I am not using myself as a measuring stick for a professional soccer player, nor should any of you, but I got off the plane in Philadelphia, got to the hotel, went to the gym, and felt off. I lurched my way thru a workout and assumed I would be fine the next morning once I got some sleep and food in me. The next morning, I had my coffee, felt the caffeine buzz and got set for GAINZZZ. Yeah, after ten minutes into my workout, I felt gassed. I'm in decent shape, I know what I am usually capable of, but it was another reminder of the drain sitting on an airplane for six hours (and losing three more to time change) can have.
Yeah, I am happy with a point on the road, even if you are not. Traveling in Major League Soccer is tremendously difficult, particularly so for the Western teams going east. The Quakes went across the country and came away with a point for their efforts. Up to this point, things have mostly gone as I would have expected them to. SJ beat MNUFC, a team they are and were better than. Then they had the notoriously tough job of going to Children's Mercy, where they were beat, by just a goal. Then It was back home for best of the east, NYCFC. Taking the loss hurt, they were worthy of a draw. Off to Philly, you get a point (which is what you need to do in MLS). The game hosting New York is the only one that sticks out to me as a frustration, because it was at home, and the Quakes played really well in the second half. You've got to put the ball in the net. Sean Johnson kept that from happening. Oh, and the LA Zlatans just hosted SKC and got beat 2-0 in their own house. San Jose looked better against SKC in KC. My real point here is to not panic. We're four matches in, and things have mostly gone as expected.
Bring on The Dynamo
We'll be without Harold Cummings, they will be without Demarcus Beasley. Both will be serving single game suspensions for red cards, whatever, that's life, but it brings about tough questions for Mikael Stahre and Wilmer Cabrera. For Stahre, does he move Flo Jungwirth to center back and bring in Tommy, Jahmir, or Jackson into central midfield, or does he use Affolter or Ockford at CB and keep Flo put? Or is it Alashe who comes in at defensive mid, which allows godoy to stick to his natural game? I'm glad I'm not the one that has to figure that out. I talked to Robert Jonas of centerlinesoccer.com and his thinking was that Fatai Alashe slots in, while Florian goes to center back. The fourth-year man from Michigan State seems to have the skill set at this point that works in Stahre's system.
For Cabrera and his backline? Have fun trying to figure that out. Machado and Fuenmayor have some versatility, as does Leonardo, but that still leaves the questions of whether or not Senderos or other options are healthy enough to populate the back line as well. I am more worried about the attack of Houston. La Panterita, Alberth Elis is playing like a mad mad, and is one of the most dangerous players in MLS. He, along with Mauro Manotas and Tomas Martinez, and a playmaker like Andrew Wenger remind us all of why this team made a deep run in the playoffs last year. I expect the Quakes to win at home, but it won't be easy. This is a big test for San Jose. They should win, but will they?
How are you not happy for Brad Friedal and his upstart Revolution? This guy repped the Stars and Stripes like few others, had an outstanding professional career, was highly doubted and much maligned by many when hired as head coach of the Revs, and has led his team to quite a nice start. He's also a proud member of #teambald and looks like me. What's not to like?
Welcome to Major League Soccer, LAFC
Yeah, they had a nice start, but when reality hits in MLS, it hits hard. First, they choked and were Zlatan-ed two weeks ago, and then this past weekend they were eviscerated by Atlanta United. LAFC has some great names, but they are paper thin. They are about as deep as an episode of Big Bang Theory. Teams are getting a look at them now, and starting to figure out what LAFC wants to do. I don't think LAFC are going away, mind you, but they suddenly look much more vulnerable.
Um.... he has 24 goals in 25 appearances for Atlanta United. I don't really know what else to say about that. It speaks for itself.
Ted Ramey - PXP SJ Earthquakes - @tedrameymedia