Tag Archive | "San Jose Earthquakes"

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Wondo Keeps Quakes Top of Table

Posted on 23 September 2012 by Kyle Alm

Seattle Sounders slim chance at winning the Supporter’s Shield was crushed Saturday evening in Seattle when the San Jose Earthquakes put on an offensive display that shows that they truly belong at the top of the MLS Table. The two sides have been building some bad blood recently, a couple of close matches, a couple of physical altercations, the same mutually exclusive prize in an unbalanced schedule and you’ve got a budding rivalry.

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It didn’t take long for the Quakes to get started, in the 2nd minute Simon Dawkins was given space to shoot from a yard beyond the penalty box semi-circle. It was a horrible start for Sounders at home, all Michael Gspurning could do was watch it sail into the top corner and voice his displeasure at his defenders. Although it is not uncommon to give a midfield player space that far away from goal, it was too much space and the shot was not challenged by a defender.

Sammy Ochoa starting in place of Eddie Johnson, suspended for yellow card accumulation, was given his first real opportunity to start in MLS action and made an important contribution when he was able to beat his defender with a flick and then crossed the ball, Fredy Montero tried for it near the middle of the goal, but it was just out of reach. Steve Zakuani was ready for the ball when the cross went past the Colombian, and finished unmarked to draw the Sounders level.

San Jose Earthquakes were the dominant team in the first half, they were able to pass the ball with more ease, get forward in dangerous positions, create crosses, and get shots on goal. Their winner came on a corner kick that was conceded by Adam Johansson & Michael Gspurning in an awkward fashion. The corner kick went over the goal frame and was sent back in by Victor Bernardez and flicked past Gspurning by Chris Wondolowski, who stayed on pace with Roy Lassiter’s record 27 goals from 1996. Wondowlowski has 22 goals now with 4 matches left in the season to catch Lassiter.

Zakuani, who had been the hero moments earlier, was caught on the back post after the ball had been played out initially, he stayed on the post for the second cross into the box by Bernardez. A player can’t be offside on a corner because of where the ball is on the end line, when a player is stuck on the post defending you can’t be offside then either. Wondowlowski would have been offside had Zakuani stepped off the post, Ianni gave space, and tried to close when he realized he was onside, but it was too late.

As much as San Jose came out screaming in the first half, their enthusiasm was considereably muted in the second half. Scoring opportunities, crosses, were all down in the second half as the Quakes looked to defend their lead in Seattle. Sounders looked better and did have a better second half, but when the opposing team is bunkering down to defend a lead you can’t help but look better than you did before.

Sounders only managed one shot on target the entire night, Zakuani’s goal. Jon Busch didn’t have a single save.

Usually rivalries are give and take, but it’s been all San Jose this season and the Sounders have been taking it. San Jose had always been a good offensive side that defended poorly, Frank Yallop has gotten his side organized and kept the goal differential on the positive side by 26 goals after tonight’s match. Sounders fans would probably start a rivalry with any team that Steven Lenhart is on.

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Philadelphia Union vs. San Jose Earthquakes: Player Ratings

Posted on 02 May 2011 by stoma

GK Faryd Mondragon (6.5)- With even the defenders pressing up early on, Mondragon served as a glorified sweeper, easily collecting a quantity of balls that got through the stretched out Califf and Valdes.  Faryd didn’t face his first challenged until the 21st minute, when he was called into a flurry of action including two corner kicks and an attempted ball over the top from Anthony Ampaipitakwong that required the keeper to parry it aside.  Then, in the 30th minute, as the Union threatened to give up yet another goal off a set piece rebound, Faryd went feet-first to stonewall the sliding attempt of Chris Wondowlowski, a brilliant save that set off fireworks between Mondragon and Earthquakes midfielder Ben McDonald.  This, of course, quickly ignited a full-squad confrontation once Danny Califf saw his goalkeeper being pushed by an opponent.  The end result was matching yellows for Faryd and McDonald and a chorus of “Mon-drag-on” chants from the River End.

For the rest of the match, with the crowd frenzied and then taken to a crescendo when the Union took the lead in the 76th minute, Mondragon assumed his role once again as the calming presence at the back.  Although he only officially recorded 1 save, that’s not counting the aforementioned rebuke of Wondolowski and a critical punch of a 50/50 ball bouncing in that Steven Lenhart had a real chance at putting away.  The 1 official save was also solid, as a San Jose corner ricocheted onto the head of Lenhart only to be calmly snatched by Faryd to preserve the shutout.

LB Jordan Harvey (5)- After a largely uneventful 1st half in which Harvey joined Sheanon Williams in pushing as far up high as they could get away with, calamity found Jordan in the form of a 50/50 ball that ended up with Chris Leitch tangled up at Harvey’s feet.  Attempting to disengage himself and go after the ball, Harvey managed what appeared to be a bit of an extracurricular jab with his spike into Leitch’s midsection.  This earned Jordan a 41st minute sending-off, compounded by the fact that referee Mark Geiger missed Leitch’s obvious retaliation, which should have resulted in discipline for him, as well.  Pursuant to Major League Soccer’s rules, the straight red earns Harvey a 2-game suspension. The decision will most likely be appealed.

CB Danny Califf (7)- As we said about Valdes a few games ago, while Mondragon has rightly been rapidly gaining notoriety around the league for his immense ability, the defense directly in front of him should also be receiving a large amount of credit for Philadelphia’s quick turnaround from porous last season to impenetrable so far this season.  Further, the imposing presence of both Califf and Valdes has allowed Piotr Nowak and the technical staff to develop more offensive-minded tactics without having to worry that they will be left vulnerable at the back.  As we saw against San Jose, the Union can be successful defensively with just Califf and Valdes hanging back.  Even down a man, the side did not have to abandon the attack, which allowed them to secure the home win they were seeking.

CB Carlos Valdes (7.5)- Another stellar defensive outing from Valdes, especially so as he and Califf were given even more responsibility than usual with both wingbacks pushing up high early on.  Then, after Harvey’s ejection, as the Union continued to attack, it was the steady hand of Valdes that insured that no quick counterattack or long ball challenged the Philadelphia goal.  So solid has Carlos’ play been that it seems fruitless to try and point out the myriad positive plays he makes in this space.  Instead, one must try and identify any mistakes.  As has been the case more often than not this season, there were none against San Jose.

RB Sheanon Williams (6.5)- Along with Harvey, Williams spent the first half-hour of the match joining a relentless Union attack as the center backs alone held the fort in front of Mondragon.  Made an impact early, earning a corner in the 13th minute, and remained a part of the action even after Philadelphia went down a man.  Along with his long throws, which have become an integral part of the attack, especially on the occasions against San Jose when the defense was not ready for a quick restart, Sheanon was again a positive influence on the opposition’s side of the pitch.  When the time came for Williams to defend, the results were not as strong, but neither were they highly disappointing.  Sheanon’s weakness remains judgment of long balls in the air and understanding when to step up and gamble.  However, his speed has so far allowed him to recover on mistakes, an attribute that will make him all the more valuable as his technique continues to improve.

MID Amobi Okugo (8 *ASN PHILLY MAN OF THE MATCH*)- Left as the sole defensive midfielder to help anchor the defense, it was trial by fire for the rapidly developing Okugo.   From early on, it was clear that Amobi was up to the task, as he not only stood tall in defense, but was happy to keep the ball and move forward to initiate the attack.   Then, at halftime, when Stefani Miglioranzi came on to take on the lion’s share of the defensive responsibility, Okugo shifted to a hybrid role and found himself pushing forward as the Union’s attack continued to gain momentum, even with the man disadvantage.   First, he trailed the attack in the 70th minute when a failed clearance came to him and he took a strong shot from 25 yards that forced Jon Busch into action.  Then, the payoff came in the 76th minute, when a strong run into the box ended with an attempted cross that struck the hand of Earthquakes defender Jason Hernandez and resulted in the ultimately game-winning penalty kick, converted by Le Toux.  Okugo’s versatility is fast making him invaluable to the Philadelphia side.  It is going to be incredibly difficult to keep him out of the starting XI from this point forward.

MID Sebastien Le Toux (7)- Le Toux still struggled with his first touch in traffic, but the attacking formation at the outset gave him a little more room to work with, and Seba took advantage from the kickoff on.  Sebastien made threatening runs, combined with Torres, Ruiz and Mwanga on several legitimate scoring opportunities and used his speed to get behind the San Jose defense with regularity.  There was also the nifty move that took him into the penalty area only to be derailed by a hard challenge from Sam Cronin just before he took his shot.  A bit of a breakout game for Seba, even without the results in the run of play.  Of course, all of this took a backseat to Le Toux’s 1st goal of the season off of the 76th minute penalty kick, the only goal of the match, driven down the center and toward the top of the goal.  Seba remains the team’s designated penalty taker and has yet to be denied in that role as a member of the Union.

MID Roger Torres (6)– A somewhat surprising start, as Piotr Nowak and his staff unveiled a much-welcomed attacking lineup at home.  Tasked with manning the middle of the front three midfielders, Torres would need to prove that he could be the engine of the attack, opting for the simple pass more often than the homerun ball.   He definitely showed a bit more discretion than we’ve seen from Roger, although the only serious chance involving him was a shot attempted on Jon Busch’s near side in the 16th minute after receiving a deft pass from Carlos Ruiz that Busch parried relatively easily.  With his first start of the season, Torres showed a continued improvement in poise and presence.  Unfortunately, before anything tangible could materialize, he was taken off at the half for defensive purposes in place of Michael Farfan.

MID Keon Daniel (7.5)- Daniel is beginning to really put his imprint on the Philadelphia side, taking more initiative and gaining more trust from his teammates and the coaching staff with each passing game.  Keon took control of the buildup from the left flank, allowing Le Toux and Torres the room to operate and move forward.  Daniel’s play became even more vital when Jordan Harvey was sent off in the 41st minute, first moving back to cover the vacated left back position to close the 1st half and then taking on even more responsibility as the team continued to push for a goal in the 2nd half.  In particular, his combinations with Michael Farfan and Le Toux down the wing were invariably productive.

FWD Danny Mwanga (6)- A capable, not spectacular effort from Mwanga against San Jose, as he was able to use his possessions well, either turning upfield or linking with his teammates.  Where Danny still needs to improve is his off-the-ball presence.  We’ve all by now seen him turn on that extra gear, the one that most people, even professional athletes, do not possess.  However, this seems only to occur when Mwanga already has the ball and can smell the goal.  Rare is the occasion when he will turn on the jets to make a center run or make a challenge that could change the game in the final third.  When he shows that level of stamina and work ethic, though, he will be among the league’s elite.  Mwanga was brought off for extra midfielder Stefani Miglioranzi at halftime after the Union went a man down.

FWD Carlos Ruiz (7)- For possibly the first time since joining the Union, it can be said that Ruiz truly worked with and for his teammates against San Jose.   Taking more of the distributor role in this match, he first combined with Roger Torres and Seba Le Toux for an early chance, then found Torres in the 16th minute with a ball that sprang Torres for shot on goal.  He also made himself available with runs into the area, notably receiving a ground cross from Le Toux that resulted in a shot that was blocked.  In the 2nd half, Ruiz continued his good work, highlighted by an exchange in the 70th minute in which he received a ball in from Michael Farfan, turned and found Le Toux, and laid it off for what was the best opportunity the Union had all day during the run of play.  Came off for Kyle Nakazawa in the 83rd minute.

MID Stefani Miglioranzi (6)- Came on for defensive purposes at halftime after Harvey was sent off, replacing Danny Mwanga.  In a shorter burst than his usual role up until now as a starter, Migs was far more effective than he had been in recent matches.  He consistently battled for every ball, made several key tackles and kept his wits about him when he found himself in possession in a hotly contested midfield.  Obviously, it is not likely that a defensive midfielder can be considered a super-sub, but we must remember that it is a long season and Stefani will still be needed even if he is not to return to the starting XI on a consistent basis.  It was reassuring to see that he will be ready when called upon, regardless of the role he is asked to play.

LB Michael Farfan (7)- Came in for Roger Torres as the new left back in a suddenly defensive formation following halftime, the Union apparently shifting their goal from win to scoreless draw a man down.  However, this clearly was not the case, as Farfan, in his professional debut, showed an adroit capacity for pressing up and not only joining, but engineering, the attack.  Several combinations with Keon Daniel and Sebastien Le Toux led to real chances for the Union as they seized control right at the outset of the 2nd half.  In addition, Farfan showed true competency at the back, a role he had not taken on at lower levels but has been groomed for since the beginning of the season in training.  Another in what is becoming a long string of pleasant surprises for the Union early on in this campaign.

MID Kyle Nakazawa (N/A) Came on for Carlos Ruiz to help salt away the game in the 83rd minute.

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The Union overcome familiar adversity in ten man win over San Jose

Posted on 30 April 2011 by Breton Bonnette

Early afternoon Flyers and Phillies games didn’t dampen the support for the Union as PPL Park was rattling in anticipation of a showdown with a San Jose squad that was deep in the Western Conference doldrums. The Union faithful were treated to scrappy soccer, a rare ten-man shutout, and late heroics for their loyalty. A near sold-out crowd withstood a suspect red card call on Jordan Harvey to see their favorite Frenchman score his first goal of the season on a 77th minute penalty kick to retake the Eastern Conference lead.

San Jose’s Frank Yallop kept a promise after a disappointing 2-1 loss to Chivas USA last weekend, one he probably didn’t want to keep. He registered wholesale changes to the lineup starting against Philadelphia with numerous fringe players replacing the likes of Philadelphia native Bobby Convey, Ike Opara, Ramiro Corrales, and Sam Cronin. For the Union, a young midfield (save Sebastien Le Toux) earned the start in the Union’s eleven with Roger Torres, Amobi Okugo, and Keon Daniel. Starting lineup veterans Justin Mapp and Stefani Miglioranzi were set for bench duty.

The midfield pairing of Okugo and Torres and showed promise despite not yielding anything concrete. Unfortunately, Torres’ day was cut short after a questionable Mark Geiger call that conjured up flashbacks of 2010. Adversity returned with a vengeance in the 42nd minute after a Chris Leitch tackle on Jordan Harvey. The Union fullback, looking to evade Leitch as he laid at his feet, instead supposedly kicked out at the fallen San Jose defender. It didn’t matter that Leitch swung back with full force from the ground, Geiger threw the straight red and the Union were down a man. The Union’s response was to – contrary to last season – press onwards in attack and several chances came begging. The final pass was still missing despite great play from Ruiz and Daniel in the attack and the half ended a scrappy, albeit entertaining, 0-0.

Rookie Michael Farfan grabbed his first minutes of a young professional career after coming on for Roger Torres at the start of the second half. The Union, despite Harvey’s absence, created most of the chances and looked all in all the most dangerous team. No goal came…until of course, the penalty kick. After a great run by Amobi Okugo into the box, his cross was batted down by a sliding Daniel Hernandez. Le Toux, eagerly awaiting a first goal of the season, took the resulting spot kick and blasted high and down the center to give the Union a 1-0 lead in the 77th minute. A hard driven 25-yard blast from Brad Ring was the only chance San Jose that looked troublesome in the second half, a testament to the work of Carlos Valdes and the back four. Williams and Farfan, despite being a man down, invited involvement into the attack as the Union shape rarely wavered throughout.

The win puts the Union at 4-1-1 on the season with an important trip to Portland in the near future. The concern still lingers over lack of production but it was clear to see that, at least at home, the injection of Torres behind the two strikers forced the attacking mentality. One that, if given more time, could have yielded something concrete.

More to come!

Philadelphia Union Starting XI




Le Toux———————Torres————————–Daniel


San Jose Earthquakes Starting XI






Attendance: 18,279

Scoring Summary:

PHI — Sebastien Le Toux 1 (penalty kick) 77

San Jose Earthquakes — Jon Busch, Chris Leitch, Jason Hernandez, Justin Morrow, Bobby Burling, Brandon McDonald (Sam Cronin 64), Scott Sealy (Bobby Convey 58), Anthony Ampaipitakwong (Ryan Johnson 72), Chris Wondolowski, Brad Ring, Steven Lenhart.

Substitutes Not Used: Ramiro Corrales, Ike Opara, Khari Stephenson, Andrew Weber.

Philadelphia Union — Faryd Mondragon, Sheanon Williams, Carlos Valdes, Danny Califf, Jordan Harvey, Keon Daniel, Roger Torres (Michael Farfan 46), Amobi Okugo, Sebastien Le Toux, Carlos Ruiz (Kyle Nakazawa 83), Danny Mwanga (Stefani Miglioranzi 46).

Substitutes Not Used: Justin Mapp, Jack McInerney, Ryan Richter, Zac MacMath.

Misconduct Summary:

PHI — Amobi Okugo (caution; Reckless Foul) 27

PHI — Faryd Mondragon (caution; Unsporting Behavior) 31

SJ — Brandon McDonald (caution; Unsporting Behavior) 32

PHI — Jordan Harvey (ejection; Violent Conduct) 41

SJ — Bobby Convey (caution; Delaying a Restart) 60

Referee: Mark Geiger

Referee’s Assistants: -Craig Lowry; Eric Boria

4th Official: Chris Penso

Time of Game: 1:52

Weather: Sunny-and-61-degrees


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Photo gallery: Quakes 2, Crew 2

Posted on 03 June 2010 by ASN Staff

ASN’s Carmina Besson was at the San Jose Earthquakes 1-1 draw with the Columbus Crew Wednesday and filed the following photographs. All ©Carmina Besson/ASN

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Tuesday audio update

Posted on 01 June 2010 by ASN Staff

Subscribe via iTunes here or if you prefer get the Audio Soccer News Daily via email or RSS.

For more information on your host Jason Davis check out Match Fit USA and of course be sure to listen to AmericanSoccerShow.com, home of the popular American Soccer Show weekly podcast. Be sure to listen in every Monday!

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Photo gallery: Quakes 1, Sounders 0

Posted on 23 May 2010 by ASN Staff

The Seattle Sounders were defeated by the San Jose Earthquakes Saturday 1-0 in a match that might become more famous for being the one where Sigi Schmid called out Freddie Ljungberg. Here is a photo gallery supplied by John Crouch. More of John’s work can be seen at vaphotography.net

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Unfinished Business – San Jose 1 Seattle 0

Posted on 22 May 2010 by Kyle Alm

Stuff like this caught Schmid's ire...

San Jose took three points on the road at Qwest Field and all it took was three shots. The Quakes put one shot on goal in the 11th minute and that was all that it took. The ball was crossed by Brandon McDonald from the far right all the way across, past James Riley and Bobby Burling, dropping to a wide-open Chris Wondolowski who did not leave any doubt that he can finish.

Sounders got behind the high back-line of the San Jose Earthquakes, won 11 corners (one shy of the team record for all you stat nerds), took 18 shots but only manage three shots on frame.

There were many positive things about the match. Nyassi was productive and his replacement also did quite well. Gonzalez and Riley were able to contain Gjertsen and Convey respectively, certainly a big key to the game and probably why San Jose only managed three shots. Sounders not only took a fairly large number of corner kicks but they looked in control and turned corner kicks into scoring opportunities.

Finishing, remains the team’s bugaboo. Blaise N’kufo simply cannot get here soon enough.

The real bombshell hit at the press conference when Sigi Schimd made several overtures that are seemingly directed at Freddie Ljungberg, wondering why unnamed players throw up their hands when there is a bad pass or arguing with the referee when the play is going on. Freddie Ljungberg, you are no longer in the good graces of Sigi Schmid and are officially on notice.

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Match Preview: San Jose Earthquakes & Joey Gjertsen

Posted on 21 May 2010 by Kyle Alm

headshot of soccer player, Joey Gjertsen
Image via Wikipedia

The Heritage Cup, an homage to the two NASL teams with common names, is what is at stake for the Sounders and Earthquakes.

The Earthquakes does have a local tie to the Puget Sound in Joey Gjertsen. Gjertsen is in his first season with the team in what is typically called a “journeyman” career piling up goals (the alleged career record holder) and multiple honors at the Evergreen State College in Olympia 2003-2004, 2006 USL MVP with Vancouver Whitecaps, and finally two seasons in Montreal.

Resurgence seems to be a theme with the much improved San Jose Earthquakes who spent the better part of the 2009 season at the foot of the table. Convey is playing well. Again. Finally. And Gjertsen seems to have become a fixture of the team, taking corners and set-pieces. Gjertsen never had a year like 2006 again. He did the bulk of his career scoring in that one year. Gjertsen has a goal and an assist for San Jose in 557 minutes of play. Not exactly setting the league on fire, but Ljungberg has yet to score a goal for us this season. Not that he particularly needs to, but it would be great if he would score a goal at Qwest.

< spoiler>at 2:18 he hits the post against the Seahawks Soccer team from 25 yards.< /spoiler>

The forecasted gray skies and 100% chance of ambient moisture are forecast, but I expect that Mr. Gjertsen will get a warm response from the crowd. I know there is going to be a large contingent heading up from the south Puget Sound that will be showing their support for Mr. Gjertsen, and by association the Earthquakes. And then the match will begin, and by the time the match is over the fans will go back to being nice to Joey again. So if you see someone in a Gjertsen jersey they are probably just as local as you are. They don’t sell Gjertsen’s San Jose jersey, if you see one it’s handmade or custom, I know a few people will have them, if you see one send a pic to @soundersasn on twitter.
San Jose Earthquakes #17 Joey Gjertsen
So, let me be clear. The guys in the Gjertsen gjerseys get a pass today, they all live around here and root for Sounders.

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ASN’s MLS Best XI, Week Seven

Posted on 11 May 2010 by Breton Bonnette

Landon Donovan ©Craig Bennett/ASN

Landon Donovan took ASN’s Week Seven Player of the Week honors though his competition did well to keep pace. San Jose’s Bobby Convey did his best impression of Donovan, grabbing a trio of assists in the Quakes 4-0 romp of visiting New York. Toronto FC’s Chad Barrett and DC United’s Danny Allsopp earned their first spot on the Best XI with a brace each in respective wins. Amidst a week of blowouts and scoring, however, most impressively FC Dallas’ and former Kansas City castoff Kevin Hartman pulled off two shutouts for a FC Dallas squad hungry for wins. Head over to ASN Philly to see this week’s squad!

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The Good, the Bad, the Red, the Dead

Posted on 10 May 2010 by ASN Staff

Welcome to the seventh installment of this feature, which will run within a day or two of the team’s last game, this season. Today we focus on the New York Red Bulls’ 4-0 defeat at San Jose on Saturday. To see an explanation of these terms (Good, Bad, Red, Dead) skip to the bottom of this page.

The Good:

Tony Tchani played well in his first MLS start. He’s got a few kinks to sort out but he can definitely become a solid contributor in this league. Maybe a lot more than that.

Salou Ibrahim wasn’t terrible.

Yes, that’s what we have to resort to this week in “The Good” category. “Not terrible.” That kind of week, folks. Hopefully there won’t be one of these for quite some time.

I suppose that’s another good thing; that this is an anomaly rather than the norm it was last year. Or at least it has been so far.

The Bad:

Start with the team as a whole. They clearly quit after the second San Jose goal. It wasn’t so much about keeping the Quakes’ margin of victory respectable (goal difference carries little weight in MLS) but that it just doesn’t speak well to the team’s spirit. It was the first time you can really say the team as a whole disappointed this season.

If we’re going to pick on individual players for their gaffes (and yes, we absolutely will) it starts with one name: Luke Sassano.

Contrary to many fans, I do not fault Hans Backe for starting Sassano in Jeremy Hall’s place. Hall has been a major defensive liability and with Bobby Convey in form it was going to make for a long night. Of course, as it turned out it was a long night anyway. Blame Sassano for this. All he had to do was keep Convey in check, guard the byline and eliminate his runs down that side. Okay, so that’s a lot easier said than done. But the point is that having a defensive player in that role, even if it’s just to cut off some passing lanes, would have done more for the team’s defense than Jeremy Hall does at that position. The one caveat being that the player in question had to actually stay in the game. Sassano failed at this in a very egregious manner, by committing a boneheaded foul (that was absolutely red card worthy by the way) and getting himself sent off after 13 minutes.

That foul threw the entire gameplan, of which Sassano played a major role, out the window. The team basically had to retreat into a shell, with Seth Stammler abandoning his spot in left midfield to take over the right back spot. This cut into the Red Bulls’ presence in midfield, which in turn eliminated the service to the forwards.

Even so they should have done better.

Tim Ream finally had his rookie game. It was unfortunate that it happened right when the team was forced to rely on him more than usual. We’re willing to give him a pass because it’s the first time this happened. But his overall level of urgency seemed lacking. He was burned on the first Quakes goal and had a large part in the second (though not as much as the guy we’re about to pick on). I realize part of this is Ream’s overall demeanor, but still, you want to see somebody a little more fired up in those situations.

Bouna Condoul’s gaffe gifted the Quakes their second goal, causing the team to pack it in before losing 4-0. You can’t blame Bouna for the fact that the team quit, but you can blame him for letting in a soft goal when the team could ill afford it. A two goal deficit in the second half, with a man down on the road is very, very difficult to come back from. But the Red Bulls certainly could have salvaged something had the score remained 1-0 for awhile. It didn’t though, and the reason for that has a name: Bouna Condoul (with assist to Tim Ream).

Seth Stammler needs to step up in situations like this. I know it’s not an ideal scenario, but he and Mike Petke were the veteran guys back there and the team really could have used some leadership.

The Red:

Juan Pablo Angel looked completely lost. He could barely move after about 20 minutes. This has been going on too long to write it off as a lingering injury or bad form. It may very well be one or the other, or even both, but age and wear and tear are no doubt the larger factors. We are in all likelihood witnessing the twilight of Angel’s career. At this point you can barely justify bringing him back as as non-designated player next year. Or, if current patterns hold you won’t be able to at season end. Very sad.

After such a disappointing loss, what will the turnout be this weekend against the Seattle Sounders?

If the gate is even weaker than it was for Philly (say 13K or below) and the Red Bulls lose, then what?

Who exactly are this team’s leaders? Angel is ineffective. Mike Petke? He didn’t appear to do the job Saturday, or even want it. Stammler? Not a regular starter. Lindpere, Carl Robinson, Roy Miller and Ibrahim Salou are too new. Dane Richards? Uh, right.

What role, if any, does Backe envision for Jeremy Hall? Obviously Sassano is not a realistic alternative, but we’re (again) expecting Chris Albright to start Saturday at right back.

Speaking of Backe, how, if at all, does he react to the team’s first truly disappointing outing of the season?

The Dead
Who does this team have to play goalie? It appears neither Coundoul nor Greg Sutton are up for the job. Where have you gone Caleb Patterson-Sewell?

Will Sassano get a chance to redeem himself in the US Open Cup game Wednesday? Or did he hang himself with the rope Backe supplied him?

Explanation of terms

The Good – Should speak for itself. Players, formations, strategies, substitutions and other things that “looked good” for whatever reason (but not aesthetically. We don’t care about players’ hairstyles and the like).

The Bad – Opposite of good. Who and what looked lousy and why.

The Red – Things that have us concerned. Primarily individual play but could also be strategies, (lack of) substitutions and putting players at positions they have no business occupying (though that practice thankfully appears done with the departure of Juan Carlos Osorio).

The Dead – Players, schemes or strategies that deserve to be put out to pasture.

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