Is the Quakes' Cerberus More Bark than Bite?

The Quakes' Own Three Headed Monster: Lenny, Gordo & Wondo - Lyndsay Radnedge | CenterLineSoccer.com

In Greek mythology Cerberus (or Kerberos) is the three-headed "hellhound" that guards the gates to the underworld. The San Jose Earthquakes thought that they would finally be deadly by putting out their own three thronged monster but they found themselves trapped in hell instead.

During the pre-season, Chris Wondolowski told Brian Straus of Sporting News that "The record I want to try and top is more wins than last year," he [Wondo] said Monday during a league media event. "Especially with having Lenny and Gordo, especially if they’re healthy, I might be playing outside mid. I might be playing midfield a bit. It’s good to have those guys on the field, and I’m willing to play wherever to have the best 11 out there."

The trio only started one game together before last Sunday and that was on October 6, 2012 in a 4 -1 win in Colorado. The first goal was by Marvin Chavez in the 95th second from a Sam Cronin free kick. Wondo then proceeded to score the next three goals, of which for the last one neither Alan Gordon nor Steven Lenhart was on the pitch. The key to them working well with the three on the pitch at the same time seemed to be the fact that Marvin Chavez and Steven Beitashour were available to run up and down the pitch with speed. Chavez had a secondary assist on the first Wondo goal, passing the ball off first to Baca who sprinted up the left wing to send the ball to the reigning MVP.

Now flash forward to last Sunday night in Portland. Lenhart and Gordon are finally fit and available to start the match together in order to see how the dream tactics would work out. The problem is that Steven Beitashour is still at least a game away from being able to make his 2013 first team debut. (He did play 45 minutes in Monday evening's reserve match loss in Portland.) To add to the slowness on the pitch, Marvin Chavez is still out due to the knee knock he got in training with the Honduran National Team back in mid-January. Normally this lack of speedsters would be quashed with Shea Salinas, but as (bad) luck would have it, he too was unavailable due to a bone bruise to his left knee. That left Wondo on one side and Ramiro Corrales on the other side playing in front of speedy Justin Morrow and a not so speedy Dan Gargan. The typical 'run it quickly up the side and flick it onto the heads of the twin towers' was not going to work.

What seemed to be missing was someone with Cordell Cato's swagger who could sneak behind the defense and get things moving towards one of the three main forwards. But it didn't quite work out that way with Wondo being lost in "no-man's-land", Cato only coming in for Lenhart in the 63rd minute and Gordon getting his marching orders (second yellow) 6 minutes later.

Now with Gordon being suspended for the next four matches, it will hopefully give enough time for Chavez, Beita, and Salinas to get healthy enough to be able to feed the Three-Headed Monster with the dangerous crosses it needs. Otherwise, that Cerberus will find himself being more of a lap dog than a ferocious beast.

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