On Wednesday night, ex-San Jose Earthquakes defender Brandon McDonald had these words of wisdom after the DC United 5 - 3 loss to the Quakes “To be honest, it doesn’t matter if you’re not playing well in this league. You can get 3 points any day of the week, good or bad, top or bottom of the table; you’ve got to come out and play hard. You have to take the positives from a loss. You gotta keep moving forward, keep your heads up, and on to the next game.”
It is something that stuck with me while watching the San Jose Earthquakes lose 2 -1 due to an Eric Hassli goal in the waning seconds of Saturday’s match in Vancouver. Last year, I would have been really defeated and down but this year I keep hearing the words of current and past Quakes.
Per Jon Busch, this year is different because, “The boys believe this year, and that’s the biggest thing. We believe in what we are doing. We believe in how we are playing. And it doesn’t matter to us what anyone outside the locker room says. We can look at each other eye to eye and know that we believe in what we are doing here. And so far, so good.”
While Steven Lenhart attributes that 7-2-1 success to the fact that “We’re competing and staying involved. We are working hard for each other.”
Khari Stephenson agrees that “We are a team and we all work together to achieve a common goal” which later he stated that their goal is winning games.
While Chris Wondolowski believes: “Our game plan is to win every game. It shows are character and our fire this year.”
Ike Opara contributed: “I think the belief is really there. We do a good job moving the ball. This year we’ve still kept the grit and the fight; and we’ve developed a little bit more as a soccer player within the team. I think it has shown well. Obviously the depth’s there, you’ve got guys plugging in right, left and in the middle and you’re not really losing a beat. Everyone’s really changed on being competitive, you know it’s tough when you lose your spot and you really want to play but you don’t want to sulk. Everyone is bought in and fought hard because everyone will get a chance at some point or another and you just got to show what you can do.”
Simon Dawkins back on loan from Tottenham Hotspur added: “I think it’s the strength of the depth. We have a lot of good players now. We had good players last year too, but I didn’t feel that we had a lot of players when some of them got injured. This year we do even with key players out, we can win. It just shows what we can do.
So when fans look at last Saturday’s loss, it shouldn’t be with the despair that has plagued us since their return in 2008. However, we should just understand that BC Place is a hard place at which to win and hold on to rookie Sam Garza’s words: “This team has done great. The best start we’ve ever had. Obviously that’s something to be proud of; yet it’s really, really early in the season. We’ve just got to keep fighting, have fun and we can get better as we go.
Here’s to this Sunday’s match against Chivas USA and believing that the Quakes will add another 3 points to their tally. Besides, I’m sure the team believes that a 5.0 win pin is a wonderful Mother’s Day gift to all.
(Photo: Joe Nuxoll, centerlinesoccer.com)