The San Jose Earthquakes have one, huge, massive, overwhelming problem. They have no plan B. This season has had one order of business – hope that Chris Wondolowski scores. Because if he doesn’t, well then they’re out of luck. Seven goals, he’s scored for the Quakes. No one else has even scored two.
There have been numerous attempts to find a viable second option. Quincy Amarikwa scored a magnificent goal and has a good partnership with Wondo. But he doesn’t score consistently. Innocent’s forced partnership ended in failure. Chad Barrett wasn’t the worst partner in the world, but he also failed to score or even provide a constant threat.
The only person on San Jose that has shown an ability to really innovate and pester the opposing goal other than Wondo is the Jamaican veteran, Simon Dawkins. Dawkins has steadily improved this season and in his past two matches, we have seen some inspired performances. So much so that the Quakes may have found their long overdue Plan B.
Against Philadelphia, in the City of Brotherly Love, San Jose was not able to muster much. Wondo only managed one shot on target and his influence was stifled by a still-inspired Union side. It’s pretty safe to say that the Quakes did not deserve any sort of result, but Dawkins rose to the occasion to ensure that they got one. In a moment of pure individual inspiration, Dawkins dribbled around the Union defense and beat MLS’s best keeper, Andre Blake, to secure a share of the points.
That was what the Quakes had been looking for. Another potential spark to kindle and turn into a flame.
Seattle was a big game, not just for the Quakes, but for Dawkins individually as well. To follow up on match of inspiration with another would have shown a sign that San Jose may be onto something.
While the Sounders won 2-0, the score betrays what was a decent enough game from San Jose. Wondo and Barrett both should have had goals. But the man that had a foot in every attack was none other than Simon Dawkins. His control on the ball in tight spaces, such as the opposing goal box, was a joy to watch and while he didn’t have the stats to back up his stellar performance, he was acclaimed as the most dangerous attacker on this San Jose attack.
The Quakes are a very steady team. They go about things in a very controlled manner. Sometimes a little added spark can be the difference between being steadily good and being great. Aside from Wondo, that mantle falls to Amarikwa and Dawkins to invoke that flair. We have seen bits and pieces from both of them. Now it’s just time to turn that into consistency (and, hopefully, goals).