Man of the Match Q&A: Cerritos
On April 30 against Real Salt Lake the Quakes and you personally saw several shots hit the post and many other good opportunities turned away. On Saturday against the Metros, the Quakes survived two balls off the post and you were able to take advantage of one of your best chances. Do you feel like the team's luck is now turning?
Ronald Cerritos: "That is why I like soccer. Soccer is an unbelievable sport. Last week in Salt Lake, I had an unlucky day, hitting the post. I hate days like that; there are days when you have four or five chances to score and the poles and the 'keeper stop me. [Against the Metros], I had one chance, one header and we got just one goal and we won. That is why I love soccer. I love it; you just never know what is going to happen. Especially when we win, everybody is happy."
Six games into the season, it appears that your partnership at forward with Brian Ching is working well. How have you adjusted to playing with him up top?
RC: "We try to be close to each other. We both try to fight for every ball and cover a lot of ground and hold the ball. He is a very smart player. He is a target type guy and I try to be behind him for every second ball. We talk a lot, so right now, we are doing very well and I hope to continue that for the rest of the season."
Because defenders have to react so much to the physical play of Brian Ching, how does that affect your game?
RC: "I just try and be next to him, behind him or run off of him. You never know what is going to happen with him. The second ball might come behind the defender, or it might go next to him. I know that when I play with Brian, I have to be ready. Ching can hold the ball with three or four defenders on him, so you have to be ready. I have to be ready for that second pass and we start from there. Like I said, it is working for us right now."
Brad Davis assisted on your goal against the MetroStars on Saturday; can you talk about what it means to your game to play with him and how well he has been combining with the forwards so far this year?
RC: "Yes, he has been great. We practice plays like that almost every day, and you see it. You can see it from Brad, from [Brian] Mullan. They try to beat their guy one-on-one and cross, but Brad has a perfect touch. He has the Midas touch, especially for me. He has six assists right now; he just makes the job of a forward much easier. Brad knows and the coaching staff knows that Ching is good in the air and I am good in the air as well. That is why we try to get those crosses in for us. Our style of play makes it so the outside guys are the key for us. From Brad and Mullan, they have to do their job. And we have to do our job in the box in return."
This is your first year back in San Jose after playing there from 1997-2001. What are the differences between this team and some of the other teams you played on here?
RC: "Well obviously, there are new people here, but I see some similar things. We are hungry and everybody wants to win, which is a lot like the team in 2001. When I was here in my first few years, we never qualified for the playoffs and those years, everybody was talking and fighting in practice and the games. But right now we have new, young players, and they really, really want to win and that is the most important thing."
You are only 30 years old, but especially on this team, looked at as a veteran player. Does it feel different to be thought of as an older player now?
RC: "I mean, yes, I am 30 years old, and maybe that isn't very old to a lot of people. But, if you compare me to some of the 21 and 20 year olds that are on this team, I'm old. The thing is, and the important thing is, on the inside, for me, I honestly feel like I am about 20."