The first thing San Jose must make sure they don’t do is have any of their players overawed by the event, the first regular season home game, or the setting, the brand new Avaya Stadium. After the preseason game in which the Earthquakes beat the LA Galaxy 3-2 Dominic Kinnear said that he thought some of his players got a little over excited by the occasion.
The second thing the Quakes need to do is effectively shuffle their defensive options. With Victor Bernardez suspended after that red card against Seattle, and Renato out with hamstring problems, Dominic Kinnear needs to come up with replacements that work. One of the things fans will want to see is how the new head coach will juggle things when first team starters are unavailable. Last week's emergency back line of JJ Koval and Ty Harden did well against Seattle and both are available to start.
The third thing that San Jose needs to do is feed their forward players. Not since the days of Chris Wondolowski, Alan Gordon, and Steven Lenhart running at opposing defenses have we seen a more potentially potent strike force as the Quakes have at their disposal right now.
Wondo is Wondo and will do what Wondo does. Former Earthquakes head coach Frank Yallop made no bones about the fact that as the current coach of Chicago he was worried about how to contain his former star striker. Earlier this week Yallop was quoted as saying that every team that plays against Wondo thinks that they can figure him out, but it is the hardest thing in the business to do.
Wondo now finds himself up front with Innocent Emeghara and Matias Perez Garcia. These guys are all capable of accurate, incisive, short passes in pressure situations, of splitting defenses in the most direct and effective way, on the ground. Add to this, individual displays of brilliance in their finishing and the fans could well be in for the thrill ride of their lives this season.
Feed Wondo, Emerghara, and Garcia and the goals will come. Of course, as Emerghara showed, starting the move in midfield that led to him scoring the Quakes third goal against the Sounders last week, these guys are all perfectly capable of feeding themselves.
The sold out San Jose Earthquakes vs. The Chicago Fire game kicks off at Avaya Stadium at 4PM PST on Sunday March 22. TV and radio coverage is FOX Sports 1 and 1370 KZSF.