The San Jose Earthquakes hopes of returning to the postseason for a second straight year were officially dashed last night after Luke Rodgers, Thierry Henry, and friends dispatched of the Los Angeles Galaxy at Red Bull Arena. Going into the contest, the scenario was pretty clear as outlined by a simple message from Major League Soccer:
San Jose Earthquakes will be eliminated from playoff contention:
o If San Jose loses or ties at New England OR
o New York defeats LA Galaxy OR
o Portland defeats Houston (Oct. 14)
When the final whistle blew on the 2-0 Red Bulls victory, all the rhetoric of "we’re still in this" and "we can’t pack it in yet" coming from the Quakes mercifully could come to an end. San Jose had effectively been eliminated from postseason consideration following their 2 point, 3 match road string to close out September. Now, coaches and players can publically acknowledge that the remainder of the 2011 season will be used in preparation for 2012.
With three games remaining on the schedule, who do you want to see get more playing time? Which players on the current roster do you want to see brought back in 2012 and which should be shown the door? Head coach Frank Yallop and general manager John Doyle appear safe in their jobs, so what should they do to elevate this team into the better half of MLS?
I’ll share my thoughts on those questions in the coming weeks and throughout the off season. Please share your thoughts below to get the conversation going. I will direct much of my commentary on what matters most to you.