The San Jose Earthquakes could have their top two players back on the field for Friday night’s game against D.C. United.
“100 percent,” said head coach Mark Watson about the chances of Chris Wondolowski playing on Friday at Buck Shaw Stadium in Santa Clara. “I think it would be tough to keep Wondo off the field.”
After the team’s training session on Wednesday, Watson said that the striker didn’t seem to be dealing with any ill-effects following a disappointing end to the World Cup.
“He’s someone that’s come back and he’s the same old Wondo. He gives you everything he’s got. Start to finish, he’s working and fighting. He’s looked really sharp since he’s come back. So, it also gives us a big boost.“
The coach was less precise when discussing the potential return of central defender Clarence Goodson, who has been out since June 7.
“We’re hopeful,” said Watson on the possibility of Goodson taking part.
Goodson also seemed unsure about whether he’ll be ready to go on Friday.
“I feel ok. I feel alright. I’ve been training for a few days now. So, just trying to get back into it. Get some good training under my belt, so to speak. Hopefully continue to work in and be ready for the game.”
The coach also addressed the transfer market, but wouldn’t offer much when asked which positions in particular need to be reinforced.
“I won’t comment on that.”
“It’s just strengthening the team. We’ve got a good group of guys, but you’re always looking to make it better. So, we always look at ways to strengthen.”
Set to take place on August 6 in Portland, the MLS All-Star game is less than a month away. However, with the club sitting in last place in the Western Conference standings, Watson said that the Quakes haven’t spent much time thinking about the exhibition.
“That’s up for the people to vote on.”
“I think our guys are focused on the team and our situation and getting wins. I think that’s the focus. If the personal or individual stuff comes about, it’s a bonus.”
Goodson figures to be a leading candidate to represent the squad, but the veteran thinks a number of his teammates are deserving of a nod, as well.
“It would be fun, it would be enjoyable. You know, go play with some good players. Of course, represent the team.”
“I think we have quite a few guys that would do a good job that are are certainly worthy. You know, you look at our defensive record and maybe we don’t have the most points, but we don’t give up very many goals and a lot of guys have contributed to that.”
Note: Watson said that dynamic attacker Yannick Djalo, who has struggled with injuries throughout the season, has been able to put in a solid week of training. “He’s had a good week, he’s looked strong. Hopefully those injury woes are behind him because he’s a good player and we want him on the field.”
Listen to the full interview with Mark Watson right here.