San Jose Earthquakes
2007 Record: None
Coach: Frank Yallop (1st Year, kinda)
Key Players: Joe Cannon, Nick Garcia, Ned Gravaboy
Key Pickups: Everyone
Key Losses: None
2008 Outlook: Poor
San Jose is back to defend their title. Well, kind of anyways. Despite winning the Supporter’s Shield in 2005 (as well as MLS Cups in 2001 and 2003), the Quakes were placed on “hiatus” after the 2005 season. That’s a nice word MLS, “hiatus”.
A “hiatus” is defined as “a break or interruption in continuity”. TV shows go on hiatus. And when the TV shows come back, the old cast comes back too.
It’s not like Desperate Housewives is going to return from the writer’s strike with Angela Lansbury playing Eva Longoria’s role. Though for some sick reason I won’t articulate here (and you’ll be thanking me for that, I’m sure), I’d like to see Lansbury do Longoria (or her role anyways).
So MLS, if it really was just a “hiatus” shouldn’t the Quakes get all their old players back? De Rosario, Onstad, Ching, Barrett, Robinson, Waibel, Mullan… come on down!!! I wonder if SJE fans feel like those last two MLS Cups are sort of theirs, instead of Houston’s. I know I would.
So no, SJ does not get its core of superstars back. They don’t even get Angela Lansbury, who I understand can play some quality defense. All they really get is an end to this so-called “hiatus”. And since they won’t be getting their Dynamos back, they need to make do with what they could scrounge from the other teams’ second tiers.
They are currently a team that resembles a hobo’s Thanksgiving. It’s basically just everybody else’s scraps thrown together. At least it’s served hot though, eh? (That was a bad pun about southern California and I apologize for it).
There are some signs that indicate SJE will not be that bad this year (or at least not as bad as TFC last year). The defense is actually pretty tough, and despite being a rookie team, the Quakes will have some good veteran leadership.
Ronnie O’Brien is an MLS legend and should be one of the Quakes most active offensive entities. He will need to be active though because SJ lacks any true scoring threat. The player on the team who scored the most MLS goals last season is Gavin Glinton, who only scored four. O’Brien’s impressive number of career assists will probably not get too much higher so long as SJE lacks an intimidating forward.
Joe Cannon is a fine keeper and a fan favorite. The defense is also suprisingly well stocked, with Nick Garcia, Ryan Cochrane, Chris Pozniak, James Riley and Ramiro Corrales.
One thing the Quakes lack is depth. Other than at keeper, injuries to any of the Quakes’ starters would prove deadly to the squad’s chances. Let’s hope the trainers are skilled in San Jose, otherwise it could be a long season.
I don’t think the Quakes will make the playoffs, but that prediction takes absolutely no cojones to make. Of course they will struggle, their an expansion team in their first season!
Have patience SJ fans. Hopefully, the Quakes’ poor play will only continue for a brief period of time. You know, just one more short hiatus…