Dominic Kinnear's weekly conversation
Wayne, from Concord, CA asks: What are the chances of bringing Roger Levesque back from Seattle at some point of the season? How do you project him developing in Seattle?
Dominic Kinnear: "I think it is better for Roger to stay up in Seattle, where he is getting 90 minutes, sometimes 180 minutes a weekend. It is better for him to do that than maybe not play here. It is hard to say how he will develop in Seattle, because it is all up to him how he makes himself better while he is up there. But, as soon as their season is over, we expect him to come back and we will probably bring him back for some more reserve games as well."
Steven, from San Leandro, CA asks: What do you think are some of the differences in your coaching style from Frank Yallop's? Do you still keep in touch?
DK: "Yes, we still keep in touch. We probably speak about twice a week. I don't think there are too many differences in our coaching styles. I think that maybe I am a bit more vocal than Frank. But, I think we do see the game the same. Obviously, I learned a lot from him, and while I don't try and copy what he did when he was here, I think a lot of the stuff he did was correct and I try and keep the approach generally the same."
Brian, from Columbus, OH asks: How do you go about creating a starting lineup and what factors into your decision to sit or play certain players? Does the upcoming opponent matter more than the performance of the players when figuring this out?
DK: "I always try and keep a winning team together. So, if the team wins, obviously all 11 players on the field are doing something right. Of course, sometimes injuries, suspensions and dip in form do create decisions where you have to make a change into your team. As far as the upcoming opponent, that normally doesn't play into picking our squad because first and foremost I worry about the team that we are putting on the field; I don't want to worry about the opponent."
Ben, from Fremont, CA asks: Have you been doing anything different in practice to help sharpen up the Earthquakes' finishing?
DK: "No, we do the same thing every week, whether we are scoring goals or not. In practice, we try and put the guys in different positions and give them difference service, so when they get a chance to score from different positions on the field in a game it isn't new to them. We always work on crossing and finishing and individual finishing. We do the same thing every week, and we just feel that we haven't been finishing our chances in the games, but we have been creating them, and I think they will be going into the net pretty soon."
Rocco, from Walnut Creek, CA asks: How do you feel the reserve league is helping the club and which reserve league players do you expect to see play for the Earthquakes full squad in the near future?
DK: "I think the reserve league is helping the club in a number of ways. First of all, it is giving us a great chance to look at new players that we have brought in. It gets guys that are on the bench for the first team game 90 minutes on a weekend, so when they are asked to play they are not 30 minutes fit or 60 minutes fit, but they can go 90 minutes. As far as players from the reserve team on the first team, we have already seen Julian Nash get some time this year, and Chris Aloisi, who didn't start with the first team this season has come on and played with the first team. Ryan Cochrane has come on and played. There are a bunch of players that are improving; Chris Wondolowski looks like he could be pushing for time pretty soon. I think it is a great thing for the team and it is good for the individual players."
Scottie, from Napa, CA asks: Do you think you will see more teams in MLS using the 3-5-2 format at Spartan Stadium as did D.C. United did two weeks ago, effectively clogging the midfield and waiting to counter?
DK: "I don't know. I think teams play the 3-5-2 not only when they are at Spartan Stadium. If they play it, they do it everywhere. D.C. does it, New England does it. Some teams like to play 3-5-2, some like 4-4-2, some like 3-4-3. I don't think it is necessarily their game plan to come to Spartan and clog the midfield. I think they are just playing to what they feel is their best formation."
Bryan, from Concord, CA: What do you think the Earthquakes need to do to get a win at Spartan against Real Salt Lake after 0-0 ties in their last two home matches?
DK: "I think we need to, first of all, come out and pressure Salt Lake and let them know that the game is going to be difficult. We need to put them under pressure. When we have the ball we need to move it sharply and move it quickly. We need to attack from wide, and we do have good service from wide. We need good runs in the box again. I think we saw those good runs in the last game against Chivas USA. I think we need to punish their mistakes, and be a bit more lethal in front of goal. I think the guys know that, and we are really looking forward to it on Saturday."