SAN JOSE, Calif. – You make mistakes, you learn from them.
That was San Jose Earthquakes head coach Frank Yallop’s drilled into his team through words and a rigorous training session on Tuesday, three days after the team’s humiliating 3-0 loss at New York.
“We have to [move on],” Yallop said after training. “We just had a good chat about it, watched it on DVD and it was just all around not a good game at all from most of the guys, if not all. Collectively, the effort wasn’t correct.
“It just was a bad night and we played against a good team that played well," he added. "You put those two together and it adds up to a loss. We’ve got to put it behind us.”
If it seems as though the coach is ready to write off the loss as a one-match flop and give his charges a pass, that seems about right. But that doesn't mean it's acceptable.
In San Jose’s four games prior to facing New York, Yallop was pleased with the Quakes' motivation to come from behind and to play with their new brand of soccer. Playing a 4-3-3, they’ve held plenty of possession and have created numerous scoring chances.
“It’s five games we’ve had and it’s one that’s been terrible,” said Yallop. "The other four, I’ve been happy with."
Still, getting dominated is something that doesn’t please the Canadian tactician, especially when his team exhibited practically no effort whatsoever to disrupt the Red Bulls’ flow and mount one of their characteristic comebacks.
“I don’t mind losing, but you’ve got to lose in the right manner, when it’s not just kind of getting pummeled for 90 minutes,” Yallop said. “We didn’t really show any effort at all to get back in the game or couldn’t find our feet to play well.”
In the last few games, the biggest problem for San Jose has been their defense. After setting a new club record for clean sheets last season with 13, it seemed as though the Quakes back line would be one of the more difficult ones to break this year.
However, so far in 2011, the Bay Area team has registered only one shutout and have allowed, in Yallop’s words, some “silly goals.”
But rather than placing full blame on the back four – especially against New York, where Luke Rodgers and Thierry Henry each popped up unmarked to score – Yallop distributes it equally among the entire team.
“It’s the whole team,” he said, “The whole team defends, and they didn’t defend [against New York] so [the ball] ends up in our net. But it starts at the front, to the midfield, to the back. Everyone was loose.”
At the end of the day, that loss, Yallop hopes, will ultimately serve as a wake-up call – preferably the only and last one of the season.
“You’ve got to accept that game’s gone now; we can’t take it back," he said. "But what I can do is get a reaction and make sure that they know that I’m not happy at all.”
With a match against Chivas USA at Buck Shaw Stadium coming up this Saturday, the coach expects his team to come out in search of three points and nothing less, especially since they’ve yet to win at home.
“I like to think we’re going to come out flying and try to get that first goal that’s eluded us at home so far in the three games," he said. "We’ve got to make sure we break them down, score our goal, or score first if we can and get a result.
“But we don’t know what’s going to happen on Saturday," he added. "We can’t predict it. What I will say is our team will play better than it played in New York, and it will have more effort and more desire than it did as a group.”