Matt: How’s things on the West Coast? We’ve been watching a lot of international games - USWNT vs. Jamaica, France vs. Germany, Portugal vs. Hungary (including watching the recap with Hungarian commentary), and, of course, the late night thriller USMNT vs. Mexico. As a dad, it was the perfect game because no matter how many times I had to step away, there was always more until the late hours of the night! Well, Eastern time, of course.
Josh: We’re getting a little heat this week, in both the weather and how the local teams are coming back together for a big push in the coming days! Thanks to our friends @MLSNowPodcast for calling out ESPN and the other sports reporting for lack of coverage! Thankfully, I had the right streaming apps to catch the USWNT and USMNT games.
Matt: Other than that, I helped coach 4 soccer games in 9 days. Full disclosure, the players were 8 years old, and the games were only 40 minutes start to finish. And no snow or hail. But it’s New England, so you never know.
Josh: Yay June! Sounds like a workout. Did you apply any of what we’ve learned this year watching the Revs and Quakes so closely to how the 8-year-olds play?
Matt: It’s all about teamwork! Speaking of teams, Yeuill started for the USMNT against Switzerland and Honduras, and subbed into the third game against Costa Rica in the 62’. He earned kudos for defensive play and composure against Switzerland, but Honduras put the blitz on the USMNT and wreaked havoc against the midfield. The latest info I've heard has Cowell and Yueill on the preliminary roster for the COCACAF Gold Cup. We'll see how that pans out. One thing I know for sure: Yeuill starts the next set of games with the Quakes as a CONCACAF champion.
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Josh: And I think Coach Almeyda will be glad to have him back in rotation - probably sporting that Captain’s armband. We saw Remedi find his voice while Yeuill was traveling, so hopefully they get together to be the force they should be at the midline. Plus the Quakes added Asomani in the SuperDraft, though he’s not on the active roster. I’m glad to see a focus on strength where the field control is.
Matt: Yes, growth in the Quakes midfield, which is happening, is definitely something I’ll be focused on in the coming weeks. Also, it’s also good to see Marcos López getting significant game experience with the Peruvian National Team. When he gets back to SJ he’ll be in fighting form.
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Josh: No matter what the area of expertise, it’s good to work with different coaches, clinicians, trainers, to challenge one’s self both physically and strategically. And the time spent is way more helpful to the actual players and teams than other leagues’ “All Star Breaks.”
Matt: SJ starts out with a busy week, playing Austin, then Orlando, then LAG in another Clasico...all in eight days. What's your prediction?
Josh: It’s statistically challenging to spoil someone’s new stadium/home opener, but I’m thinking the Quakes players have worked to be fresh coming back from the break and they feel the need to start a new streak - sorry, not sorry Austin. Then three days later in Florida, they have their last Eastern Conference game against a team nipping on New England’s heels. And then back home to avenge Chapter 1 of the Clasico… I’m of course hoping for 3-0, but I bet 2-1 is more realistic, and would get the Quakes off the midline bubble in the Western Conference.
Matt: Agreed, I think the Quakes will definitely be 2-1 or, at worst, 1-1-1 on the week. All three games have a degree of unpredictability, so the biggest factor will be how the Quakes roar out of the gate. You know what...I’m going to put myself out there - I think SJ will beat Austin (sorry, Diego!) and Orlando, but LAG, being the third game, is anyone’s guess at this point. Caveat, and since you asked - from watching Orlando play the Revs, they are one of those teams that causes more trouble the more time you let them hang around. If the Quakes can get one in the net early and keep up the intensity in the Florida heat and humidity, they’ll put that one away. One game at a time, amiright?
Josh: 90ish minutes at a time, for sure. Vamos SJ!
Twitter: @massmatt_matt @joshuaglenn