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Discussion in 'San Jose Earthquakes' started by Goodsport, Nov 8, 2012.
After the game
Mark, please go back and re-watch the video of Victor's yellow card. You'll notice it is the same Omar G in own own half flashing very high elbows into the face of Victor. Omar G does not even let Victor get up close to him for the head ball. Both men throw elbows but IMO it is Omar G who instigates the elbow throwing first in his "pre-jump" back-n-forth high elbow in the face of Victor bull.
Credit to Stott for carefully watching Omar G elbow throwing tactics & technique since Stott demonstrated to a tee how Omar G threw his elbow into the face of Lenny (just like how he threw it at Victor earlier).
I will go back and watch it for sure. I can't right now. I thought that Omar's elbow on Lenny was much worse and should have been a straight red for sure. I didn't think that Vic's was nearly as bad. Still, Vic did elbow Omar in the head. That's just indisputable. Did Omar "deserve" it? Yeah sure, but that's not the point. The rules say if you elbow someone in the head, you get sent off. I think the league and the refs need to crack down on the elbow's sticking out when you go for a head ball in general. You can hold your arms up to protect yourself, but your elbows shouldn't be sticking out. That's just crap.
So, if we look at the rules (as well as the play) Vic could have gotten a red card for his elbow. Of course, Omar could have gotten a yellow for throwing his elbow too. (He didn't connect right?) For that matter, he could have gotten a red for it, because you don't have to connect, right?
The main thing here is that Omar G should have gotten a red card for his elbow on Lenny, full stop. No matter what else went on in the game, that play by itself should have earned Omar a red card.
And I'll go watch the video tonight. My work computer isn't playing MLSSoccer videos. Don't know why.
I want to expose Omar G for being an elbow throwing thug! It looks to me that Victor had his forearm "raised" high to defend himself. Victor "pushes it forward" when he sees that Omar is going to "throw" his elbow into him.
I can go with that. But of course, I'm hardly an impartial observer. I think we could start a game by giving the filth a couple of red cards, just because they are pricks. One for Omar because he's earned so many that he's never seen, and one for Narcissus for the illegal transfer to the filth in the first place. Is this rational? Does it make sense? Probably not, but if I ran the universe, things would be different, know what I'm sayin'?
At the end of the day, every single team with "home field advantage" in the first round (and nearly both in the play-in games) lost.
If that doesn't raise questions about the relevance of MLS' regular season in the current system, nothing will.
The Quakes might as well have fielded a B team for all of September and October. They would have been fresher and beaten up on Vancouver.
The Quakes lost 3-1 at home. Hard to blame the format for that.
Their only loss in 11 matches to any of the 2-4 seeds all year...
It was a sorta open ended joke...but like Corrales, even more so with Busch, I don't see him stepping aside till he's forced, do you?
If I was Bingham, I'd try to move anywhere in Europe ASAP if possible.
I can't see Corrales here next season at his regular salary. Maybe if they make him some type of player coach where he gets paid 1/2 a players salary and the other a coaches salary so he won't go against the cap. Other than that, I think he will be finished as a player......
Bingham in Europe? He trained with Cagliari while as CAL but he is in the final year of a guaranteed $100k on a GA contract so he may not go anywhere......
Ah, ok so next year. My guess is that Busch won't retire while he's playing so well. It's *possible* that it could be over 2 years. Just don't know what will happen.
Some thoughts during the course of the season...
Upon further reflection, my opinions remain the same. We weren't ready for primetime. There are significant changes to be made this off-season if we want to go further next year.
I reject this narrative:
In the end, the big-budget Galaxy proved to be too talented against the small-market Earthquakes. Los Angeles' three biggest stars -- David Beckham, Landon Donovan and Robbie Keane -- earned an average of $4 million in salary whereas the Quakes' entire payroll is south of $3 million, according to MLS Players Union data.
The Earthquakes tried against a superior Los Angeles team to no avail. Now they have the rest of the year to get over it.
One game does not "prove" that the Gals were too talented against the "small market" Earthquakes. The Quakes played the Gals 5 times this season, and were 3-1-1. They had a bad game at the end, but that doesn't prove that the Gals are "superior". It only proves that they were superior that game. Robbie Keane had a great game, but Wondo had many great games this year. Why didn't Keane score at Stanford when Wondo scored his clutch game winning goal. And why did Wondo score 27 goals to Keane's 16, at a higher rate than Keane, and arguably with lesser service?
Big names win big games. That's what you pay the big bucks for. Like keane said, LA won when it mattered.
It's a nice little narrative, a convenient truism, sort of a "Great Man Theory" kind of thing, but, I'm afraid, it's BS. Then why didn't LA win the game in LA? They were going to wait until it mattered more, like they weren't really fully trying? People have to understand the concept of sample size. A sample size of 1 or 2 games is not statistically significant. The Gals had all year to play games that mattered. Does winning the division not matter? Bruce Arena said that the Quakes were"really the champions in the league", and that now they are participating in "another competition". So I would say that he thinks that it matters. And as a former EPL player, Robbie Keane should understand the relevance of finishing at the top of the table. The Gals had all season long to be "big names winning big games" and they didn't get the "winning" part done to the extent that the Quakes did.
Big names on one side and not-so-big names on the other, in the end the two teams were pretty evenly matched. By the end of the season, LA was playing very well and if anyone was paying attention they'd know it was going to be a tough series.. But it's not because "big names win big games". It's because they have a good team. The last game could have gone another way if for example Bernardez stayed in the game and Wondo brought his open shot down a couple of feet. But you don't always get the breaks. But to explain it all away with this big names win big game thing is just a preconceived notion in search of a convenient event on which to hang itself. Why did the Gals, with Beckham and Donovan, lose to Dallas in the playoffs in 2010, or to RSL(?) in the finals in 2009? They were big names, playing in big games...and losing.
"Big name" or not, in my book the best kind of player is the player who gives 110% every game, big or small, and is always trying to improve and represent his club in the best way possible at all times. You know, like Wondo...
I agree that LA is the better team and one reason is that they have better talent. The Quakes had a great year with great team spirit and chemistry, maximizing results from the available talent. Having superstars does not necessarily lead to good play and results--look at Red Bulls. But with LA, they have the talent and they are playing well as a team. The return of Omar Gonzalez and the resurgence of Keane has led LA back to the top.
In the five meetings between SJ and LA, I believe that SJ only outplayed LA in the game at Stanford.
Of course, with a little better luck like in the first leg, the Quakes could have beaten or tied LA in the return leg and won the series. But I think the overall result accurately reflects the relative quality of the team at this point in the season.
Unfortunately for SJ, this playoff matchup was between the two best teams and the Quakes are second best. Even Jazzy J was commenting how LA should have beaten SJ by multiple goals in the first playoff game last Sunday.
If that were true, they'd have finished the season with a better record than us. Drink it.
San Jose Earthquakes!! 2012 Supporter's Shield Winners!!
Best team in MLS!
On balance I think it's debatable who has more talent. Quakes have a much better GK, big edge Quakes, center backs are probably comparable, Quakes have two all-star outside backs - edge Quakes, I would give LA the edge in central midfield - Juninho is very good, but I don't think the Quakes give up anything at outside mid, with Dawkins and Chavez relative to the MacGee and Donovan. OK, Donovan probably takes them up a notch on that one. At forward, the Quakes have the record-setting goal scorer who scored about 70% more goals than Keane - I don't care what Keane's done in his past, I'm not going to give an inch on that one - the numbers are too convincing to allow it, and at this point Lenhart / Gordon is better than Buddle IMO. So overall I'd say it's close to a wash in terms of talent if not tilted towards the Quakes. Quakes have more talent on the back line / GK and forward, Gals have more talent in the midfield.
Folks, don't allow the results of one or two games to suck you into the "star theory" narrative. It's an insult to the 2012 Quakes, given what they accomplished this year, what they showed after time after time over the course of the season. It's not a fluke that the Quakes ended up with the best record in MLS.
I think the games with LA have been for the most part pretty even. At the end, the Gals were in very good form and the Quakes were in meh form - some nagging injuries and then finally losing their best defender. LA did outplay the Quakes in LA, but you kind of expect that from the home side in the playoffs. In the 2nd leg, LA again outplayed the Quakes but I think there are a few things that could have turned the game around. The thing is that the playoffs are a measurement at a point in time, and a very poor measurement at that - 2 games. The regular season is a more valid measurement, though it is a different kind of measurement. It's not a "point in time" measurement but a "span of time" measurement. Even with the tiny sample size, I'm willing to concede that the Gals were better at the end in a point in time measurement, but the Quakes were the better team over the course of the season. And I will take the measurement that is more statistically valid .
I agree that the Quakes have a better GK by far. Saunders is below average and is LA's biggest vulnerability. Wondo has had a great last three years and will deserve the MVP when he wins it. But I can't agree that he's better than Keane. I love the Quakes, their desire, teamwork and spirit. Unfortunately, LA is paying top money and is getting world class players for it. It sucks that they picked their spots to put out maximum effort and that that time is now in the playoffs. Everything would have had to break just right for the Quakes to beat LA in a playoff series.
Morrow and Beitashour at their best are better than Franklin and Dunivant, but their best play was months ago. The future is bright for the team at outside back. Centrally, Gonzalez and Delagarza (Meyer) is a better combo than Bernardez and Hernandez/Opara. Bernardez is better than Gonzalez, but the Quakes second central back is a huge drop off and this position is a problem for the team.
In the midfield, only Chavez is better than LA's players. Would you rather have Donovan, Beckham and Juninho or Cronin, Dawkins/Salinas and Baca (personal attributes aside)?
Best 11 between the two teams that started Wednesday:
Busch, Gonzalez, Bernardez, Outside backs (4 way tie), Chavez, Juninho, Beckham, Donovan, Wondolowski, Keane. I'm picking Wondo because of his great season. He didn't play well in the playoffs.
I don't thnk you really moved the needle much on your analysis.
The numbers show that Wondo was better than Keane this year - 70% more goals, higher goals per minute, and just a couple fewer assists. Keane's game is different, he attacks on the ground more, there's this notion that he's better based on what he's done in the past, he looks more impressive, etc., but you just can't ignore the elephant in the room. They are forwards - their job is to score goals, and Wondo scored about 70% more goals than Keane.
And 2nd forward, if we are comparing Buddle to Lenhart / Gordon, it's not even remotely close. 3 goals for Buddle this year to 23 for Lenhart / Gordon. Forget preconceived notions about how good Gordon is. This year he was a national team player who may have saved the US's world cup qualification.
You didn't really move the needle on center backs. I said they were roughly even. You've got Bernardez better than Gonzalez, but De La Garza / Meyer better than Hernadez / Ike. De La Garza was horrible for much of the year, especially early. I don't think there's much of an advantage there if any at 2nd center back.
I gave them midfield, but I think you underestimate Dawkins who is excellent. For outside mids, I'm not convinced that Dawkins / Chavez is much of a drop-off over MacGee / Donovan.
Unfortunately, in the playoff series with a chance at MLS Cup on the line, Keane scored two and Wondo zero. The Quakes deservedly won the Supporters Shield, but since July, LA has been the best team in MLS. I still hope they don't win MLS Cup because I hate them.
Yes wondo scored more goals, but who was a bigger all around threat? Keane showed that Wednesday, an last Sunday!
They didn't step their game up when it mattered, they got lucky our best defender (and MLS defender of the year candidate) went out with an injury in the beginning of the most important game of the season.
The difference between the Quakes and Galaxy in this series was the difference in IQ. Keane and Donovan put on a clinic on how to tear open a defense time and time again, with smart runs, pulling defenders away from the ball, staying onside, and finishing. The Quakes didn't do that. The Quakes just sent balls into the box over and over, hoping we can win some headers or someone can jump on a loose ball and get a shot off. And no matter how obvious it became that it's not gonna work this time, we kept doing it. When Plan A doesn't work, the Quakes show little creativity. Because Wondo and Lenhart were never gonna outsmart the defense with clever runs, and Baca and Dawkins were never gonna make that incisive pass to tear them apart. When at their best, Keane is always going to be better than Wondo. Wondolowski was the better goalscorer this year. Can't deny the numbers. But Keane is the all-around better forward.
And then of course you have Beckham. A guy who can go all game doing nothing at all, but you fear everytime you give up a free kick inside 40 yards from goal, because you expect your goalkeeper to be tested and/or beaten. The Quakes don't have that kinda weapon.
Better team? The Quakes were the best in 2012. Better talent? Galaxy answered that on Wednesday. They don't need to be the better team. They have a few guys who, when they're on, are simply more talented than our guys. Talented enough to change a game on their own. We don't have that kinda player on our roster.
It's a single game. I sat there at Stanford along with 60k other people and watched Keane have virtually no effect on the game while Wondo scored the clutch game-winner. Again, I think this whole big name - big game thing is a preconceived notion in search of a data point. Keane has been in many big games, and his team has lost many times. Ireland's national team record is a litany of failure.