The Quakes are finally done with a 3-game week that started with the emotionally charged win over the LA Galaxy, followed by road games at Portland and Dallas.
Any time a team plays 3 games in 8 days, it will take a toll on the bodies and minds of the players. Take into account the madness of the California Clasico, and it is no surprise that by the time the Quakes made it to FC Dallas Stadium following a 2-1 loss at Portland, they were essentially running on fumes.
With so many games played in such a short period of time, there were a few changes to the usual line up. Alan Gordon started and played 83 minutes in Dallas after playing 90 minutes in Portland. As odd as it may seem, I don’t like it when Gordon starts. I can’t remember a game that the Quakes have won when he starts. He provides such a spark when he comes off the bench that the last 25-30 minutes of the match have now been dubbed “Gordon Time.” Unfortunately, it seems that Gordon Time doesn’t apply when he starts.
Steven Lenhart, who scored a goal against the LA Galaxy, was not even on the roster for the game against FC Dallas. Jon Busch, however, was back in goal after missing the second half of the Cali Clasico and the game against the Portland Timbers with an eye injury.
While neither team had very many good chances, the chances they did have were saved by some amazing plays by the defenders on both sides. Jason Hernandez bounced back from his rough game against LA and once again put on display his excellent positional awareness. His body was in the right place at the right time to deny Fabián Castillo a goal after keeper Jon Busch was unable to hold onto the ball. At the opposite end of the field, Chris Wondolowski chipped the ball past Dallas keeper Kevin Hartman, only to have it cleared off the line by Hernán Pertúz.
The game was relatively uneventful for the Quakes, aside from a flurry of activity in the last 15 minutes that saw captain Ramiro Corrales receive two yellow cards and a send-off, and two promising sequences that they were unable to capitalize on.
Jon Busch, for one, was happy to get away with a point. He could be seen pumping his fist at the final whistle. After the crazy week San Jose has had, and especially after going down to 10 men right at the end, I think that a draw is a good result. Additionally, this is the Quakes’ first clean sheet since March 31.
This draw leaves San Jose 1 point ahead of Real Salt Lake. The team now has a week to recuperate before they once again host the claret-and-blue next Saturday in a match that will determine if the Quakes stay on top for another week. San Jose will be looking to sweep the series after defeating RSL twice already, and RSL will be out to exact revenge and retake the top spot in the West.
Image courtesy of mlssoccer.com