While two points from a three game road trip was not quite enough to mathematically eliminate the Earthquakes from postseason consideration, those in and around the team are already looking toward the 2012 season despite the four games remaining on the regular season schedule. And even though the most the Quakes can do is play spoiler down the stretch, their upcoming matches are not going be taken lightly.
Earlier this week, the media was treated to a surprisingly frank Yallop interview following an otherwise run-of-the-mill training session. When posed the rather standard question of whether the coach was looking at the four games remaining this season as a chance to rate players going into the off season, Yallop instead remarked that the time for that was past, and that he and general manager John Doyle had already decided on which players they preferred to bring back for 2012.
Yallop and Doyle would not mention any of the soon to be departed players by name, but it would seem likely that those not featuring regularly for the club down the stretch might already have one foot out of San Jose.
The San Jose Earthquakes play their penultimate home game of the season tonight against Sporting Kansas City. With Yallop pleased with the progress made by his almost regular September starting XI, look for a very familiar line-up to grace the Buck Shaw Stadium pitch in the Quakes first October contest:
Chris Wondolowski Khari Stephenson
Simon Dawkins Rafael Baca
Sam Cronin Ramiro Corrales
Justin Morrow Bobby Burling Jason Hernandez Steven Beitashour
The big change from the previous weekend’s line-up is on the back line, where defensive captain Jason Hernandez steps in for the injured Nana Attakora. The change allows Ramiro Corrales to move back into the center of midfield, to be joined by Sam Cronin following his one-game suspension. Rookie Rafael Baca rounds out the changes by moving out to the right wing.
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