The Quakes (3-4-0) faced Real Salt Lake (2-2-3) at home on April 5th, in which Javier Morales netted the game’s lone goal and the three points. This time, the Quakes travel to Rio Tinto Stadium for the rematch.
I’m optimistic for this match. We have had two weeks to rest and get players healthy, resulting in being able to field the first “full” squad of the season. This includes defender Jordan Stewart, who was battling a calf strain, and Wondo, who was playing with a strained hammy. It will be a great barometer to see how the team performs with the top XI finally starting.
RSL is also experiencing some problems. Ever since their victory over the Quakes, RSL has gone 0-2-1, with a draw against Sporting KC, and losses to Vancouver (1-0) and New England Revs (4-0). They were also playing without midfielder Javier Morales and defender Chris Schuler during this stretch, along with ‘keeper Nick Rimando last week. If Morales and Rimando are unable to play on Friday, it may be a great advantage for the Quakes.
RSL Scouting Report
I believe RSL will be playing both Morales and Rimando–both participated in “full practices” this week–especially since RSL was destroyed by the Revs 4-0 last week; New England generated 20 scoring chances, and 25 shots with 13 on goal, so the 4-0 score does not indicate how lopsided that victory was. RSL will play the press since NYRB were so successful with it a few weeks ago, so I would expect a 4-2-3-1 formation. Look for Kyle Beckerman and Luke Mulholland to control the midfield and set up attacks to Alvaro Soborio and Olmes Garcia. Look for Luis Gil or Jordan Allen as a third attacker.
What to Expect
Dom Kinnear has been consistently inconsistent this year, so I have no idea what to expect for the Quakes line-up. What would I like to see? A 4-1-3-2 formation with Alashe at DM, Cato/Shea, Tommy, & MPG in the middle, and Wondo & Innocent up top.
What will we probably see? The 4-3-3 didn’t work out too well last time, so I’m guessing Dom will try a new formation he hasn’t used yet: 4-4-1-1 with Bingham (GK) Wynne (RB), Stewart (LB), Bernardez (RC), Goodson (LC), Alashe (DM), MPG (CM), Nyassi (RW), Cato (LW), Wondo (F), and Innocent (F). However, I would not be surprised to see the old 4-1-3-2, as that’s the formation the Revs used to put up 25 shots on RSL last week.
Final Score Prediction
If Wondo goes back to forward and plays with Innocent, 3-0 Quakes. The Revs showed us how to beat RSL by attacking and not playing conservatively. A two-forward set helps take the pressure off the midfield press by having defenders respect two attackers.
If Wondo plays mid or does not start: 1-1 draw. RSL will play the press just like NYRB, and we won’t be able to maintain possession or generate attacks. As I said before, I believe the team rises and falls with Wondo up top. It’s his natural position, he’s a little banged up so he shouldn’t be playing mid with all the running that’s required, and having him up top means defenders are on him more, which opens up the rest of the attacking half for the midfielders.
Quakes Injuries & Suspensions:
- Mark Sherrod (F)
- Lenny (F)
- Shaun Francis (D)
- Dubbers Sports Bar in downtown Salinas.
- SF Athletic Club in San Francisco
- Commonwealth Cafe & Public House in Oakland
- Rookies Sports Bar in San Jose
Game Time: Friday (4/17) at 7:00pm on Univision Deportes