After LA Galaxy practice today, Adam Serrano got the mother of all quotes from manager Bruce Arena ahead of the Galaxy's trip to San Jose. The Galaxy have managed to play San Jose tough both times thus far this year, only to have the Quakes come back each time. Still, Arena isn't concerned about those matches at all:
"I'm not at all troubled by those two games at this point in my life," said Arena. "I'm moving on. I was not happy in the short term with those games, but now I've put it past me. I'm looking for greater things in life. I had a grandchild born, we're in the middle of a heated Presidential election, [the U.S.] lost a difficult Ryder Cup, the Yankees are hanging on for life so really I don't give two sh*** about the last time that we played San Jose."
All the quotes gathered by Adam Serrano can be found here.
It's an amazing quote, and really personifies everything we've come to know about Bruce Arena as a head coach and a GM. The only thing that matters is now, the past quickly becomes irrelevant. So what do we know if we can't depend on the past to give us answers?
Late goals from Khari Stephenson and a stoppage time winner from Alan Gordon gave the Quakes a 3-2 victory in Carson back in May. The Quakes then came back from two goals down, with Chris Wondolowski scoring the winner, for a 4-3 victory at Stanford Stadium.
Both Wondolowski and Alan Gordon have managed to leave a big impact on North American soccer this year. Wondo enters the final two matches for San Jose within distance of the all time MLS goal scoring record. He's two goals from tying and a third goal would push him past Roy Lassiter of the Tampa Bay Mutiny.
31 year old Alan Gordon was able to parlay his comeback year into a call-up for these last two United States World Cup qualifiers. Gordon would be the Match Impact player of the year this year if it weren't for him falling beneath the minutes cap. Essentially, Gordon has refashioned himself as a super-sub, a mercenary who can go in and push every moment he's on the pitch.
Which is truthfully San Jose's style. They're going to push for 90 minutes. The Quakes aren't looking to control possession, or even really to play shutdown defense. The goal is to push, and when legs get tired to bring in Gordon to push some more.
San Jose has scored multiple goals in seven straight games, since August 25th, scoring 21 goals in that time frame. That's one fewer than Chivas USA has scored all year.
So forget the come from behind victories. Know that San Jose is going to try to score in every minute of the match, and that it's going to take a superb effort to shut them down. Because that's the only way to beat San Jose. Take them out of their game, don't give them looks in the box. It's something very few teams have managed to do this year.