Tuesday, August 4, 2009

8/4/09: Will The Crew Fall Into The San Jose Trap At Candlestick Park?


San Jose plucked up one of their new midfield signings after Yallop watched Ramon Sanchez play in the Gold Cup game for El Salvador against Canada at Crew Stadium (pic via: AP).

Seattle probably felt as if they could saunter into Buck Shaw Stadium last Sunday (surely their fans were sauntering behind a parade sign! *Palm to face, shake head*). As Seattle were likely expecting 3 points after withstanding a little San Jose resistance or at least expected they would get a respectable away draw against Western Conference bottomfeeders San Jose. They were sorely mistaken. As a bad day going in would have been a draw for Seattle, instead they got slapped(like Will I Am on Perez Hilton) 4-0 by San Jose:


The Earthquakes, who only have 17 points on the season(16 less than the Crew) and only 14 before the big win on Sunday, were bolstered in the midfield against Seattle with two new signings. San Jose picked up 34 year old Brazilian Andre Luiz Moreira(who played for Paris St. Germain, Marseille, and most recently with Jaguares in Mexico) and 28 year old Ramon Sanchez(whose a mainstay with the El Salvadoran National Team with 52 caps since 2001. And, apparently was Yallop's main target in the Gold Cup game that Yallop attended from a box at Crew stadium). The two seem to be doing the job and finally replacing the hole left behind by San Jose's former midfield maestro, Brazilian Francisco Lima.

The signings along with improved play from Huckerby and Glen has led to 4 points in San Jose's last two games against two of MLS's better sides this year in Seattle(29 points) and DC United(28 points). The additions in the midfield surely will make San Jose dangerous over the next few months. Especially when one considers that San Jose have almost nothing to lose with their side standing at 17 points, 10 back of the last playoff spot(and nearly all together out of it) in the Western Conference.

Despite their perilous position. With 11 games left, San Jose will likely try to make another late season run with their new midfield acquisitions, they will come up short in the end once again, and then their new Brazilian and El Salvadoran playmakers will go the way of Francisco Lima. And, the process will likely repeat in 2010.

But, for now San Jose is dangerous and could be a giant killer. The expected smaller field at the older American football ground Candlestick Park, along with the 70,000 or so fans(there to see Barcelona and Guillermo Barros Schelotto, ;-) ) probably won't help make it easier.

The Crew this week have to prepare for the night slotted "The Night Of Champions" like champions would. They have to keep their composure and their wits about them in front of a large crowd(the largest they will face until MLS Cup 2009). Also, the Crew cannot overlook San Jose's current record like Seattle did(instead the Crew have to look at San Jose as even more dangerous because of it). The Crew have to keep each other's spirits up away from home and cannot afford a let down, stress the CANNOT AFFORD. The Crew need to get to 39 points before they start CONCACAF Champions League. To do so the Crew cannot be over confident against the two bottom feeders of the Western Conference(San Jose away, as you already know, and FC Dallas at home).

Both are coming off big wins(San Jose 4-0 against Seattle and FC Dallas 6-0 against Kansas City). These teams are fully capable to put together a top notch performance when they are clicking. But, the Crew are the better team. So, as long as they play their game, instead of getting frustrated and playing into San Jose or FC Dallas's trap, they will come out on top with 39 points.

And, hopefully injury free and prepared to make an impact in the CONCACAF Champions League.

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