Earthquakes Musings: Playoff reality


Earthquakes Musings: Playoff reality

Oct. 16, 2010EARTHQUAKES PAGEJoe Washington

The last few weeks for Earthquakes fans have been a bit odd, especially for those who started following the team closely after their return in 2008 -- maybe not exactly a throng of folks, but a group or which I am a member. It was a bit surreal to read a press release that said If the Quakes win and the Wizards lose, San Jose will have clinched a playoff spot.

The last two years had conditioned me, no matter how poorly the team was playing, to come up with outlandish scenarios that would see the Quakes through to the playoffs. This would carry me through October and keep my hopes alive. This year, with three games remaining, and a game in hand on most of their competition, the boys are already in.

Those same two years have led to a frustration; in games where the Quakes had to accomplish something, they just did not have what it took to get the job done. This year, the biggest frustration Ive had is San Jose's inability to play well when it has a huge home crowd. For whatever reason, the team has laid an egg in games where Buck Shaw Stadium was packed. As someone who wants to spread the gospel of the team, it is heartbreaking to see all of these people finally giving the Quakes a chance, and then the team doesnt deliver.

Exhibit A Opening night against Salt Lake City. After a great exhibition season, the Quakes lose 3-0 in a manner that had me wondering why general manager John Doyle had his contract extended. The game wasnt even as close as the 3-0 score would indicate.

Exhibit B July 3, the Quakes tie D.C. United 1-1. D.C. United has scuffled all season long and the Quakes played down to their level in front of 10,304.

Exhibit C Sept. 29 a 3-0 loss to the Chicago Fire in front of 9,829. One thing Ive noticed on the teams web site is they dont list the attendance for all of the games. Now there was a great crowd on hand for the game against the Galaxy where the Quakes won 1-0, but that has proven to be the exception rather than the rule.

One thing that is lacking this season in the MLS is the parity that has existed previously. While it is still true that any team in the league seems capable of beating any other team in the league on a given night, having all but one of your playoff spots determined with two weeks left in the season, isnt exactly the most drama inducing scenario.

For whatever reason, the Eastern Conference has been terrible this year. After New York and Columbus, the only team still left in the playoff hunt is Kansas City and they are left with the task of winning both of their final games AND hoping Dallas doesnt get a point in the final two games. Kansas City is in the same position the Quakes have been in the last couple of years, hoping that a bunch of things, mostly out of their control, happen so they can keep playing.

I cant post a blog entry without acknowledging the efforts of Chris Wondolowski again. Against D.C. United last weekend, he cemented his credentials as one of the most lethal finishers in the league, with two more electric goals. The best part is Wondo seems to realize he cant score most of his goals without the help of quality plays from his teammates. I think his teammates appreciate this about him, too. Hes got a legitimate chance at setting the team record for goals in a season, as well as an outside chance for leading the MLS in goals, or the leagues Golden Boot. It is truly refreshing stuff for those of us that spent many a moment pleading that Kei Kamara would find a way to put the ball in the net.

Go Quakes!

Joe Washington is the Live Events Producer for Comcast SportsNet Bay Area and a wannabe "Earthquakes Ultra."

Quakes complete MLS Superdraft with local talent; announce two signings


Quakes complete MLS Superdraft with local talent; announce two signings

The San Jose Earthquakes completed their participation in the 2017 MLS Superdraft with a nod to local soccer talent.

A couple of days after selecting a pair of midfielders in rounds one and two, the Quakes chose winger Christian Thierjung from the University of California with their third-round selection.

Thierjung joins Nick Lima, San Jose’s second-ever homegrown signing, as offseason moves that involve Golden Bears.

Thierjung, 22, goes to the Quakes after four seasons at Cal, where he appeared in 73 games, tallying 27 goals and seven assists.

As a senior, Thierjung was named First-Team All-Pac-12, Third Team All-Far West Region and Second-Team Academic All-Pac-12. He was selected First-Team All-Pac-12 and Second-Team All-Far West Region in 2015.

Thierjung also played for the Quakes' PDL affiliate Burlingame Dragons FC during the 2016 season, tallying two goals in five total appearances.

With their fourth-round selection, the Quakes took Auden Schilder, the 22-year-old goalkeeper from the University of Washington.

Schilder was selected Second Team All-Pac-12 Conference and Second Team All-Far West Region in 2016 after surrendering just 18 goals in 20 appearances and posting five shutouts.

During rounds one and two, the Quakes selected Generation Adidas midfielder Jackson Yueill with the No. 6 overall selection and University of South Florida midfielder Lindo Mfeka.

Also making local soccer news, Thierjung’s teammate on Burlingame Dragons FC, three-year captain Joshua Smith, was selected in the fourth round by the New England Revolution. Smith also captained the University of San Francisco.

On Tuesday, San Jose announced the signings of Marvell Wynne and Tommy Thompson. Per league rules, terms of the deals were not disclosed.

Thompson, 21, became the Earthquakes' first-ever homegrown player signing in 2014, following one season at Indiana University where he was named the Big Ten Conference Freshman of the Year. He’s yet to score a point in an MLS match.

Wynne has appeared in 301 games during his 11-year MLS career, recording two goals and 21 assists. He was an invaluable member of a Quakes team that was hit hard by injuries in 2016.

Wynne helped the Colorado Rapids win MLS Cup in 2010. He has also represented the United States National Team and was a starter during the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.

Day 1 of MLS 2017 Superdraft: Quakes take pair of midfielders

Day 1 of MLS 2017 Superdraft: Quakes take pair of midfielders

The San Jose Earthquakes began their 2017 draft by taking a UCLA Bruin. And if he pans out to play anything like the player he emulates his game around, the Quakes might have themselves a true superstar. 

Jackson Yueill, a midfielder, was selected by the Quakes with the sixth pick in the 2017 Superdraft. Yueill, who models his game around FC Barcelona and Spanish National Team legend Andres Iniesta, is a Generation Adidas Signing for the Earthquakes.

"I'm super excited," Yueill said. "I love the west coast. I'm excited to move to San Jose. It's a really good environment with the team and the fans. I've heard great things. I'm excited to try and bring another cup to San Jose." 

The UCLA product played in 40 games during his college career, scoring nine goals and notching 17 assists during those contests. His 11 assists in 2016 led the Pac-12. 

Considered a high-upside player, Yueill joins the Quakes in what already is a pretyt stacked midfield. "I see myself as an 8," Yueill said of his fit in the MLS game. "A box-to-box midfielder who can get into the attacking zone and create goal scoring opportunities." 

Yueill was named to back-to-back NSCAA First Team All-Far West Region and First Team All-Pacific 12 Conference teams. He has represented the United States on the U-20 team.

As a member of Generation Adidas, Yueill's salary will not count against salary cap. 

"I'm a player that loves to learn," Yueill said. "It's always great to come to a team where the coach believes in you."

With the 28th pick of the draft, the Earthquakes selected another midfielder -- Lindo Mfeka of the University of South Florida. 

A four-year player with the Bulls, Mfeka scored 16 goals and notched 18 assists in his college career. 

Mfeka is a two-time First Team member of the All-American Athletic Conference. He was born in Durban, South Africa.

Day 2 of the MLS Superdraft will happen via conference call next Tuesday. The Quakes have two picks remaining -- the 50th and 72nd overall selections. 

Rounding out local Superdraft News: Two members of the Quakes' Premier Development League affiliate, Burlingame Dragons FC, were selected in Day 1. Brian Nana-Sinkam (Stanford) was selected by the MLS-champion Seattle Sounders and Brian Wright (Vermont) went to the New England Revolution.