State of the Quakes
Quakes on Both Coasts, Vol 2 No. 1, January 7, 2022
Source: @sjearthquakes Instagram
Matt: Hi Josh, I hope all is well on the West Coast. We’re hunkering down here in New England for tomorrow’s snow day!
Josh: The Bay Area made it through our rainy winter period. Now we should expect it to be cooler until we head back to 72 and sunny. Hopefully the New England February is good to you!
Matt: I wore a hoodie in your honor today. Anyway, the nickname some people have for the offseason - the crazy season - has been appropriate in a general sense. So many rumors, though fewer about Lionel Messi ending up on just about every team except for Minnesota and Cincinnati (according to my Twitter feed). Lots of possibilities, and big transitions for a lot of teams. At least San Jose fans didn't have to watch Chofis go due to paperwork delays.
Josh: Seeing major players being loaned or released… there’s a lot of MLS Calculus on how and why teams move players that I may never understand. Thank goodness the Earthquakes were out of the Expansion Draft, because I think I would’ve just given up until January 11.
Matt: San Jose is no exception there, a number of contracts expiring and not being pursued, including Abecasis, Fierro, Alanís, Rios, Williamson, and backup goalie Vega, who retired. Re-signing Remedi and Marie are good moves, but there are A LOT of holes in the roster, especially given there’s only ONE available goalie - JT - on the team. Do you have any hopes, thoughts, dreams you’d like to put out there to start?
Josh: It is nice to see newly-signed Jan Gregus fill that last DP spot - although I’m not sure San Jose is ready to see a new player sporting #8. I don’t know why Ochoa is listed as unavailable. There were a lot of secondary Goalkeepers with declined options and expired contracts around the league, so maybe there are some great conversations behind the scenes. And maybe like Marie, we’ll see Bersano back with a different contract. I’ll admit - other US Major League sports, you’re dealing with a generally small list of possibilities for your team. But with soccer, the players could come from anywhere, so I’m out of my depth!
Matt: Ochoa’s still only 16, so I think the Quakes are just being careful with him. They need an experienced backup GK who can step in if something comes up with JT. There are definitely some solid options, but if I ran the zoo I would try to bring in a backup GK who could keep the ball out of the net AND bring experience managing the defense. That could be the difference maker in close games in the 408. Okay, so as of January 6, according to the official Quakes website, here’s the roster. (Caveat: Wondo is still listed on the roster at sjearthquakes.com, but I took him off for our purposes.):
J. Ebobisse FOR Senior
C. Espinoza MID Senior Intl, DP
J Gregus MID Senior DP
M. López DEF Senior U22 Initiative
J. “Chofis” López MID Senior Intl, DP
Nathan DEF Senior Intl
E. Remedi MID Senior
S. Salinas MID Senior
Judson Tavares MID Senior Intl
T. Thompson MID Senior Homegrown
J. Yueill MID Senior
T Beason DEF Supplemental 21-24
S. Haji MID Supplemental 21-24 Gen. Adidas
Paul Marie MID Supplemental 21-24
G. Fuentes MID Supplemental 25-28 Homegrown, Loaned Out
B. Kikanovic FOR Supplemental 25-28
J. Marcinkowski GK Supplemental 25-28 Homegrown
J. Skahan MID Supplemental 25-28
C Cowell MID Supplemental 29-30 Homegrown
G. Asomani MID Supplemental 29-30
E. Ochoa GK Signed Homegrown, Unavailable
C. Walls DEF Signed Homegrown, Unavailable
Josh: I think Casey Walls was playing with Austin Bold, and the younger USMNT teams, and maybe that includes the ‘22 season. And seeing it laid out there, seems like Leitch and Wondo should also be finding some support for your guy Nathan! Only four slots in the SuperDraft next week, so hopefully they’ve got some backfield folks tagged.
Matt: I think we could see either or both Walls and Fuentes move back onto the full roster for 2022, leaving the club with the opportunity to sign some more offense. In addition, there’s an active rumor of discussions with former Rapid Nicolas Mezquida, a CAM and RW, which would fit the bill. You know, because Messi is busy. So that frees up money for that third DP.
Josh: I count 22 names up there, so there are up to 8 spots to fill, and all have to fit in the Senior budget. And I think Marcus López loses his U22 status this year, so maybe a young player or two are in line, but I also might not exactly understand the nuance of this roster spot. It still feels like a lot more questions than answers thus far.
Matt: Truth. And don’t forget they don’t have to fill slots 19 and 20. On the WCQ front, the USMNT roster is still TBD. Yeuill was called to training (along with my man Revs defender DeJuan Jones, his first call!), but unfortunately not Cade “Kraken” Cowell - but the official roster won’t be announced for a couple of weeks. My guess is that the training is not a high percentage guarantee of making the roster, but will be good nonetheless. Marcos López is off to the Peruvian national team again, which is great. I’d love to see the kind of growth we saw last year as he became more of a defensive presence. The only thing I know for sure at this point is this team needs to see fewer yellow cards in 2022!
Josh: We’ll be glued to the Internet next week to see if there are some big moves during the Super Draft! For the decision-makers: Vamos SJ!