which is nearly always the strategy when the Quakes play -- and a little more focus on the finishing, more shots from more players (Ching and Donovan have combined to score nearly half of the team's goals) and taking more chances in the attack.
The real problem is that the next two opponents, Colorado and Kansas City, would settle for a tie, so they will try to pack it in, slow down the game and reduce their own chances for error. The final game, against Dallas, should be a wide-open affair, especially if the last playoff spot is on the line.
The Quakes have one thing over everybody they play during the rest of the regular season, and into the playoffs. They are two-time champions of Major League Soccer, a team that scored 12 goals in the last three games of the 2003 post-season. If they have a little of that in a bottle lying around somewhere, it's time to open it.
Finding that scoring magic -- from a bottle or anywhere else -- would be the Quakes goooooaaaaaal for the rest of the season, and necessary to assure a postseason appearance.
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.