Obsessions

SJ vs KC, playoff game 1

Earthquakes 2 Kansas City 0

Yep, the DeRosario goal was a bit of a fluke. On the other hand, given the amount of pressure the KC defense was under up to that point, it would have been a fluke if the Quakes had not gone in a goal up at half-time. I lost count of how many corners the Quakes had, and it was nice to see them being taken effectively for a change. Obviously that was something that had been worked on in practice, and it paid off with Waibel's second career goal. I was also happy to see some more effective free kicks as well.

Kevin Terry made his usual set of bizarre calls and non-calls; fortunately this time they didn't materially affect the result.

My ratings:

Onstad: 6
He stopped what needed stopping, including a long low kick from outside, the kind of soft goal he's been giving up all season. One scary rebound, one scary missed punch, but he wasn't called on to do anything dramatic.
Waibel: 9
Great work in the back, plus a goal.
Agoos: 7
A couple of scary moments, and stupid yellow card, but overall solid, as ever.
Cochrane: 7
Did nothing remotely scary (unlike his usual), and his speed saved the day on more than one occasion.
Dunivant: 6
Still looking less than fully confident back there. Couple of errors that might have proved costly.
Mullan: 8
The usual full throttle no prisoners performance from Mullan. Every cross he put in looked dangerous and he saved a goal with a key defensive play. But he went through some quiet periods where he looked a little lost and lonely standing out on the wing, however, not making the runs, and looking out of it.
Corrales: 9
Best game he's played all season, and he's had a good season. He was called on to fill some mighty big shoes, and he did spendidly. He even kept his shots below the cross-bar. My MOM.
Donovan: 8
I'd rate him a 9, except you have to hold the Golden Boy to higher standards. By anyone else's standards, he was great: distributing the ball well, working hard throughout midfield, and winning some key free kicks. His corners and free kicks were consistently well struck and dangerous. Still, a few too many lackadaisical passes as well and the classic 20 minute block of "where did Landon go?"
Russell: 7
One of Russell's best performances all season as well, in patches. He still hasn't lost the tendency to make just one too many dance moves on defenders. Most of his crosses looked dangerous and he made some great runs, especially in the first half. Looked tired half-way through the second half, however.
De Rosario: 8
We like the goal. We like the work-rate. Visibly tired about 15 minutes before Dom got around to making the substitution.
Ching: 6
He worked very hard, but mostly ineffectually. Some of this clearly was missing Donovan up-front: Ching would lay off balls into space, but DeRosario would go the other way, or wouldn't go at all. Could have made better use of some of his chances.
Walker: 3
Did Walker do anything except buy us 45 seconds on the substitution?
Brown: N/R
Not on the pitch long enough to make a contribution.