Earthquakes 1, Red Bulls 1: A Supporter’s View

Red_bulls_logoSan_jose_earthquakes

What does a match between two last place teams look like? It looks like what we saw on Sunday in San Jose. The Earthquakes dominated play but couldn’t finish while the Red Bulls looked absolutely awful in a 4-5-1 that set attacking soccer back about 10 years.

The performance would have been consider promising for San Jose if not for the huge mountain still to climb in the West standings. Playing well is all fine and dandy but every game San Jose failes to record three points is another shovel on the coffin of the Earthquakes’ 2008 season.

The Red Bulls are still very much alive in the East, if by pure math only. The Red Bulls just had no attack as the absence of Dane Richards left Juan Pablo Angel begging for some offensive support. None came though, well unless you count Eric Denton’s header own goal.

SBI correspondents Andrew Keh and Kevin Matthiessen took in the action and shared their thoughts with us.

A letter to Juan Pablo Angel

By ANDREW KEH

Dear Mr. Angel,

In the 87th minute of your team’s game against San Jose last Sunday, I saw you sink your head deep into the palms of your hands. Your shoulders were slouched. It was a portrait of plain despair.

Mr. Angel, we feel your pain.

Your teammate John Wolyniec had just made a magical run forward, slicing through the Earthquakes defense. He slipped a square pass to your colleague Mike Magee near the top of Earthquakes penalty area. Mr. Magee quickly closed in on the ball, which lingered dangerously in open space.

What a chance!, you must have thought, as you watched the play develop from just a few yards away. But the finish you and I and Red Bull fans around the world watching MSG+ hoped for never came. Mr. Magee jabbed a feathery shot toward goal that settled softly into the hands of San Jose’s goalkeeper Joe Cannon.

And that is when you looked like you might cry. 

To be fair, Mr. Angel, you and your teammates probably did not deserve to be tied at that point in the game anyway. The pinnacle of your team’s offensive performance was a brief spell of insanity by one of your opponents, Eric Denton. What was he thinking? Did you by any chance get the chance to ask him while he and all of his teammates were guarding you?

Last season, other teams did not understand how much better you are than everybody else. They tried to guard you with just one person. Sometimes it was two people. But you scored 19 goals. This league is pretty easy!, you must have thought.

This year has not been the same, has it? Running on turf seems to have taken its toll on your limbs. And your friend Claudio Reyna left. That must have been sad. Most importantly, the team’s you guys play against have realized that if they surround you with defenders, they will probably win the game. And it’s worked!

On Sunday, the Earthquakes, one of the worst teams in your league, did just that. They didn’t win, but their new player, Darren Huckerby, looked pretty good didn’t he? I wish the new players on your team had looked that good.

If you’re reading this, Mr. Angel, the next time you see Jon Conway in practice, please give him a nice, big-brotherly pat on the back. It seems like he’s trying very hard.

Sincerely,

Your Biggest Fan

Earthquakes showing signs of having an offense

By KEVIN MATTHIESSEN

This week instead of giving you, the SBI faithful, my sometimes eccentric and unique view of this week’s match, I thought I’d give you more of a collective view from ‘Quakes fans in general. I asked people how they felt after the game and thoroughly scoured the BigSoccer boards researching for the conveyance of this collective view.

While there are many differing perspectives on the game, there are some things that almost everyone agreed on. Darren Huckerby is awesome, day games suck, and not enough people know their soccer.

Though still not quite match fit, Darren Huckerby showed his class and skill while hustling up and down the field all day. He put himself in attacking positions all game and netted his first ever MLS goal. While everyone one else in the box was ball watching as Scott Sealy pounded a shot on goal, Huckerby was thinking and moving while anticipating the rebound and converted the tap in.

Huckerby could have bulged the old onion bag at least once more had Ryan Johnson a bit more awareness at one point in the second half. Johnson was getting closed down in the box, freeing up a wide-open Huckerby all alone in the box but instead Johnson sent in another of his many week efforts right at the keeper. You gotta love Johnson’s hustle but unfortunately he can’t shoot to save his life (or win the game). Side note: Is it just me or shouldn’t every pro soccer player be able to shoot with either foot?

Day games suck for many reasons. It’s hot, there’s no time to get ready for the game (and drink), and too many people have other commitments and just can’t make it. Our supporter’s groups gave it everything they could but the numbers just weren’t there. Personally, I found it harder to heckle with nary a drink in my belly and nowhere to hide. (I did muster up one doozy that made a few folks laugh in my section.  I also enjoyed mimicking the words straight from the Bulls bench: "Keep it. Give it away. Keep it. Give it away." It’s no wonder they were confused.)

Not enough people know their soccer. Come on people. It’s pronounced "Nor-itch" not "Nor-wich" for goodness sakes. And I shouldn’t care what they call the Red Bulls players over the PA but it still made me cringe when they announced the substitute "Mike Maggy". Oh and I failed to mention last week’s color man calling our guy Hucker-berry. Oi veh! Know your soccer. Please!

All in all we collectively still have hopes and dreams for this season and are excited about the new acquisitions (including newly acquired Arturo Alvarez) but if we can’t make the playoffs this year, we’ll settle for a win versus LA next week.

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8 Responses to Earthquakes 1, Red Bulls 1: A Supporter’s View

  1. Luis says:

    Day games do suck. As a season ticket holder I’ve only made the one Houston game @ Buck Shaw…the drive & beer tents killing my buzz.

    I’m cautiosly optimistic about the revamped offense. It is a relief to know Kei “throw my arms up” Kamara and “Sideshow Bob” Johnson are not our goal scoring options.

    Beat L.A.!!!

  2. SFTont says:

    Hucks was amazing. He gave 110% for all 90 minutes.

    Corrales walked around the pitch for the last 30 minutes. His ass is benched now that Alvarez is back.

    Hucks in the middle will keep him invloved. Corrales killed the match in the second with his non-effort.

    Sealy is 1 million times better than Kamara. He actually knows how to quickly turn around and run for the goal when he gets the ball.

    Lima is replacing Corrales asap. He just has a better mind for the game.

    And let me just say this…Hucks is fresh off his offseason. There’s no reason why he was still hustling in the 90 min, but he was. Corrales, who is not injured, and is in his mid-season form, had no excuse for why he was walking and looking tired all second half. This is not Texas. This is not the South. This is not the midwest. It was 75 degrees. There was no humidity. he was acting like he was playing in 100 degree weather at the Azteca. F that.

    GO QUAKES!!!

  3. Sean says:

    “Side note: Is it just me or shouldn’t every pro soccer player be able to shoot with either foot?”

    I take it you don’t approve of getting Alvarez then.

  4. andy b. says:

    Kevin, I’ll agree that watching just about anyone besides Kamara and his whiny, pathetic lack of hustle is going to make me feel better. I need to get down there and see the new guys in action.

  5. Dan Bigley says:

    Up until Sundays match against San Jose I have given coach Osorio the benefit of the doubt. He inherited a team that was put together by Jeff Agoos and Bruce Arena and that team did not meet expectations. I’m sure the coach reviewed the tapes of last seasons games before preseason started so he knew what he had and what needed to be improved and who had to be replaced. Osorio said that after viewing the predraft tryouts that he only saw what he considered 10 players who could help the Bulls. The Bulls got one player in the draft and he quit when they lowered his contract. The supplemental draft players were at best roster fill ins on the cheap. How many of the current roster of backs can make a 10 yard pass never mind a longer one to the feet of a teammate on any type of a consistent basis? The midfield is not much better with the exception of DVB.The backs mostly outside ones are very capable of making long 40-50 cross field passes to their opponents.With Josy gone and he had his plus side but also his minus side who else is a striker outside of Juan Pablo Angel? If the rumor has ant truth to it that JPB will leave after his contract expires the Bulls won’t even qualify as a USL 1st division team. According to the press the Bulls have signed three players during the mid season transfer window as well as acquired two players on loan. To date only two of those players have been put on the roster, dressed and played. Does that mean the team make a mistake and the other three players are not as good as what they currently have? You cannot fire Osorio after one season due to the coaching turnover the Bulls have had but what has Jeff Agoos done? What players his he found and brought to the team to make them better? Last but not the least how many people feel that this roster is complete with players that have a SOCCER brain?

  6. Zungazan says:

    Thanks for all the responses guys.

    Yeah I noticed Corrales was about done with 30 min to go. He’s got so much skill but no wheels. Dang. I was surprised Lima was subbed and not him. One thing I didn’t mention that bothers me is that I don’t hear any of our players talking (yelling) on the pitch. We need a loud mouth organizer out there in the center. To-bad-a-Lima-a-speak-a-no-Engleesh! I had to make sure and yell “time!” and “man on!” for them.

    andy b – yeah you should brother. You’ve been awesome with all your feedback by the way. Please email me at kevin at flagmultimedia dot com and I may be able to hook you up with some tickets!

  7. Kevin M says:

    There I’ve revealed my alias and my email address in one fell swoop! To hell with anonymity anyway!

  8. Benjamin James says:

    I was on this site when the Earthquakes bought bought Huckerby arguing with a silly Forest Fan, who had forgotten the contribution Darren gave to his team whilst playing for them, just how good Huckerby will be in the MLS…

    Well he was instrumental in the defeat of Beckham’s Galaxy, has scored 2 goals in 3 games, and at least 2 assists.

    Well Forest Fan, if your still out there – in yer face!

    Huckerby is not even match fit yet (although a supreme fitness fanatic off season as well) – HE IS ONLY WARMING UP!!!