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Quakes, Dynamo reunite for first clash of the season

Posted on 27 March 2009 by epederson

It’s sibling rivalry unchained this Saturday night when the Quakes face the Houston Dynamo at Buck Shaw stadium in a game where there is always more at stake than meets the eye. The action and atmosphere should be intense.

The Quakes and the Dynamo will both be fighting for their first win of the season this Saturday, both feeling the sting of not starting their season to plan. The Quakes will be looking for their first goal. Team belief and momentum, or lack thereof is at stake on the pitch, the game is worth more than the three points.

San Jose would be remiss to underestimate the Dynamo line-up even if some of Houston’s best players will not play. Forward Brian Ching is with the US Mens National Team, while defender Eddie Robinson is out injured. Dwayne De Rosario now plays for Toronto FC. Kei Kamara is suspended for, of all things, a comment he made at a preseason game with San Jose. With Ching and Kamara out, the Dynamo will be trying something different up front, probably partnering Chris Wondolowski with Brian Mullan or Geoff Cameron. The Dynamo have depth, quality and a winning mindset.

Last October the Quakes went to Houston with play-off hopes still alive only to have them snuffed out by a reduced Dynamo squad that showed their championship pedigree. The Dynamo started fast and got a scrappy goal in the 6th minute. Kei Kamara was ejected 5 minutes later but the Quakes could not take the lead despite playing for 79 minutes a man up. Houston finished the Quakes off in the 93rd minute with a second Stuart Holden goal in a gritty performance.

Stuart Holden is expected to start again this match, while there is no player on the current Quakes squad who has scored against Houston. The two clubs’ short history against each other is dead even, with each having one draw, one win and four goals to their credit.

Last week the Quakes exhibited attacking intent against the New England Revolution in their first game of the season, lacking only the quality finishes needed to yield goals. A couple moments of poor focus yielding a defensive error and a couple of poor finishes belied the Quakes dominance over most of the 90 minutes.

Darren Huckerby looks, as last year, a real force on attack, and Ryan Johnson looks capable of keeping pace with him. It is simply too soon to judge Bobby Convey’s impact, but this would be a great game for Bobby to turn his promise into points; eyes will be upon him. Quincy Amarikwa and Shea Salinas, coming on as substitutes, have looked hard to contain going forward, fast and dynamic. Starter Arturo Alvarez has been equally dangerous, if more selective in developing opportunities. There is enough attack in the Quakes squad, but better finishing will be required to win Saturday.

The crowd at Buck Shaw will be in full voice Saturday night. Earthquakes fans recall how their team was taken from them and moved to Houston in 2006 and how, renamed the Dynamo, their team won two straight MLS Cups for Houston, 2006-2007. The fans know this adversary; 10 members of the 2005 Earthquakes team still play for the Dynamo. Dynamo coach Dominic Kinnear has been both an Earthquakes player and coach. Every mention of Houston brings back the San Jose fans’ pain of losing their MLS team.

Quakes fans will always demand victory over the Dynamo to make things right but the Dynamo are a championship capable side. The Dynamo are not going to lose the game, instead the Quakes will have to win it.

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  1. How to be a true sports fan | Attacking 90 - the Soccer Enthusiast's Blog Says:

    […] what happened to fans in San Jose who lost their Earthquakes to Houston in 2005.  The new Earthquakes face the Houston Dynamo again this Saturday.  Three years later almost all of the starting Dynamo players were Earthquakes in the past, they […]

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