Kinnear's weekly conversation
Matt Grandstone, from San Jose asks: With so many Earthquakes players coming back from injury, how do you plan on getting these players like Troy Dayak back in the lineup?
Dominic Kinnear: "It is difficult. We have to evaluate everybody and see how everyone is playing in practice and decide what players are going to help the team the most in a particular game. With more guys playing in practice that obviously means there is going to be more competition. Troy Dayak is an important part of this team and I think we have missed his presence back there, so I think as he gets healthy you can probably expect to see him playing more."
John Lieberman, from San Francisco asks: The Quakes had a strong effort last Saturday against Colorado. Can you point to anything specifically that led to the big 3-1 win?
DK: "I think our attitude and the way we approached that game was excellent on Saturday. From the first whistle we played hard and played well and did exactly what we wanted to. Our one and two touch passing from the back to the midfield to the wings and then to the forwards was near perfect. That was how we want to play and hopefully we can continue that."
What are your thoughts on the U.S. Open Cup tournament and how does the team approach these games against A-League competition?
DK: "The U.S. Open Cup is a prestigious tournament and we believe that it is important to play in and important to win. We approach these games just like we approach every one we play: We play to win. We know that the A-League teams are good and have some strong players. I think we need to show respect to them and we will field a line-up that I think can beat them. Now we are going to play Minnesota [Quakes vs. Minnesota Thunder, Aug. 4 in Minneapolis] and we know that they are going to play us tough. They beat L.A. and that is going to be a good game."
Nearing the All-Star break, are you pleased with the way the team has developed at this point of the season?
DK: "I feel good about the team and where we are after the win over Colorado. I think you can only take things week-to-week and judge yourself on your last performance, and we played well. I know in the first half of the season we were inconsistent and we haven't had as many wins as we would like, but if we continue to play the way we did on Saturday, then I will continue to be pleased."
Can you give us a mini-scouting report on the New England Revolution?
DK: "Obviously, they are strong with a lot of creative players like Taylor Twellman, Pat Noonan and then Steve Ralston serving them balls from the wings. They have a strong attack, and also a good young player in Clint Dempsey, who is definitely a candidate for Rookie of the Year. We know New England is a dangerous opponent and we will have to work hard for 90 minutes to take advantage of our opportunities. We need to continue to move the ball well as we attack."