week 1, but also third based solely on offensive production—well ahead of players such as Giovani dos Santos, Diego Valeri, Nicolas Lodeiro and David Villa.
3. Has Flo Jungwirth cemented his position on the backline?
Upon his signing in February, there were some question marks about his future position with the club. As an incredibly versatile player capable of playing along the backline (both center or right) or in midfield, Jungwirth started Week 1 alongside Victor Bernardez
with Harold Cummings
still recovering from offseason surgery. Jungwirth
was absolutely phenomenal in the shutout victory, earning Team of the Week honors in his MLS debut. There will be quite a competition when Cummings returns to the playing field.