Dominic Kinnear's Weekly Conversation

Rick from Pleasanton: What are your expectations this season with a much younger and all-around quicker team?

Dominic Kinnear: "Our expectations are always the same, we want to make the playoffs and then make a good run at the MLS Cup. With a younger and quicker team we hope that we can cover more ground, and close down spaces better and keep a lot of pressure on the opposing team."

Cassie from Dubuque, Iowa: How is the chemistry of the team with all the new players?

DK: "The chemistry is great. The players that we have here from past years have been very accepting of all the new players. I think that the younger players have mixed in very well and they are all very friendly so it makes for a good locker room."

Nicki from Davis: Without [Ronnie] Ekelund and [Richard] Mulrooney in midfield, whom are you looking at to set the pace in the midfield?

DK: "I am looking for good seasons out of Danny O'Rourke, Ricardo Clark and Brad Davis. I am also looking for Brian Mullam to continue his all around solid play; however, it is a collective effort in midfield this year. We will also get contributions from Dwayne De Rosario, from Ian Russell and even Ronald Cerritos and Alejandro Moreno at times."

What is the mood of the team after opening with two ties in the first two games?

DK: "The team is happy with how they have been playing but very frustrated with the end result after 90 minutes. I think that frustration comes because we have our sights and expectations set very high this season. We know that we can improve but we are happy with how we have been playing so far."

Has anything surprised you - good or bad, about the first two games?

DK: "I wouldn't say that anything has surprised me, but one thing that has been great for us is the partnership that has formed between Brian Ching and Ronald Cerritos up top. They have formed a great relationship. I also like the way that we have been dangerous on set pieces so far."

San Jose has not traditionally had success in Chicago. What do the Quakes need to do to get a win this time?

DK: "We need to stay strong defensively from back to front and take advantage of the chances we create. I think that if we limit their opportunities and don't let them feel comfortable out there then we can get a good result out of the game. We need to keep the ball and play with confidence."

The series between Chicago and San Jose has been very even and at times low-scoring (three 0-0 ties in past two seasons). Why are these contests so hard fought?

DK: "These teams are very competitive and you don't see much separating the two teams. Both teams are strong defensively and have a good work ethic so that leads to competitive games."