Editorial- The San Jose Earthquakes were looking to rebound from a miserable 2014 season. They ended up qualifying for the MLS Cup Playoffs for the first time since their 2012 Supporter’s Shield winning campaign. They ended up with a 13-4-7 record with 46 points. They did have an awful -21 goal differential. We break down their 2017 season in review.
San Jose Earthquakes 2017 Season In Review
It was all Chris Wondolowski for the San Jose Earthquakes and there should really be no other player even thought about for their 2017 Team MVP. Wondo bagged 13 goals, his seventh straight season with double digit goals, which is a league record. Wondolowski is officially tied with Jeff Cunningham for second all time in league history for goals scored at 134. This was also Chris Wondolowski’s highest assist total of his career, with eight. Wondo was the central force for getting goals this season, and if he can match his total from this season next year, he’ll be the leagues all time leading scorer.
What Went Wrong
The San Jose Earthquakes had a lot of things go wrong. Nick Lima’s promising rookie campaign was derailed late with injuries. Danny Hoesen took a while to get healthy. They had a revolving door at the back line and the goalkeeper position and had one of the worst goal differentials for a playoff team in league history. Injury also claimed the younger/promising center back they had signed in the offseason. Omar Cummings was supposed to slot in alongside Florian Jungwirth on the back line, but he never even made an appearance.
What Went Right
The San Jose Earthquakes beat the teams they were supposed to beat, and won a lot of home games. Their main issue was getting destroyed on the road. A win in Dallas at the start of the year looked really impressive, and a big two goal comeback win against Vancouver helped them out. Their ability to take care of business at home served them well enough. The breakout of Tommy Thompson was a nice caveat, considering how highly touted a young talent he was.
What they need to do to contend in 2018
There are a few things the Earthquakes need to do for 2018. One of them is to get a third active DP. The Earthquakes three DP’s for the 2018 season were Wondo, Simon Dawkins, and Valeri “Vako” Quazaishvili. Vako and Wondo were the only ones to actually contribute to the cause. If they can go and get a dynamic DP that’s going to play week in and week out, then the Earthquakes could be pretty dangerous going forward in 2018.
Another major thing the Earthquakes need to do is get a younger more productive backline. The San Jose Earthquakes had one of the oldest and most expensive backlines in the league, yet they gave up a disgusting amount of goals. The Earthquakes have got to get that patched. Hopefully the presence of someone like Omar Cummings helps out that back line a bit. However, Shea Salinas shouldn’t have to be their starting left back. On top of getting another legitimate center back, they need a true left back. If they can do both of those, that San Jose Earthquakes team could be a real contender in 2018.