Say what you want about JJ Koval, but he played his role in last night’s gritty matchup against the Portland Timbers. I have to admit, I was a bit worried about the Quakes’ depth in midfield with Baca’s departure. It seems though, that the Mexican midfielder’s former role has been filled quickly.
During the game, Koval got caught in a few tight spaces. I noticed that he never hesitated to distribute opposite of the attack, in order to maintain possession. Though this isn’t the most exciting footballing, it definitely allows for a methodically moving squad of players that can rely upon wingers to produce deadly crosses. With Wondo , Lenhart, and Gordon mixing it up in the 18, I’m not too concerned.
Hopefully JB Pierazzi’s fitness has improved over the last few days so that we can see how he’ll fare in a similar position. It’s quite possible that the Corsican’s experience contributes to an attacking mindset that is currently lacking in Koval’s play.
After all, it would be a shame to waste the types of passes Sam Cronin can deliver in the offensive. If Koval can develop his attacking prowess while maintaining his urgency for possession, he may provide the sort of depth San Jose needs as CONCACAF Champions League and Open Cup play resume.