Three games, three shut-outs, nine points. What happened to this Quakes team that went nine straight without a win?
A few things came into alignment. The arrival of Anibal Godoy proved to be the spark-plug the Quakes needed to free up Wondo from being a box-to-box midfielder/forward, allowing him to play more forward in the defensive half and be on the receiving end of crosses in the attacking half. Prior to Godoy’s arrival, Wondo had three shots in three games since coming back from USMNT duty. After Godoy’s arrival, Wondo has had nine shots in three games, including three goals.
Matias Perez Garcia’s absence has revealed the Quakes are a better team either without a CAM or without MPG. MPG was the most fouled player in MLS before his injury. While he played, the Quakes could not generate scoring chances, and had only scored more than two goals twice during the entire season. With MPG sidelined, Kinnear was forced to adopt a 4-4-2 formation which does not rely on a CAM midfielder, and the results speak for themselves. Seven goals in their previous two games against arguably two of the best teams in the league.
However, tonight’s match may have been more of an anomaly than a sign of things to come. D.C. United dominated the stats: 23 shots to the Quakes’s nine, four shots on goal to the Quakes’s two, 12 corners to the Quakes’s four, 58% possession to the Quakes’s 42%, and 13 chances created to the Quakes’s three. With these numbers, it’s a little surprising the Quakes not only won, but shut-out United at home.
Currently the Quakes have four shut-outs in their previous five games and eight on the season. With Seattle’s loss tonight, the Quakes are now tied for sixth place in the West for the final playoff spot, and lead on goal-differential. However, we play the league’s leading goal scoring team L.A. Galaxy next week, so we cannot rest on the laurels of the past few weeks. L.A. will be looking to win the rubber-match, and playoff spots are on the line.
Next match: Friday, August 28th at 8pm against the L.A. Galaxy at Avaya. See you there!
Photo Credit: Quakes Facebook Page