SAN JOSE, Calif. – The San Jose Earthquakes will be going to Montreal this weekend one flap down.
Winger Shea Salinas, whose speed on the flanks has been a key factor in the Quakes’ resurgence to an MLS-best 14-5-5 record, suffered a strained hamstring late in San Jose’s 3-0 Reserve League victory against Seattle on Sunday. He’s expected to miss two to four weeks because of the injury, which will keep Salinas stuck on seven assists – second among all Quakes, and tops on a per-minute basis – for the time being.
“It’s disappointing, really,” Quakes coach Frank Yallop said Tuesday after training. “It’s not a complete rupture, which is fantastic. That’s what you’re dreading.”
GOAL: Salinas tees it up for Lenhart
Salinas was an 87th-minute substitute in San Jose’s league match against the Sounders on Saturday, and he delivered the corner kick that Steven Lenhart headed home to snatch a 2-1 victory at the death.
“I thought he did great when he came on against Seattle, and he played well in the Chicago game [on July 28],” Yallop said. “It’s not too long, but it’s still a few weeks.”
San Jose already have experience this season making do without Salinas. The 26-year-old started brightly but missed more than two months after having his collarbone broken by New York’s Rafa Márquez on April 14.
With Salinas unavailable, Simon Dawkins will presumably remain on the left wing against the Impact, opposite Marvin Chávez – although that will depend in part on how many minutes of action Chavez sees for Honduras in a friendly against Argentine club Boca Juniors in Miami on Wednesday.
If fatigue is a factor, Yallop could also start Ramiro Corrales at left midfield and slide Dawkins to the right, saving Chávez for a potential late appearance. Rookie Sam Garza, who scored in the Reserve League game on the weekend, is also an option.
Geoff Lepper covers the Earthquakes for MLSsoccer.com. He can be reached at email@example.com.