San Jose Earthquakes Vs. Toronto FC, MLS Preview

Posted In Match Previews and Reviews - By Aalok Patel On Saturday, April 9th, 2011 With 1 Comment

Team Form

San Jose

Frank Yallop’s decision to change the team’s formation to a 4-3-3 with Wondolowski dropping to midfield has resulted in some attractive soccer.  While this has created plenty of scoring opportunities, this has not translated into favorable results.  Simon Dawkins has locked down a starting spot in midfield with his goal and overall good performance against Seattle last week.  Hopefully Frank Yallop will find a way to incorporate Khari Stephenson into this lineup as well. When the Jamaican international entered the Seattle game at the start of the 2nd half, he probably scored one of the best goals to be seen in Buck Shaw Stadium to date.   Unfortunately, San Jose’s defense was lacking in this match as both of Seattle’s goals came from errors in the back.


The recent departure of Dwayne DeRosario was supposed to be Aron Winter’s chance to start a new chapter in Toronto FC’s history.  The team clearly has a long way to go as their performance against a less-than-stellar Chivas USA last weekend was subpar at best. While Toronto played well on the wings, they need to play the ball wide more often in order to utilize these talents.  Apart from Maicon Santos’ wasted chance (to put it nicely) that cost Toronto the game, Alan Gordon played well and the partnership between the two players is starting to develop nicely.  Although Toronto’s defense has been fine so far this season, they haven’t faced a team that is an attacking threat yet.  The game against San Jose should provide a good test for Toronto’s back line.

Missing Links

San Jose-Steven Lenhart

Ryan Johnson’s adjustment to the target striker position hasn’t gone as smoothly as San Jose would have liked.  While he has created some good plays over the last few games, he still hasn’t been able to find the back of the net.  Recently acquired Steven Lenhart has played in this position consistently with Columbus and will be able to slip into San Jose’s lineup with relative ease.  Unfortunately, he will likely still be away on personal leave after the recent passing of his father.  San Jose will just have to hope Ryan Johnson will finally adapt to his new role against Toronto.

Toronto-Julian de Guzman

Toronto’s only remaining Designated Player picked up an injury during the preseason and saw his first minutes on the field as a substitute in the second half.  With Dwayne DeRosario gone, Toronto will be looking for another Canadian international to lead the team this season.  Unfortunately he is still not 100% match fit and when you take travel into account, he will most likely not feature for Toronto in their upcoming match.

Players to Watch

San Jose-Simon Dawkins

Simon Dawkins is starting to justify wearing the #10 jersey he dons.  The on-loan Tottenham player was crucial in San Jose’s attacking opportunities against Seattle and will only improve as he adapts and adjusts to the league.  Whether it is through goals or assists, Simon Dawkins is sure to play a key role for this weekend’s game against Toronto.

Toronto FC-Javier Martina

The former Ajax player has settled into his new team nicely, notching up 2 goals in just 3 appearances.  Javier Martina’s stunning volley goal against Portland earned Goal of the Week honors and he will continue to be an attacking threat on the wing.


San Jose has found players to share the goal-scoring burden with Wondolowski and the team’s new formation will give them the opportunity to continue to do so.  Toronto’s will not be able to contain their attacking prowess but may be able to get on the score sheet by exploiting San Jose’s newly found defensive deficiencies.  I think San Jose will have the edge in this case and win 2-1 to finally get their 1st home win of the season.

About Aalok Patel -

Displaying 1 Comments
Have Your Say

  1. Emma says:

    Hello there Aalok, I am interested in this also. (See the latest post on my blog.) This makes for very thought-provoking reading, you have most definitely provided me with lots of food for thought. - cars2scrap

Leave a comment

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>