Quakes Salvage 1-1 Draw in Vancouver; and Other NewsBy: Chris | May 12th, 2011
It’s a shame that in a game where the Quakes played like they did last year as well as the first 3 games of the season, it will actually be compared to the Conference Final tragedy. Granted the result isn’t as bad as the Colorado game last year, but the goal itself was the same. The Quakes played an attacking game while keeping a solid defense.
The Quakes have been the victims of bad luck all too often in recent months. Starting with the Kimura cross in the Conference Finals, the Pearce / Moreno free kick against Chivas USA, the bogus penalty call against Hernandez in Philadelphia, and last night the Chiumiento cross in second half stoppage time. The Chiumiento and Kimura goals share the notoriety of being flukey goals that had no business of being scored.
The Quakes started slow but soon took control the game. While they didn’t have the better possession at the end of the first half, the scoreline – and overall season stats – showed that possession doesn’t necessarily prove success. The Quakes had 10 shots to Vancouver’s 1 at the end of the first half, and 1 of those shots by the Quakes was Wondo’s 4th goal of the year.
The Quakes have rarely been dangerous through the middle since Dawkins has been out with injury. But Wondo’s goal was the culmination of 3 good attacks through the middle. Unfortunately all 3 of those attacks fizzled out, but the Quakes were able to recover the ball near the 18 yard box to restart an attack. After a few attempts, Cronin took a shot from about 30 yards out. Vancouver’s keeper Nolly parried the ball away, but Johnson was able to collect it near the goal line and sent in a cross that Wondo was able to flick into the goal with a left footed backheel.
Vancouver’s goal can be attributed to poor clearances, something they had trouble with last year as well. Chiumiento’s cross went through the box untouched by anyone. Busch was positioned to the left of the center of goal anticipating a flick on to the left. Unfortunately no one touched the ball so Busch couldn’t get to the ball to stop it. You can also see in the video that neither Lenhart nor Burling attempted to jump and get a head on the ball.
Johnson showed up to play. I’ve been hard on Johnson this season because he hasn’t seemed on top of his game yet. Well he brought it last night. He had several great shots on goal, sent in a lot of crosses from the left, and set up Wondo for his goal. Let’s hope he can keep it up.
Ring was surprisingly effective in the middle. I wasn’t sure he would be able to provide enough attacking support for the forwards. While he wasn’t the main initiator of attacks, he distributed to the flanks where most of the attacks came from.
The defense was good and looked like last year. Players got back to cover, fought for balls, and kept a high line of pressure which enabled more attacks.
The right side of the attack has been largely ineffective all year. Convey is usually the initiator of attacks on the left and Dawkins was able to initiate in the middle. But the right has been missing that spark. I think a lot of people want to see Ampai on the right since he has shown creativity and imagination in the past.
Beitashour. Beitashour played a decent game. He was solid defensively but there was something lacking in his movement forward. The fullbacks should be supporting the attack, and Corrales was mixing it up in attack. However Beitashour wasn’t seen on the attack until the very end of the game.
US Open cup
The Quakes will be playing Chicago in the Qualifying Finals on May 24th Buck Shaw. The winner of this game will enter the USOC tournament proper in the Round of 16. The Quakes haven’t gotten past the qualifying round since 2005. The funny thing is that on May 28th the Quakes play Chicago in Chicago. So it’ll be interesting to see how each team approaches this game so close to a turn around game 4 days later.
The Quakes will host English Premier League side West Bromwich Albion on July 12th. West Brom has bounced between the Premier League and the second division the last decade and have won promotion to the top flight for the 2011-12 season. West Brom will be looking to put together a strong team so as to avoid relegation again. The friendly for them will be a good chance to see what they need to work on and improve for their upcoming season. It will also be a chance for the Quakes to play a top quality European team this season. So win win.
The Quakes welcome Columbus to Buck Shaw on Saturday night. While the team was hoping to jump out of bottom place in the West last night, the team and coaches think there is a good chance of getting a positive result on Saturday. I’m going to be busy this weekend, so the preview will be short and sweet.
Quakes need to keep a solid defense. Opara and Burling played really well together against Portland in the USOC game and last night against Vancouver. Lenhart still isn’t 100% match fitness but despite that he has shown flashes of what he could be at 100%. Hopefully we can see Ampai in an attacking role on the right side. And most importantly, NO MORE FLUKE GOALS!