- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On October 28, 2009
- 4 Comments
- 2009 Season Recaps, Bobby Convey, Darren Huckerby, Frank Yallop, Joe Cannon, John Doyle, Ryan Johnson
It’s hard to decline as a club after being an expansion team in 2008 but the 2009 version of the San Jose Earthquakes did just that. They became the first team to lose more in their second season than in their expansion season.
The only difference is this version of the Quakes are actually improving. After a load of failed mistakes in player pickups over the offseason manager Frank Yallop and GM John Doyle bucked the criticism and did start to bring in talent that not only produced but was able show that this club has the potential to actually contend in 2010 if the chips fall in the right order.
San Jose did have the league’s worst defense this year allowing 50 goals. Yes you head that right 50. Having only three shutouts on the year you could easily say the defense was the biggest issue with the Quakes in 2009. How come? Injuries hurt this aged group of players plus one could also say that Joe Cannon might have lost a step or two this year.
But offensively the Quakes were pesky in 2009, especially late in the year with Ryan Johnson really finding his own groove in the league. Johnson lead the Quakes with 11 goals on the season, six more than runner up Arturo Alvarez.
What Went Right In 2009?
When things were going good for Frank Yallop’s bunch it was when Johnson was scoring and the midfield was holding possession long enough to create chances for Johnson. Midseason additions like Ramon Sanchez and Antonio Ribeiro helped create more chances in the attack while holding off some of the pressures that caused so many goals on the defense. Also, the play of this club after the All-Star break was definitely an improvement. Going 4-4-5 over their final stretch of games showed this club could become a winner.
What Went Wrong In 2009?
One could point a finger to the loss of Darren Huckerby as something that changed the season for the worse. Losing him early on meant a lack of offense early in the season. Even when he returned from injury he was never the same Huckerby that fans grew to love in 2008. Throw in the defensive issues on the season and a lack of consistent winning and the 2009 season will be one Quake fans will want to forget quickly (no back-to-back wins on the entire year).
You could also point to pickups like Bobby Convey not panning out or Pablo Campos and Cam Weaver not producing like expected. Sad part was once Campos and Weaver left they produced right away for their new clubs (Houston for Weaver and RSL for Campos).
First of all this club has to correct the defensive issues that killed them all season. After that figure out where they are going with the midfield. Either trade away Convey to say Philadelphia (I hear this is a move that both sides want) or find a way that gets him back on the wings where he belongs. Then they have to find a good reliable partner for Johnson. I think the upcoming drafts will be key for this bunch. In the two years that they have been back in the league they have yet to have a solid draft. While some clubs can make due without it like Houston the Quakes are far away from where the Dynamo are right now. They must take next year’s draft seriously.