Kinnear's Weekly Conversation
The Earthquakes are suffering from many injuries on the defense right now. How do you feel the team is handling it and how difficult is it to constantly have to change the lineup?
Dominic Kinnear: "I think the team is handling it well. They are being very professional about the situation right now. It is difficult to have to play with a different line-up because you want those guys to play together day-in and day-out, by we have a good system in place right now and the players know what is expected of them, even if they have never played that position before."
What were your thoughts on the play of Ryan Cochrane in his MLS debut on Saturday against the Burn?
DK: "Ryan played well. He didn't show any signs of nervousness. Ryan is a good player, and we knew that when we drafted him. He has a good knack for being in the right place at the right time and we are looking forward to more from him."
After last week's win against Dallas put the Quakes in second place in the West, how big is Saturday's game against the Galaxy in terms of closing the gap in the standings and sending a message early in the season?
DK: "Anytime there is a conference game, it is important. This is a good chance for us to pick up some points with L.A. already having 15 points. It is important because we don't want to fall too far behind early in the season. We want to show everyone that the Western Conference is a strong conference, and we are one of the top teams in it."
Do you think last season's playoff series is still lingering in the minds of any of the Galaxy players?
DK: "It's a new season and there are new thoughts about winning this season. I am sure that there will be some talk about those games, but the Galaxy are good professionals who are looking forward. We want to make sure that we focus on what we are doing now and not look back too much on the past."
The Galaxy will be without Carlos Ruiz, but are fresh off a strong performance against D.C. and feature several new players. What do you feel the Quakes need to do to defeat them on Saturday?
DK: "We need to compete for every ball. Anytime that L.A. has the ball we need to pressure them and make sure that it is not easy for them to attack. We need to possess the ball and continue to play the good, solid attacking soccer that we have been playing lately."
Do you have any players or coaches that you admired or looked up when you were a young player?
DK: "My favorite player of all-time is Michel Platini of Juventus. I also really liked Paul McStay of Glasgow Celtic. After reading books about coaches and learning how they have handled players, I respect Alex Ferguson and Bobby Robson. After playing in Mexico for a season with Necaxa I was really impressed with my coach there, Manuel Lapuente."