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Three 'Quakes Who Need To Step Up During Copa America

The San Jose Earthquakes are about to get a real depth check. They will be missing captain and franchise leading goal scorer, Chris Wondolowski, along with a few other key players during the Copa America Tournament. Simon Dawkins has been called in to represent Jamaica, while Alberto Quintero and Anibal Godoy will represent Panama. Thanks to injuries, the Earthquakes will barely be able to dress a full 18 man roster this weekend. There will be some changes, and we’ll take a look at what that might look like. But who really needs to step up while Wondo and Co. are gone at the Copa America? There are Three ‘Quakes who need to step up during this stretch of Copa America games.

Three ‘Quakes Who Need To Step Up During Copa America

Fatai Alashe

 The runner up for rookie of the year in 2015 seems to have regressed a little bit. Although he did get the equalizer in Sunday’s Cali-Classico, he hasn’t had a great season. I wouldn’t go so far to say that he’s regressed completely, or that his development has stalled. I would be more inclined to call this a slow start, and a slow adjustment. Fatai has been asked to step into a role that is completely different from the one he played last year. Instead of having Anibal Godoy play as a box to box mid like he did last year, Kinnear has been asking Fatai to step into that role. It remains to be seen if that is a long term solution, but Alashe has definitely been asked to step out of his holding/defensive midfield role. So why does he need to step up? He’s the only regular starter that will be in the midfield while the Copa America players are gone. He doesn’t need to become the captain but he really needs to step up as a leader on the field. Production as far as Goals/Assists would be nice, but that’s really not his place. If he can step up and exude some leadership qualities on the field, the Quakes spine will be in good shape.

Matias Perez Garcia

Quakes fans love MPG. They see his flair, and creative play and beg for more of that in the lineup. Frankly their right. The defensive liability he becomes can be the difference between 1 and 3 points. MPG is creative, electric, crafty, and smart. But he doesn’t track back on defense. Take a look at Houston Dynamo’s loan goal in the ‘Quakes recent 3-1 win. Watch how the Dynamo winger is given a free cross as MPG fails to drop back and cover for Francis as the backline scrambles to get their marking correct.

This goal could easily have been prevented if MPG tracked back and put some pressure on the cross. He could’ve blocked it, or given the backline a little more time to get back into position. Instead, he stood there, 20 yards away and gave an opponent a free cross into the box. It’s these types of plays that give the ‘Quakes coaching staff reason to keep him off the field. If he can get back to being fully match fit, and play a little better defense, he has a great chance to be a player in the starting XI routinely. So how does he step up? Play defense, get on the scoresheet. That simple. He will get plenty of playing time. IF he fails to do so, Dom Kinnear will be more than happy to hand the starting spot over to Cordell Cato.


Chad Barrett/Quincy Amarikwa

I will excuse Chad Barrett for the most part, due to injury. He did miss a few sitters in the Seattle Sounders game, and REALLY missed one while going one on one with a position player playing keeper against Houston. It’s rare that players come back from injury, while getting into a new team, and make an immediate impact on the score sheet. Getting the assist on the Alashe goal last weekend was HUGE. The ‘Quakes will be missing a player who has scored nearly 40% (!!!!!!) of the team’s goals since 2010. They don’t need to be bagging a couple goals a game each, but one goal between the two of them this season is WELL below expectations. They need to be a part of the score sheet in some way, each game. Goals and assists should be expected from these two, and my money is on them delivering. Barrett is similar to Wondo, in that his movement is deceptive and smart, thanks to his high soccer IQ. Quincy will hopefully be the same ‘ole Quincy when he gets back from injury.



These lineups are fairly easy to predict, especially when they barely have enough players to dress a full 18. Expect to see Adam Jahn, and Tommy Thompson playing with the Earthquakes more often than Sacramento Republic. Tommy Thompson definitely will be given the starting spot in central midfield, thanks to his recent brace in Sacramento. Jahn, however, will probably only see starting time if Barrett or Quincy aren’t healthy enough to start. Innocent and Marc Pelosi are slowly making their way back into match fitness and should be ready to come back by the time Wondo and the rest come back. With the match against FC Dallas this weekend, here seems to be the most likely starting eleven for the weekend:

If MPG doesn’t track back on defense, or gets lazy, Cordell Cato will be a quick swap. Honestly, since he’s finally healthy, there is a good chance Cato gets a start on Saturday. He put in a fantastic performance in a midweek friendly against La Liga side, Real Sociedad. Another thing we may see is more Matheus Silva in central midfield. Tommy almost certainly will start, but Silva will get more time the next two games.

Matches During Potential Copa America Games

It’s hard to anticipate how well the US, Panama, and Jamaica will do in this tournament. Oh, wait, yes it is. Looking at the groups, you can say U.S. is really the only team that has a shot at getting out of the group stage. More likely than not, they won’t get past the Quarterfinals though. So for each player, here are the games they are anticipated to miss.

Chris Wondolowski

5/28 vs. F.C. Dallas

6/1 at Portland Timbers

6/18 at Orlando City SC

Simon Dawkins 

5/28 vs. F.C. Dallas

6/1 at Portland Timbers

Alberto Quintero 

5/28 vs. F.C. Dallas

6/1 at Portland Timbers

Anibal Godoy 

5/28 vs. F.C. Dallas

6/1 at Portland Timbers

The San Jose Earthquakes take on FC Dallas for the second time this season on Saturday, May 28th. It is their first home match against Dallas of the 2016 season. Their previous matchup took place on April 9th in Dallas, and ended in a 2-2 draw.


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