- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On March 5, 2010
- 2 Comments
- Andre Luiz, Andrew Weber, Antonio Ribeiro, Arturo Alvarez, Bobby Burling, Bobby Convey, Brandon McDonald, Eduardo, Frank Yallop, Ike Opara, Jason Hernandez, Javier Robles, Joe Cannon, Joey Gjertsen, Justin Morrow, Ryan Johnson
Forgive me for a second for this coming out as late as it did. I had every intentions earlier in the week to get this one out on Wednesday but a certain clash in Holland kept me from finishing it until yesterday.
Anyways, we continue on with out look at each Major League Soccer club’s preseason happenings here. We’re in the final stretch with just San Jose, Seattle and Toronto to go. Up first today is San Jose, a club that is hoping to rebound after a dismal effort in 2009. Frank Yallop has made some moves this winter to shake things up by the Bay but will it pay off is the key question.
I thought going into the winter that Yallop and GM Frank Doyle would do a lot of work on this roster that only won seven games in 2009. Reshaping an offense that only scored 36 goals was also another issue but the biggest may be redoing a defense that gave up a league-high 50 goals.
So let us dive into the Earthquakes to see who they have going into the new campaign and where else they need to go to get back into the playoffs.
Who they have: Joe Cannon, Andrew Weber, Mike Graczyk
Notes: I’l be honest, I thought Cannon was gone after last season. I just figured he was on the trading block for real this time and would be in a different city by the end of the SuperDraft in January. Turns out I was wrong. Not to say that things are still rosy with Cannon and the Quakes but it appears he will be the main guy this season for Yallop.
After Cannon they do have a decent back up in Weber and a third option in Graczyk. I do think that should Cannon not work out we’ll see a lot more of Weber this season, or this club will go out and get a keeper in the summer.
Who they have: Bobby Burling, Ike Opara, Chris Leitch, Justin Morrow, Jason Hernandez.
Notes: I do think I heard talks of moving Ramiro Corrales to the backline this year. Not entirely sure how true that is but after yesterday’s move to waive Aaron Pitchkolen I think its probably more likely to happen now. Good thing too because this club has zero depth in the back at the moment. If any injuries pop up like last year with key guys like Hernandez expect some major issues for this defense.
I do like the addition of Opara to the backline. I think he’ll bring the right size and skill that was missing with this group a year ago. I do still think this group is pretty light even if they switch some midfielders here. Its definitely an area that they should have addressed more in the offseason.
Who they have: Ramiro Corrales, Simon Elliot, António Ribeiro, Arturo Alvarez, Bobby Convey, Brandon McDonald, Joey Gjertsen, Ramon Sanchez, Andre Luiz, Javier Robles.
Notes: I like the new additions of Gjertsen and Robles to this group. Them along with the core group of guys could make this bunch a tough one to deal with and a fun one to watch. They still have some young fire power in Alvarez and Convey too. Hopefully for Quake fans Convey turns his act around in 2010. If the Quakes want to compete in the west they need a better showing from him for sure.
Will the additions of Gjertsen and Robles be enough? Possibly. If Gjertsen can return to his USL MVP form from a few years go it will turn out to be a very good pickup for this club.
I’m curious to see if Luiz and Sanchez can pick up where they left off late in the season last year. If they do this club will be better offensively.
Who they have: Ryan Johnson, Eduardo, Cornell Glen, Quincy Amarikwa
Notes: I’m a big fan of Johnson here, he proved last year he can score goals and carry this club. Thing was his club stunk so bad he wasn’t able to carry them enough. The addition of Eduardo should provide a nice boost to the offense though. From early scouting reports, the two are linking pretty well together. I’m definitely curious to see them in person to see if that is the case.
Johnson needed a partner last year and if Eduardo can be that partner then expect plenty more goals in 2010 from this group.
I do think this group is still a little light but if Johnson nets another 10 to 14 goals and Eduardo or someone else chips in another 8 to 10 then they’ll be fine.
I was high on the Quakes bandwagon going into last year but boy was I way off base about them. I hink they’ve improved going into this year but I’m still shaky on giving them a good write off here until I see it for myself. Defensively I still have concerns that they didn’t do nearly enough to fix their issues from a season ago. I do think they’ll stay with teams on the field offensively this year though but a lot of pressure rests in the midfield. If that group can come together and keep quality possession then this club will surprise people in 2010.