Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Dead ja vu

Although Chivas USA lost out on the perfect home record, they're starting to remind me of the 2005 Earthquakes in other ways.

The 2005 Earthquakes were the Good News Bears, a collection of not-so-big-name players, some which had been rejected from other teams, that really melded as a unit. Dom Kinnear didn't have a lot of coaching experience, but he seemed to really understand players and was making all the right moves that year.

Until the very end, that is. In the final regular-season game, the Earthquakes defeated their main rivals, scoring 3 goals on the LA Galaxy. I was fuming after that match, though. Since the Earthquakes had clinched the playoffs and the top spot in the West for some time, I thought Kinnear should rest his starters, especially a couple who were a bit gimpy, like Wade Barrett.

Now maybe some people don't consider an injured Barrett a big deal, but he's one of those overlooked players that does a lot.

I felt a similar irritation when Preki put Razov out on the field versus FC Dallas.

It's hard to overlook a guy who scores like Ante Razov, but I'm sure that some people assume, oh, the team has already won without Ante a few times this year.

Sure enough, that 2005 Earthquake squad went down in flames to the Galaxy. It didn't help that in the first playoff game, Kinnear had his players push hard for a tying goal rather than simply minimize the goal disadvantage. His team tried so hard to score that they left themselves exposed on defense (sound familiar to CDCUSA versus Colorado) Landon Donovan tore up the Earthquake defense on a counter, and the deficit was too much to overcome at Spartan.


East River said...

I wouldn't be so hard on Preki AC, as we see CUSA had to push for a win the other week to try to ensure they win the western conference. The other reason was game fitness, if you rest a player to much going into the playoffs you risk have a player not at his sharpest. The safest approach is to give that player reduced mintues instead of just not playing them at all. Its a balancing act, keeping players sharp yet rested vs. rested/avoiding injury by not playing. You can take your pick, but injuries can come at any moment an Rasov's injury happen to come at a really bad moment, but that sports for you. I think the reduced mintues approach was a safe move that still didn't work, but I think Preki was doing the right thing and he shouldn't second guess himself on that one.

Anonymous said...

Nice job Andrea. I hope we don't flame out. This Houston game is going to determine what kind of mental fitness this team is made of.

Anonymous said...

Be careful Andrea, that you don't say this around Legion... apparently saying things like what you've just said is considered racist and may result in violence or threats of violence.

Anonymous said...

The Legion has people that read this bolg? Wow.

Tony in Quakeland said...

Thanks for the painful memory. What next - pictures of my dad's funeral?

But you are right. Kinnear has never been a good one for rotating players. I wonder if it's an ex-player thing? They hated being subbed so they resist doing it as coaches.