Kinnear's weekly conversation

John, from Oakland, CA asks: Do you feel that other teams in MLS come at the Quakes with an extra incentive to beat them because they are the defending champions and do you feel the other teams in the league have adjusted to the Quakes style of play?

Dominic Kinnear: "I think every year in every sport teams always come out with more intensity against the defending champions. Everyone wants to prove that they are improved and they are better then they were last year and that they are now better than you. That is something that just comes with the territory of being a champion. As far as other teams adjusting, I think now, especially at home, teams come in here and try to spoil the game. Against us now they place a lot of mean behind the ball and in the box and make it difficult for us to score while sitting back and waiting to counterattack."

Jeff, from Monterey, CA asks: How do you determine when is the proper time to make a substitution during a game?

DK: "It is a strategic decision, there are always different circumstances when you want to make a substitution. Of course, I will make a change if we are behind and we need to put some offensive players into the game and get forward. There are times when we are trying to protect a lead and will bring in an extra defender. Also, if a player is not performing up to his capabilities, then we will make a change if necessary."

Can you comment on the Quakes performance in a 1-1 tie in Colorado on Oct. 2?

DK: "I thought we started the game off slow, but then we started to get into it and really from the 25-30 minute mark, we were controlling the game and the momentum swung in our favor. I felt well in the second half, and we continued to put pressure on their goal. I thought it was a very deserved goal on our part."

In a big game against the Kansas City Wizards this weekend, what do you expect from the match against the first place Wizards?

DK: "The Wizards have some dangerous players that we are aware of, and we know how important a game this is. Kansas City has a tough defense, and we expect them to make things difficult for us to score and look to score on us on a counter-attack. We have to be prepared for that. In a game like this, it is very important to score first, because that way we can dictate the pace of the game and pressure them even more."

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