The San Jose Earthquakes’ rebuilding process is in full-swing as they enter the 2017 season with new management, new players and new uniforms.
After another underwhelming season in 2016 where the Quakes fell short of playoff contention and finished 9th in the Western Conference, team president Dave Kaval has revamped the black and blue.
Perhaps the most notable offseason acquisition was the hiring of general manager Jesse Fioranelli who has worked with several top-notch clubs in Europe including AS Roma and SS Lazio. Despite unfamiliarity with working for MLS teams, the hope is that Fioranelli will be able to successfully recruit overseas players, an area the Quake’s have struggled in for years.
As for personnel, David Bingham is returning to guard the net after finishing amongst the best goalkeepers in the league last season.
With the sixth overall pick of the 2017 Superdraft, San Jose drafted midfielder Jackson Yueill out of UCLA, arguably the best playmaker in the draft. They also signed Albanian midfielder Jahmir Hyka—who was nicknamed “Albanian Messi” by fans during his time with FC Luzern. The Quake’s also acquired forward Danny Hoesen from FC Groningen, who along with Hyka and Yueill should provide more of an offensive boost and relieve the heavy scoring workload of Chris Wondolowski.
Aside from some key additions to management and the offense, the Quakes still lack the pieces to make a solid playoff run.
The club fell short of the postseason last year because they couldn’t score often, or at all. By the looks of the new additions, they will be a better team—but they will continue to struggle putting the ball in the net.
Even if this season turns out to be a bust, Quakes fans have something to look forward to in 2018 after these young guns get some experience. Expect an adjustment period to take precedence during the first half of the season.
The San Jose Earthquakes will be sporting their new black Adidas uniforms in their first match of the season on March 4th as they take on the Montreal Impact at Avaya Stadium.