Friday, August 13, 2010

Shrader's Spin: KC a Must Win?

It’s not often you hear coaches and players talk in August about a “must win” game.

That’s about all the Quakes are talking about this week.

“Yes, at this point in the season, every point matters,” said defender Jason Hernandez. “When we’re at home we can’t afford to lose any more points.”

The Quakes had three home shutouts early in the season, but have no wins at Buck Shaw since May 8.

“I just want three points on Saturday,” said coach Frank Yallop. “We have to win on Saturday.”

The Wizards bring a relatively hot team to town this weekend, unbeaten in four straight. However, in the meantime, the Quakes have more injuries to deal with; Ramiro Corrales the latest of them, a knee injury that could keep him out a least a month.

“It’s easy to have a pity party about who is not here,” Hernandez said. “But that’s not our job. Our job is to get results. And we’re looking for that on Saturday.”

After a 1-0 home loss to Seattle two weeks ago, Yallop said he thought the team was playing scared at home, a comment he again uttered this week.

“Well, I am never going to disagree with the coach,” Hernandez says. “Whatever he says, I agree with. It’s the point now for us to express ourselves.”

Yallop says the Quakes need to attack more, be more aggressive, take the game to the opponent, “maybe with a little more attacking lineup, we’ll see.”

Newly acquired Khari Stephenson will almost certainly be in the lineup. He spent the last five years playing in Scandinavia, first in Sweden and then Norway, but says they wanted more of a “runner." Stephenson says he's more of a “technical” player.

“I asked my agent to find me a place to play in MLS,” he says. And, Stephenson says, this should be a good fit for him. “I can make the pass, can hold the ball, and shoot with both feet.”

Stephenson, who has 31 caps for Jamaica, was drafted out of Williams College in 2004 and spent a short time in MLS with Chicago and Kansas City.

“He’s very composed on the ball,” Hernandez says. “He’ll be a strong presence in the middle. He reminds me a bit of (New England’s) Shalrie Joseph.” Stephenson is a 6-foot-1 midfielder who doesn’t mind playing physically. Hernandez says, “we’re looking forward to what he can do.”

Whoever is in the lineup, Yallop says, they will work hard and get the job done. It doesn’t matter for how long they’ve played together, if at all: “I have no doubts whoever we pick will be organized and dynamic.”

And the players and coaches agree it’s a group that must provide a win.


  1. if we lose, heads should roll. the playoffs would be pretty much lost, so why keep Doyle and Frank around.

  2. A playmaker in midfield is key, Luiz was great, hopefully Stephenson can be that guy! That said I am pretty worried about the backline with no Ike or Ramiro, I hope Jason finds his confidence to be dominant as we know he has what it takes and has proven so key at times in the past. Go Quakes!

  3. The last game was an absolute disgrace. My son's high school team could have beat the Earthquakes. Doyle is signing so-so players like Stephenson while the Red bulls are signing Henry and Rafa Marquez. Something has got to give here. Since the championship team was stolen away to Houston the Earthquakes need to convince a few people that they are worth supporting and there has been precious little evidence of that so far.