Dominic Kinnear's weekly conversation
The Earthquakes played well against Real Salt Lake, putting together a 3-0 win. How can the club carry that momentum with them for Saturday's matchup against Los Angeles?
Dominic Kinnear: "I think it was good last week that we were able to score early. That really gave the guys confidence. We really took an aggressive approach and really held strong throughout the whole 90 minutes. Obviously, we would have liked to continue to score goals, but as long as your team shape is good and you take your chances, then the goals will come. And we did have some good chances in the second half. We also limited chances for (Real Salt Lake). With that win, the locker room is a very confident place and we are looking forward to the game on Saturday."
Ari, from San Juan Bautista, Calif. asks: What are your thoughts on this game marking the return of Landon Donovan to Spartan Stadium and how do you feel this will impact the game?
DK: "I think it is always an emotional game when you play L.A., regardless of who is playing. It is usually not the individual players, but really the history between the two teams that make it special, because the players have changed over the years. I'm sure that having Landon coming back here adds a little bit of extra story line to the equation. It is his first return to Spartan Stadium, so we will see what the fans have in store for him. I think the players just want to win, though. That is what they are thinking about. Obviously, he is a very good player. We all know that. We want to try and limit his impact on the game. Shutting down players like him, (Carlos) Ruiz and Eddie Johnson creates a sense of pride on this team, because you know how good they can be and how quickly they can change games. I think that anytime you put L.A. and San Jose on the field at the same time, especially on a Saturday night at Spartan Stadium, it creates a good, intense atmosphere."
The Quakes suffered a 2-1 loss to the Galaxy on May 21 at The Home Depot Center. How do you think this game will be different from that contest?
DK: "Obviously, the space is a lot less at Spartan, with The Home Depot Center being quite massive. Here it is tight quarters. It will probably be a little bit more of a physical confrontation, as they all are here at Spartan. The pace will be a lot quicker. I'm looking forward to it, really. I think the guys are too. They like playing here at home against any opponent, but I think when you add L.A., it adds more fun and more of a competitive bite to your game."
Pulica, from Walnut Creek, Calif. asks: How do you see Kelly Gray fitting in to the team?
DK: "He is a good player. I think the one thing is the guys in the locker room are very accepting of good people and good players, no matter where they come from. I think he has settled in nicely. He had a great debut with a nice goal. It couldn't have been any better for him. The team won and he played well, so I'm sure he is looking to continue that. He has been a good right back in this league for a number of years now. You want him to play well like that every week, so hopefully he has another one like that on Saturday."
For the first time in his career, Brad Davis has been named to the full U.S. national team, and he will leave the Quakes after Saturday's match for the upcoming CONCACAF Gold Cup. Can you comment on what this means for Brad and how his absence will affect the Quakes?
DK: "As far as the San Jose Earthquakes are concerned, it is too bad that he is going to be gone with the U.S. But, of course, it is wonderful for Brad. I think he deserves it. He has played great this year for us. Not only has he been creating, but his possession and his touch on the ball is a nice quality that he has. Obviously, with his service on set pieces and balls wide, he has become a very dangerous component of our team. I'm really happy for him that this has happened. It just shows you that when you play well, no matter where you are, you will get noticed. I hope he has a good time away from us, but it will be nice to get him back."