Since rumors broke that San Jose would be acquiring an Argentine playmaker, we’ve done our bit of speculating how Matías Pérez García would fit with Chris Wondolowski at the top of the Earthquakes’ formation. At Friday’s introductory press conference, San Jose gave us a “not so fast,” with `Quakes head coach Mark Watson saying the new Designated Player would likely provide a wide-to-in presence on the right.
“He’s primarily been playing on the right-hand side, coming in and adding numbers to midfield,” Watson said, according to the league’s web site. “The one thing that is pretty reassuring is that, tactically, the way we do things is exactly how it was [for Perez Garcia] in Argentina. So I think there’s a level of comfort there and familiarity, that tactically there’s not a huge change.”
It provides a pretty clear picture of how San Jose will set up. Wondolowski and Yannick Djaló will persist up top, with Steven Lenhart and Alan Gordon (when healthy) mixed in. Shea Salinas will continue on the left, while Pérez García will come in from the right, likely doing much of his damage through the middle of the park.
When that damage starts is a different matter. As of yesterday, Pérez García’s availability was in doubt, with the death of Argentine federation president Julio Grondona slowing down operations in the AFA office. Until Pérez García’s international transfer certificate is received, he can’t play for San Jose.
Even if he is available, it’s a big ask to expect a huge contribution tonight against visiting Seattle, but in front of what’s expected to be a huge crowd at Levi’s Stadium, Mark Watson may be able to provide a brief glimpse of what his team will look like going forward.