Busch to continue for Quakes despite cut ear

'Keeper had 12 stitches after HOU match, but is unfazed by injury

SANTA CLARA, Calif. – As San Jose Earthquakes head coach Frank Yallop pondered how many changes to make in his lineup for Wednesday’s midweek special against Chivas USA, there was one move he wasn’t considering: pulling Jon Busch from goal.

Despite a cleating from Houston Dynamo forward Cam Weaver last Saturday that cleaved his left earlobe and required 12 stitches to fix, Busch is expected to start Wednesday and again this Saturday in the Quakes’ season finale against the Kansas City Wizards. 

To some extent, it’s a case of the rider wanting to get right back on the horse after being thrown. Busch said that he couldn’t afford to let memories of a near-miss have an effect on him. 

“The physicality of the league, of the game, is what it is,” Busch said. “You can’t shy away from it. I’m trying to pick off a cross and he’s trying to get on the end of a cross. It’s part of the game. Unfortunately, part of my job is to get into spots like that, and I paid for it a little bit.” 

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Busch was clipped less than a minute into the match as he came off his line and rushed to the top of the 6-yard box to intercept a Corey Ashe cross from the left wing. Weaver, closing from the opposite direction, tried unsuccessfully to get his right foot on the ball before Busch knocked it away. 

“I took a cross very similar to that this morning in training, where it was an outswinger [from the left wing] and I got my body behind it with somebody coming behind me,” Busch told MLSsoccer.com on Tuesday. “You try not to think about it and you put it out of your mind.” 

Busch laughed when asked if he was going to start wearing a rugby helmet in the manner of Chelsea keeper Petr Cech, but also admitted that he was able to treat the situation lightly because the damage was superficial.

Cech, on the other hand, had to undergo surgery for a depressed skull fracture after colliding with Reading midfielder Stephen Hunt during a match four years ago and wears the helmet to avoid suffering another break in that area.

“When all is said and done, it’s not too bad,” Busch said. “A cut on the ear, if you will. Obviously, if I had something like Petr Cech, it would scare the daylights out of me. So that probably takes a lot to come back from, but for this one, not really.” 

In any case, the incident did nothing to stifle Busch’s sense of humor.

“I’m married, thank goodness, and I’m already ugly,” Busch said. “So it doesn’t matter what happens to my head.”

Geoff Lepper covers the Earthquakes for MLSsoccer.com. He can be reached at sanjosequakes@gmail.com. On Twitter: @sjquakes