Prior to the season, San Jose striker Ryan Johnson
set out to score 10 goals, an ambitious mark considering his previous high had been five. But last Saturday Johnson notched his 10th
against the New York Red Bulls.
A midseason shoulder injury, however, may have even prevented the striker from bagging more. "[Johnson] might not admit it, but I think the injury
affected him," Earthquakes Coach Frank Yallop
said. "It stopped him being what he's good at, and that's being aggressive and bowling into people." Johnson sat for three
games to allow the injury to heal.
"You never know if I was healthy during that three game stretch if I would have had more goals or played better," Johnson said. "It
definitely set me back health-wise. I still feel it a little bit. It's one of those things where I haven't [fallen] on it in a significant way, but every week that goes by it gets stronger."
Now, rested for San Jose's final four games, Johnson can set his sights on eclipsing his scoring goal. While Ronald Cerritos
' club record of 15 goals set in 1999 seems out of reach,
equaling or bettering Brian Ching
's 2004 mark of 12 goals seems doable, even though San Jose plays three of its last four games away from home.
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