by OSC Special Edition
March 1, 2017 - Major League Soccer (MLS)
The 2016 season could be considered a nightmare for same San Jose Earthquakes fans. Although the Earthquakes spent most of their time chasing a playoff spot "" the sixth place of the Western Conference table, they came close to this spot a few times. The biggest problem that hindered the Earthquakes from climbing to the playoff spot was their inability to score. However, this year we should expect something different since they\'ve had some significant additions to improve their squad.
Despite their generally poor performance last year, the Earthquakes had some beautiful home games where they emerged as multi-goal winners. Such games include 2-1, 2-0, and 3-1 wins against Portland Timbers, New York Red Bulls, and Houston Dynamos. On average, the Earthquakes did not have good form except at the start of the season where they only lost one in 6 games. During this period, they won three tied, twice and had an away loss to LA Galaxy.
Last year, the Earthquakes had two long winless periods. The first occurred between May 22nd and July 8th where they played 7 matches without a single victory. The second case took place between August 19th and September 28th. Coincidentally, this period also included 7 winless games.
In the U.S. Open Cup, the Earthquakes did not proceed past the initial stage and were knocked out by the Portland Timbers in a 2-0 match.
Due to changes made to the squad and the friendlies results, the Earthquakes look better and more organized for the new season. They have a presentable record in the friendlies having won 5 and tied once in their six matches. Additionally, the Earthquakes have scored at least once in all these games. This shows an improved side that is ready to soar high in the MLS this season.
The club has signed a new General Manager, Roma executive Jesse Fioranelli after having been without a permanent GM since August. After Doyle\'s dismissal, Chris Leitch has served as interim GM. With this new manager, they are hoping to obtain the best position in the MLS since Fioranelli has served in club management roles of several top-flight European clubs and tin senior positions on technical staffs.
The team has signed several players like Panamanian center back Harold Cummings who is 24-years-old. Cummings will give the Earthquakes a central defender as he joins Argentinian Andre Imperiali and Honduran Victor Bernardez on the backline. Defender Marvell Wynne and midfielder Tommy Thompson will also be re-signed fullbacks at the center back position after Goodson dropped off because of an injury. The ability to play multiple positions across the back line and aggressiveness will make the club stronger.
The club has also picked Nick Lima, a Cal defender and Colombian forward Olmes Garcia in the return draft. The club lost key contributors in 2016 season such as Alberto Quintero who agreed to move to Peruvian club Universitario. This was a big hit for the Earthquakes as Alberto beat his teammate Chris Wondolowski for Goal of the week in 2016 season. The new manager is pushing to sign players under the age of 30 to boost the team performance.
Although the Earthquakes are expected to show great improvement from last year, don\'t hold your breath that they will not be competing for the championship. Both pundits and the Las Vegas odds don\'t portray the Earthquakes as a title contender this season. A playoff spot is more likely. The big game this season is the California Classico against the LA Galaxy that will take place at the Stanford stadium.