May 27, 2011MLS SCOREBOARD EARTHQUAKES PAGE
SAN JOSE Throwing away a 2-0 lead and losing a game on penalty kicks isnt exactly thekind of result that helps momentum, but the Earthquakes certainly arentletting it get to them. In fact, they have the perfect opportunity to overcometheir Tuesday night setback: they have a chance go out and beat the sameteam.The confluence of the MLS and U.S. Open Cup calendars meansthat for the second time in five days, the Earthquakes will take on the ChicagoFire. This time, the two teams will square off at the Fires home stadium of Toyota Parkin Bridgeview, Ill., and make no mistake about it, the teamis using their disappointing result on Tuesday as extra motivation for theirweekend match.
REWIND: Quakes fall to Chicago in PK shootout 5-4
It was a physical game, it was a hardfought game by both teams, and the best way to get back at them is to play themin four days on their home field, said Earthquakes defender Bobby Burlingimmediately after the teams loss on Tuesday evening. Despite taking a 2-0 lead intohalftime, some soft defensive plays cost the Earthquakes a third straight winin all competitions. I think the game we had last night alot of guys feel a bit disappointed about for the reason we believed the gamein hand and we let them back in it, explained Earthquakes defender JasonHernandez. I think it shows the fight and the attitude and mentality of Chicago and that'ssomething we're going to have to face in their house this weekend. Hopefully we can bring that samementality of being very tough to play against and hopefully we'll get a resultdown there. KILLION: Wondo's absence an odd blessing for Quakes
Even with the loss on penalties, the Earthquakes have nowgone unbeaten in regulation for five straight games, three in MLS play and twoin the Open Cup. The turnaround from a slow start to the season in which theEarthquakes won just one game in their first seven can be credited in part tothat tough mentality and in part to head coach Frank Yallops switch to a moredefensively sound 4-4-2 formation. While Yallop fielded a lineup devoid of all but two of thestarters from the teams previous two wins, he expects to see many of theregular starters back in the lineup.I've got a good idea of what I'm going to do, heexplained. There's a few injury bumps and bruises from yesterday, so we're seehow they're feeling, so we'll get to Chicagoand make a decision on the lineup. They're probably going to see not many players that weplayed last night, he added after the teams Wednesday morning practice.One of the key injury question marks will be over the statusof 20-year-old forward Ellis McLoughlin, who has caught the Earthquakesfaithful by surprise with his exciting attacking displays. He scored the teamsopening goal in a 2-1 victory over New Englandlast weekend and grabbed another goal in Tuesday nights game before coming outat halftime with a groin strain. Im feeling fine. I'm going to be precautionary about itand take a couple days off so I'm ready for this weekend, McLoughlin said.He may have a chance to be OK for theweekend, so that'll be good, because I thought he had a good first half,obviously the goal helped, Yallop added. I thought he did well. He was dangerous.McLoughlins work rate and skill on the field have beenexemplary of the attitude and fight mentioned by Burling, Hernandez, andothers. Furthermore, the youngster could play a significant role in helping tofill the offensive void left by Chris Wondolowski and Ryan Johnson as theyleave to represent their respective national teams in Junes CONCACAF Gold Cup.
NEWS: Quakes' Wondolowski to play for U.S. in Gold Cup
While Wondolowski will play Saturdays game before departingfor the U.S. teams training camp in Cary, N.C., the Earthquakes will hope tohave McLoughlin as fit as possible in order to ease his ongoing transition intothe teams lineup.
Whatever way the teams fitness issues are resolved, though,the teams mental strength and desire to rebound from a disappointing defeatwill ensure a hard-fought and entertaining game in Chicago on Saturday evening.For more Earthquakes, MLS and general soccerinformation, you can follow Nick Rosano on Twitter: @nicholasrosano