Thoughts on the Earthquakes vs Sounders game on Sat Feb 23:
- I don’t understand the attraction with Anibal Godoy. With the shift of Magnusson to the central midfield 10 position and Judson sitting in the holding 6 position, Godoy just seems to take up space. He is clearly an exceptionally talented player – when motivated – but his lack of energy (particularly compared to Judson) stuck out like a sore thumb. When the game spaced out in the second half, and he was able to break lines with his passes, he was much more effective. Magnusson and Godoy together in the midfield – both players lacking speed – doesn’t feel like a functional combination. Having said that, Magnusson provided value sitting below Wondo.
- The insertion of Salinas and Thompson on the right side in the latter part of the second half brought a nice change of pace. It was obvious that they both relished the opportunity to work together and were hungry to demonstrate why they deserve playing time.
- The Quakes grew into the game – and the send-off of the Sounders defender helped – but they need to demonstrate some better ideas in the final third in order to take advantage of possession.
- It will be interesting to see how the team performs with Hoesen on the field and where Wondo fits in (best guess – supersub).
- Speaking of team speed, it doesn’t feel like Kashia and Cummings – the current first selection in the central defense -are a combination that will work against quicker teams. Jungwirth watched the entire match from the sideline – it’s still not obvious where Almeyda thinks he fits. He might have deserved a look against Sounders either for Godoy or for Cummings – then again, Almeyda watches every training session and is making decisions based on what he and his staff are seeing in practice.
It was great to see the fightback and the result – both were missing last year. Opening night will provide some early answers on the questions around selection and tactics for the early part of the season.