Juninho Out Sunday vs. San Jose

Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports

The Quakes are ailing, but the Red Bulls won't walk into Buck Shaw 100 percent, either.

If you haven't been paying attention to the 2012 Supporters' Shield Champion San Jose Earthquakes to put it bluntly, they're not in the best physical shape.

They started the season with Steven Beitashour, Marvin Chavez, Alan Gordon and Steven Lenhart in the stands thanks to injury. They added Mike Fucito to that list yesterday.

Not to say the Red Bulls aren't without their injury issues, either. Ryan Meara is supposedly out until early April.

And, according to reports out of practice today, you can add Juninho to that list, as well. The 38-year-old Brazilian has, apparently, suffered a calf injury last week against the Portland Timbers.

So, right off the bat, we get a test of the Red Bulls depth. Juninho played a deep lying playmaking role last week and, at some points, showed off spectacular vision. Unfortunately, a lot of those passes didn't reach their intended targets, but it seemed it was more a matter of learning the speed of the league, rather than ill-advised booting the ball up field, grasping at straws to get a lead.

His replacement -- likely Eric Alexander apparently, they're planning to go with Jonny Steele -- won't bring the set piece mastery or the Ligue 1 pedigree, but after last week's second half, it seems it's more important to do the basics: Recover the ball, string a few passes together, get an attack going. None of that (simple stuff) should be outside the realm of possibility.

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