Only the Quakes could make a good routine win feel nerve wracking in the last minutes of added time. Two great goals highlighted a great team performance, as the Quakes stay alive in the playoff hunt, albeit it still feels like a longshot. This was a good professional win for a side that had been desperately needing one.
Facing arguably the worst team in the league, this was the perfect opportunity for the Quakes to break out of their bad form of late. And they did just that, with Benji Kikanović putting on his best performance in a Quakes shirt to guide the team to victory.
Just about everyone put on a good performance in this win, but the offense really deserve their roses. The attack was fluid with everyone moving around, exchanging positions and getting into space, this is how the Covelo system is supposed to look like. Also, JT had another great outing and is slowly becoming one of the league’s best keepers.
To be honest, there weren’t too many negatives, as the side played really well and every aspect of the team did their job. However, the one glaring issue has been the defense and to be honest, they gave up a weak goal at the end. Also, the lack of a starting caliber right back has become more and more evident over the past month.
Overall, this win was a great one for the Quakes and should hopefully give them the confidence needed as they play teams that are at their level over the course of this month. Kikanović deserves all the praise for his performance, but the rest of the team played great as well.
So many of the positives from Sunday’s game came from the play of both the midfield and attack. From Ebobisse creating space for others to Yueill perfectly moving the ball forward, the team was firing on all cylinders.
Any analysis has to start with Kikanović’s incredible performances, as it represents everything that went great for the Quakes. Starting on the left, Kikanović was able to move into the space that was being created by Ebobisse’s movements. This meant that Ebobisse was acting as a decoy for Benji and it worked perfectly, as he was the Quakes most potent attacker.
Kikanović is a unique player for the Quakes, as he can play pretty much anywhere up top and brings both physical play and great technique. His willingness to defend is a massive plus and allows him to stay on the pitch for longer amounts of time. Not only is he a good team defender, but he has the instincts of a poacher which allows him to get into the correct spaces at the right times.
Has there ever been a goal that better summarizes the Quakes than the first goal of Sunday’s game? Just about everyone from the midfield up was just letting shots rip with only the post and keeper stopping them from going in. Despite all that effort, it was a simple tap in that was needed.
The midfield also looked really balanced with Greguš playing deeper to allow Yueill to play box to box and Monteiro to play behind Ebobisse. Covelo seems to have found the best midfield pairing with these three, as they are all creative players who have unique skill sets.
JT had a monster of a game, as he kept the Quakes in the game for the first half as Chicago had their best chances. Since the beginning of this season, he has really become a more confident shot stopper with his play growing from week to week. Despite the chaos at the back sometimes, he was able to cover up any mistakes made, giving more confidence to his backline.
This was one of the Quakes’ more complete performances, as pretty much everyone had a good game. Yes Chicago is a dumpster fire, they’re the only team more in peril than the Quakes, but this was still a good one for a desperate team.
Now for the negatives, luckily for Quakes fans, there weren’t too many as the team played a great game. The real negatives are those that have hurt them over the course of their season, their defense and lack of a starting caliber right back.
While the defense did a decent enough job, they shouldn’t have allowed for that goal in added time, as it was a result of a mental lapse. The result was never really in doubt, but it was still an error that shouldn’t have been committed. However, outside of that one mistake, the partnership of Beason and Nathan has looked the best it has so far this season.
Both Paul Marie and Tommy Thompson should be given praise for their attempts to play right back this season, but it’s clear that the team really needs to invest into a new player. The two players are better suited to being subs of the bench to add more depth on the attacking side. As for a transfer, the Quakes need a player that is sound with the ball and able to defend at a high level.
With the transfer window open, now should be the time that the Quakes actively look for more help defensively. Bringing in a player like Julian Gressel would give the team an MLS starting caliber right back. The right back situation shouldn’t last the rest of the season if the Quakes are serious about continuing this push for a playoff spot.
For Quakes fans, this should be a welcome sight, as the team didn’t make their same mistakes for the most part. However, there are still some deep underlying issues that are still plaguing the side.
With another win under his belt, Covelo continues to make his argument for the full time managerial job. This was a great team win that reflected the potential of this team, a fun attacking team that knows how to control possession. With some interesting matches coming up, this is the perfect time for the team to have gotten this win.
Player and Manager Ratings:
GK- Marcinkowski- 9
DF- Marie- 6
DF- Nathan- 6
DF- Beason- 6
MD- Yueill- 7
MD- Greguš- 7
MD- Monteiro- 7
FW- Kikanović- 10
FW- Ebobisse- 8
Salinas- N/A(Didn’t play enough)
Featured image: USA Today Sports