(Kyle Terada/USA Today Sports)
Welcome to the fourth Season Preview of the 2023 MLS season! We are continuing this journey with west coast's San Jose Earthquakes. From a quiet start to the offseason, the club's record transfer fee looks to be spent soon on former MLS stud Carlos Gruezo. New manager Luchi Gonzalez looks to bring new ideas into a club that really needs a change of their ways. For those of you who are new to MLS Now's work, thanks for reading today and check out all of what our podcast and blog site has to offer. Let's get into it below.
Record: 8-11-15 (35 points/14th in West)
Team Leader Goals: Jeremy Ebobisse 17, Cristian Espinoza 7, Benji Kikanovic 6
Team Leader Assists: Cristian Espinoza 14, Jamiro Monteiro 7, Jan Gregus 6
Manager: Luchi Gonzalez (1st season)
Additions: *CM Carlos Gruezo ($3.2 million from FC Augsburg/27 years old), GK Daniel ($652k from Internacional/28 years old), CM Michael Baldisimo (MLS Re-Entry Draft from Vancouver Whitecaps/22 years old), LB Keegan Tingey (Homegrown/22 years old), CM Cam Cilley (Homegrown/22 years old)
Subtractions: CM Jan Gregus (free agent/31 years old), CM Eric Remedi (free to Banfield/27 years old), RW Siad Haji (free to FC Tulsa/23 years old), GK Matt Bersano (free to Austin FC/30 years old)
Designated Players: Cristian Espinoza, Jamiro Monteiro, *Carlos Gruezo
*Not officially transferred yet, rumored numbers reported
Projected Starting XI
Everything below has been created and written by our wonderful San Jose Earthquakes correspondents Josh (@joshuaglenn) and Matt Glenn (@massmatt_matt). Please give them a follow and continue to look for quality content by the Quakes on Both Coasts (@QuakesCoasts) in 2023 and beyond.
Matt thinks Luchi will probably let JT start the season as GK#1 and let the competition continue from there, given that JT’s 2022 stats are misleading - many of the late goals were the result of collapsing defense, not poor goaltending. Josh, on the other hand, bets the GK competition has happened in Preseason and JT is very good, but Daniel will be better - he will start.
They’ve made change after change and added more pieces – it remains to be seen whether they have resolved the problem of defensive consistency. Maybe not having the combination of defensive players changing every 7 weeks due to injury or personnel change will help!
If Gruezo becomes official and there is enough time for him to transition to Luchi’s system, it will be very interesting to see how much the midfield will change from the season opener and improve from 2021 to 2023, or frankly 2022 to 2023. Thankfully, preseason social video shows Coach getting the Midfield to focus on passing forward smartly!
Assuming there is a chance that Benji and Cade could move midseason, the Quakes will still have enough at forward (and midfield!) to put pressure on the goal. Matt loved the way Cade was moving the ball with the USMNT against Serbia…more of that, please!
Matt: My 30,000 foot view of the 2023 season - for fans who tuned out early in 2022 and have been hungry to see a more competitive team on the pitch, keep an eye on this team this year…it looks to be a wild ride!
Josh: I think the first half of the season will involve more change than previous seasons. The Earthquakes have late additions in Goal and potentially midfield. The goal scorers in preseason friendlies have been interesting. I think this year is going to be about chemistry and combined efforts on the field. There are some key talented players, but the depth of the bench and the mix of skills will prove to be a strength of this season.
Thanks Josh and Matt for the insight on the Quakes and thanks everyone for viewing our fourth 2023 season preview. Please follow them on @QuakesCoasts on both Twitter and Instagram. There will be a new season preview out about every single day leading up to MLS kickoff. If you are a passionate fan looking to write about your club, we are actively seeking contributors for MLS clubs this season. If interested, message us on either Twitter or Instagram @MLSNowPodcast. We want to provide an outlet for fans to discuss their club on the site and also guest star on the podcast throughout the season.