Who could have predicted that shelving the target forward system would have such dramatic results? Simply put, the new tactical focus for the San Jose Earthquakes has proven effective -- to the tune of four straight games without defeat.
The latest display of improved play from San Jose came in a hard-fought 2-2 draw against the LA Galaxy at the StubHub Center. Yielding nearly 70% of possession to the swarming Galaxy, the Quakes played their dependable resolute brand of defense to limit LA's chances. And, via a tactical set-up that had Chris Wondolowski and Matias Perez Garcia as forwards, San Jose executing two perfect counterattacks to get on the scoreboard.
These quickly developing attacks, something that is hard to do within the target forward system, stunned LA on defense and were, as the cliche goes, completely against the run of play. However, that is exactly what head coach Mark Watson wanted to see from his team, especially against a Galaxy side that was pressing incessantly.
The reward for the Earthquakes great performance was a well deserved road point -- and sole possession of eighth place in the Western Conference. MLS took notice as well, nominating both Wondo and MPG for Goal of the Week honors. It is a shame that both can't win, but with the right push at the ballot box, Earthquakes fans have a chance to vote them first and second.