SANTA CLARA, Calif. – The San Jose Earthquakes already expected to get some reinforcements back for their match Sunday, and the decision of US national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann added another key name to that list.
Quakes coach Mark Watson said after training Friday that he expected World Cup hopeful Clarence Goodson – one of seven cuts made from the American squad on Thursday – to be available Sunday night when the Houston Dynamo come to Buck Shaw Stadium (10:30 pm ET; MLS Live).
And even though San Jose striker Chris Wondolowski was named to Klinsmann’s 23-man final squad, Watson should have more attacking options against a Houston side that comes in ranked 14th in goals allowed at 1.62 per match. In addition to Shea Salinas, who used a week off last week on suspension to rest some niggling injuries, the Quakes could get back one or maybe even both of their target men.
“Steven Lenhart has had a good week of training, so we’ll reevaluate him today,” Watson said. “Alan Gordon trained today for the first time, so we’re still kind of looking at how he kind of feels after today’s session. So we hopefully will have a few more healthy bodies for Sunday.”
The biggest question mark of all is the status of newcomer Yannick Djalo, whose last appearance, on May 3 in Vancouver, lasted just 10 minutes before being cut short by a groin strain. It was the second time this season Djalo has had to come off due to a muscle problem, and the Quakes are trying a new tack in an attempt to avoid a third occurrence.
“We’ve tried to … be a little bit more diligent in terms of how we work with him and his plan to get fully fit,” Watson said. “I think we’ve had to maybe do things a little bit differently, in terms of giving him more high-tempo, game-like situations. The movements in a game, which are full speed, we try to replicate those a little bit more through his rehab process. And he’s come through great and had a good day of training today.”
On the international front, it was a day of mixed emotions for the Quakes. While happy for Wondolowski’s success, Watson said the club was also saddened for Goodson, who was a member of the 2010 US World Cup side but saw no action in four matches.
“That’s a big achievement, to play in a World Cup, and I think he expected to be there,” Watson said of Goodson. “He’s been a part of the squad through the qualifying process. We feel for Clarence right now because we know he’s disappointed. But he’s a great pro, a great character. He’ll come back to us probably with a lot of fight and a renewed spirit to help this team. That’s just the type of guy he is. I’m sure it was really tough for him to hear that decision.”
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Goodson was not at practice Friday. His return would be a boon for the Quakes, who are already missing Victor Bernardez from the Hondruan World Cup side and could also be without Jason Hernandez in the wake of his father’s death last weekend.