GBU Report: Earthquakes vs. Dynamo

The San Jose Earthquakes defeated the Houston Dynamo 3-1 in Avaya Stadium on Wednesday night. Here is the good, bad, and ugly (the GBU Report) for the match.

GBU Report: Earthquakes vs. Dynamo

The Good

  • Five midfielders + 70 minutes = 3 goals. One of the problems for Head Coach Dom Kinnear this season was finding ways to juggle all his midfielders into games. The solution was simple: remove a forward. With the absences of Quincy Amarikwa and Innocent due to injury and Chad Barrett still recovering and not yet fit to go a full 90, Kinnear found a system that worked: five midfielders. Kinnear started his usual double-pivot set with defensive midfielders Anibal Godoy and Fatai Alashe, while starting three attacking midfielders in Alberto Quintero, Matias Perez Garcia, and Simon Dawkins, who played up top at the #9 position. Forward Chris Wondolowski was dropped back behind Dawkins. The result: three goals on seven chances created, the highest goal production so far this season for San Jose.
  • Midfielder Alberto Quintero gets a brace. Quintero had two goals, at 3′ and 70′, along with an assist. A three-point night earned him Man-of-the-Match honors. His production had been waning prior to Wednesday’s match, but made an emphatic statement that he can produce.
  • MPG keeps MVP’ing. Any regular reader of the GBU Report, or anyone who read the comparison of Earthquakes midfielders, have known the numerous contributions of midfielder Matias Perez Garcia. In all three games in which the he starts, the Quakes have earned points, and averaged two goals/game. In Wednesday’s game, MPG generated three shots with one on goal, two chances on two key passes, and eight crosses. To be fair, MPG’s passing was very suspect at 55% accuracy, and was dispossessed twice in his 63 minutes of play.
  • Wondo’ful assists. MLS co-leader in goals forward Chris Wondolowski attracted a lot of attention inside the box, which set up the dimes for Quintero’s two goals. He also had a third key-pass. In one night, the Quakes offense transformed from being one-dimensional (get the ball to Wondo) to multi-dimensional, which should give Quakes fans a reason for optimism heading into summer.
  • Agus unsung. Dynamo defender Agus had a great game in the loss, chalking up a team-high four shots, with one on goal. He also had a team-high eight clearances. It’s a team high when one man is sh0uldering the most of the offensive and defensive burdens of the team.
  • Ricardo Clark‘s golazo. A perfectly placed strike by midfielder Ricardo Clark at 43’ tied the game just before half. Clark also finished with a good defensive effort, leading his team in tackles with eight tackles (six more than any other Houston player), four clearances (twice as many as any other defender besides Agus), a blocked shot, and an interception.
  • No yellow cards for Godoy. Defensive midfielder Anibal Godoy had four yellows and one red (off a second yellow) in six matches prior to Wednesday. For the first time in a long time, Godoy was disciplined enough not to get another yellow and risk a second suspension.

The Bad

  • No Quakes shut-out. Despite allowing just two shots on goal, lost their bid for a clean-sheet via a Ricardo Clark blast from 25 yards out after failing to clear the ball at 43′. It was the last shot on target Houston would manage for the game, and found its way past most of the Quakes backline and goalkeeper David Bingham.
  • No Bruin, no Wenger, no Maidana, oh my! Dynamo Head Coach Owen Coyle subbed off three offensive players (forward Will Bruin, midfielders Andrew Wenger and Cristian Maidana) for three other offensive players (forward Erick Torres, midfielders Lionel Miranda and Boniek Garcia), who also failed to produce with zero shots between the trio. Garcia did manage three key passes, but it was not enough to challenge the Quakes defense. In the end, the decision was a huge gamble, and may not have been the best coaching decision give that there was still thirty minutes left in the match.

The Ugly

  • Deric’s red card. The Dynamo ‘keeper Tyler Deric came out of the box and brought down Simon Dawkins to earn his red. It was a desperate play which put Houston down a man, a goalie, and sealed the win for San Jose.
  • Center-back David Horst was practically invisible. The center-back had zero tackles, one interception, two clearances, and did not win a single aerial duel.
  • Houston is 0-5-0 on the road this season. The Dynamo need to find a solution to their road woes and soon if they want to make a playoff run.