Dominic Kinnear's weekly conversation
Since joining the Earthquakes, Brian Mullan has proven to be a very dangerous player. What is it about his play that makes him so effective?
Dominic Kinnear: "Brian has a lot of qualities that make him a strong player. He has the ability to take on defenders one-on-one, and he has the fitness to be able to move all over the field and defend well. Probably the most important thing about Brian is his determination. He just never stops going from minute one to minute 90."
As a former national team player yourself, how difficult do you think it is for players to travel back and forth between their national teams and club teams?
DK: "It can be difficult for a player, because of the amount of games and the amount of miles that they have to travel over the course of a season. I think it can be made easier though by letting the player know that his commitments are a priority for himself and for the team. I just have to make sure that those players get enough rest during the season."
Are you following the European Championships? Do you have any favorites or predictions?
DK: "Yes, I am following the European Championships. As far as predictions go, I think you would have to say that a lot of the usual teams are favored. Obviously, France and Holland are very strong. I think that Sweden is very good and could also be somewhat of a sleeper."
Do you think it will be difficult to integrate players like Dwayne, Pat, Landon and other players who have been injured back into the lineup because the team has been playing well lately?
DK: "No, not at all. These are all good players and they have been a part of this system and they know the system. Because everyone is comfortable with how we play, it is easy for players to come back and get right back into the lineup."
What do you feel the Quakes need to do to beat Chicago on Saturday? What are some of the Fire's strengths?
DK: "To beat Chicago we need to play well for the entire 90 minutes. When we have the ball, we need to attack them and make sure that we finish our opportunities. This team is pretty confident that we are always going to get at least a few good opportunities to score a game, and against Chicago, on the road we need to make the most of that. Chicago's strengths are that they have very good attacking players. Ante Razov is always dangerous whenever he is on the field, so we know that we have to concentrate on defending well as a team."