Last week, you gave 24 votes to Jesse Gonzalez, making him Workhorse of the Week for his incredible performance against Atlanta. Can he make it another week in a row?
Where is the silver lining?
The San Jose Earthquakes have looked a mess at the beginning of the season, but in the past couple of weeks, something has clicked. A combination of players getting healthy, lineup changes, and tactical familiarity seems to have tipped things back in their favor. Unfortunately, despite riding high off of a big win at Atlanta, FC Dallas couldn’t maintain an uptick of their own stellar form. San Jose presented some tactical problems, and the team managed at best to slog through this one and prevent the Quakes from anything too easy.
Dropping points at home isn’t good, of course, although from time to time, you take it because a season is long, mistakes happen, and teams learn how to salvage something from a tough turn of events.
This wasn’t a disastrous result, but it was disappointing. FC Dallas just couldn’t get anything going offensively. Defensively, the team looked fine, even if they found themselves scrambling a bit near the end of the game. Kudos to Jesse Gonzalez for another solid performance in goal.
I can take some silver linings from this.
One: This is a young team with a new coach. Coach Luchi is learning on the job at this level and is bound to make mistakes. Sometimes, the mistake is to shake up your lineup tactically against a foe in hopes for a miracle. Sometimes, the mistake isn’t to shake up your lineup tactically. I know that sounds kind of meaningless, but good coaches learn when to take those risks and when to stick to your core players who are playing well. Against San Jose, Luchi seemed to figure his regular guys would figure them out. In retrospect, a different approach or creative player (like Aranguiz or Mosquera) might have been better. He’s going to learn from these moments.
Two: This team is in a culture shift. There are parts of the roster that don’t necessarily fit right now with what Luchi wants to do. No one expected the team to compete for hardware this year, so every game is part of an exciting learning curve. Youngsters like Edwin Cerrillo are emerging and growing up right before our eyes, and when you start a bunch of under 20 year olds, there will be tough days when things don’t click at all. All of it is an opportunity for guys to face some challenge and take the next step.
Three: I do think there are a swathe of guys on this roster that deservedly get question marks. Is Dominique Badji really a useful piece? What about Santiago Mosquera and Pablo Aranguiz? Is Cobra going to turn the corner? It’s a long season, so there is time for these guys but the team sure could have used someone off the bench to make an impact. They didn’t, so you also want to look to the front office about the possibility of getting some players who will do what Luchi wants them to do. Or look further to the academy for those solutions.
What do you think? Is there a silver lining at all?
I highly recommend both Jesse Gonzalez and Edwin Cerrillo as nominees for Workhorse of the Week. They were very solid. Jesse preserved the home point, and Edwin continues to make his case for inclusion into the starting XI at the expense of Gruezo or Acosta. What a challenge it is to be Coach Luchi and make those kinds of hard choices right now!
Cast your vote for the Workhorse of the Week.
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