Anibal Godoy (30) of the San Jose Earthquakes makes a play on the ball

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Anibal Godoy looked impressive enough to move the San Jose Earthquakes to spend a chunk of their Targeted Allocation Money on bringing the Panamanian midfielder to MLS. And after helping the Quakes post four wins in each of his four league appearances — including a debut where he didn’t arrive in San Jose until the morning of the match — Godoy’s stock has risen even higher in the eyes of coach Dominic Kinnear.

“I’ll be honest with you, watching him play, he’s a better player than when I [scouted] him,” Kinnear said on Tuesday. “You see people up close, I think you appreciate them more that way. His ability on the ball, to really calm things down and pick the right pass right been very impressive for me.... He just seems comfortable out there. He doesn't seem panicked.”

There might be some panic amongst the Quakes’ faithful this week. San Jose put in a turgid performance last weekend with Godoy on national-team duty, eventually falling 2-1 to the last-place Philadelphia Union.

Even worse, Godoy — who helped set up the Panamanians’ third-minute goal in a 1-1 draw at Venezuela on Tuesday night — was replaced midway through the first half of that match after appearing to suffer an injury on the wet turf.

That’s exceedingly worrisome because of the influence Godoy has exerted after arriving on the heels of the Quakes’ winless July. The 25-year-old has made the game look easy for San Jose, soothing things in such an arresting fashion that it’s helped the club improve in all facets of the game.

“He’s a great player,” Quakes midfielder JJ Koval said. “I think he holds the tempo for us really well. He’s good on the ball; he rarely gives it up. So when he gets it, he moves it well, keeps us in possession. It really calms the team and gives us a good tempo and allows us to attack and get forward, because we know we’re going to hang onto it. I think he’s very valuable in there for us.”

It helps that Godoy has shown the strength necessary to dispossess opponents as well as the ability to pass out of most potential trouble before it even forms.

“I think he’s an all-around player; he’s tough when he needs to be – he’ll break stuff up in the midfield – as well as he’s really comfortable on the ball,” said Quakes winger Cordell Cato. “So he’s definitely a player that brings a lot to this team.”

If he can’t bring that, what will the Quakes do instead as they host Seattle in an absolutely critical Western Conference clash on Saturday?

“Just a collective effort,” Kinnear said. “We have enough good players that the difference shouldn’t be that much — if there’s a difference at all. But I think on Saturday night [against Philadelphia] we were a little bit rushed with our possession. We just kept on turning the ball over. Could he have helped? Popular theory thinks yes, but he didn’t play. So you can’t say. You can only speculate.”

On Twitter: @quakesbeat