Editorial- The San Jose Earthquakes were by and large awful in 2018. The only thing to really watch for Quakes fans was Chris Wondolowski’s chase of the all-time scoring record. Other than that 2018 was a massive failure. They posted only 21 points in their 34 games, surrendering a league worst 71 goals with a -22 goal differential. The lone bright spot? Firing Mikael Stahre and hiring Matias Almeyda to lead the black and blue. So let’s jump into all things terrible on the Quakes 2018.
San Jose Earthquakes 2018 Season in Review
In a year of terrible play all around for the San Jose Earthquakes, the MVP goes to the guy who probably helped hold it all together, Chris Wondolowski. Wondolowski tied with Vako for second on the team in goals, and he pitched in five assists which tied with Vako for best on the team. The Quakes looked completely clueless without him, to remotely competent with him on the field. One underrated aspect is his leadership. While difficult to rally around a coach like Stahre, clearly for the rest of the team, Wondo was willing to do what he could to try and keep the team somewhat in-tact. He stuck his neck out in an attempt to salvage the locker room, which is more than any other player attempted to do.
What Went Right in 2018
There are a couple things that actually did go right for the Earthquakes. One, their signing of Danny Hoesen on a permanent deal paid dividends as he scored 12 goals and notched 4 assists. He was probably the most dangerous player on the ‘Quakes for a good portion of games, and scored plenty of stunners. Another area that went right for the ‘Quakes was the success of adding Guram Kashia. Kashia’s leadership at the back helped the Quakes backline tighten quite a bit over the final stretch, and looks to be a huge signing for them going forward.
What went wrong in 2018
Almost everything went wrong in 2018. First off, you could look at their signings from players to coaches. Mikael Stahre first and foremost was completely out of his depth, and surrounded by many coaches he never worked with before. Which is honestly on him a bit. Second, the ‘Quakes ensuing signings flopped. Six goals, three of them PKs, and three assists from “Designated Player” in Magnus Eriksson didn’t do much to move the needle when it came to wide production for the Earthquakes. Worst of all on the player front was the acquisition of Joel Qwiberg, who at $150 thousand for a man who had never played higher than second division in Scandinavia, made a grand total of 5 appearances at left back. In fact, their left back situation was so dire that they play naturally right footed winger, Shea Salinas there for the majority of 2018.
What They Need to Do in 2019
The Earthquakes first order of business in 2019 is to get some real quality in their wide positions. The only wide position that’s locked down right now is Nick Lima’s. Eriksson didn’t quite show he has legitimate threat quality in him from wide. But the Earthquakes do have something in Vako, Wondo, and Hoesen. If they could add a competent left back, a dangerous winger, and maybe a consistent central midfielder, they could be in decent shape. Most of their issues for 2019 will be down to roster construction. So now, all eyes are on what Matias Almeyda and his crew will do.