Shrader: Good and bad of opener
What the Quakes would rather not do in their remaining games this season: Provide the fans with two games for the price of one like they did Saturday night against the Revolution. The Quakes won the first 45 minutes 2-0 and the Revs won the second 45 minutes 2-0, and in both cases there could have been more goals scored.
And the Quakes would like to score a bunch of goals, but not to the detriment of the defense, says head coach Dominic Kinnear.
"I didn't like the fact we were trying to score every time we got the ball," he said. "I want us to possess the ball more."
With Brian Ching and Ronald Cerritos providing the punch up front (each scored a goal) and getting help on the wings from Brad Davis and Brian Mullan, the Quakes had their way with New England in the first half. They walked off the field after 45 minutes with a two-goal lead and thinking they could have had more. As it turned out, they could have used more since the Revs owned the second half, even before Eddie Robinson was red-carded for a high tackle attempt in the 70th minute.
Depending on your perspective, that 2-2 season-opening result with New England was either a lucky break or a missed opportunity. Either way you look at it, it's one point in the standings. More importantly, it was 90 minutes together in the midfield for youngsters Ricardo Clark and Danny O'Rourke. It was a game's worth of runs up the left side for midfielder Brad Davis and left back Wade Barrett. Brian Ching (who scored his 19th San Jose goal in only his 36th start) and Ronald Cerritos (who scored his 56th career goal in a San Jose uniform) looked to be a dangerous duo.
"I thought we combined very well, especially in the first half," Cerritos said. "This is great for our confidence. I think that we will get better and better each game."
With two in a row at home and three of their first four in Spartan Stadium, the Quakes would like the points to pile up a little faster than one at a time. They have a new team, with about 50 percent turnover from a year ago, and it may take a while for them all to get on the same page. But if the first game and a 7-2-4 preseason record are any indication, it will come sooner than later. Kinnear thinks when they get a better feel for each other it will show on the field.
"Lack of communication all over the field is probably the biggest thing that hurt us on Saturday night," he said.
You can be assured Kinnear has communicated that to his troops. And while it's nice to get two games for the price of one, Kinnear certainly is hoping for one solid 90 minutes next time around.
John Shrader has been the voice of the Earthquakes since 1996 and has worked in television and radio in the Bay Area for the past 20 years.