It’s year three for San Jose under Matias Almeyda, one of the most entertaining teams in the league over his first two years in charge (for better and worse.)
After making improvements while inheriting a last-place roster for his first season, Almeyda heads into year three with a squad made distinctly in his vision.
- MLS Reg. Season: 8th in Western Conference (30 pts - 1.30 PPG - 8-9-6, -16 GD)
- Audi MLS Cup Playoffs: Eliminated in Round One by Sporting KC, 3-3 (3-0 on penalties)
Espinoza was again the club’s top creative outlet in 2020, chipping in nine assists to go along with three goals. He’ll hope to add a few more goals in 2021, but will remain a force on the right flank.
The US international dictates play for the Quakes, who play attractive soccer when in possession amid the chaos that is their man-marking defensive scheme.
Yep, he’s still going under “star players” for the Quakes even in his age-38 season. He’s ageless and he still seems to be the club’s key goal scorer for 2021.
Young Player to Watch
A US youth international, Cowell earned his MLS debut last year and scored his first goal in the process. The 17-year-old homegrown attacker is a big talent.
- Javier “Chofis” Lopez: After Magnus Eriksson departed during the 2020 season, the Quakes desperately missed his presence at the No. 10. Chofis has been acquired from Chivas to fill that hole and then some. He previously played for Almeyda at Chivas
- Eric Remedi: Remedi fell out of favor in Atlanta and while some Argentine clubs chased his signature, it was San Jose who acquired him. He adds another MLS experienced presence in central midfield. He previously played for Almeyda at Banfield.
- Luciano Abecasis: Adding depth and competition to the defense, Abecasis joins after featuring for numerous clubs throughout his career. He previously played for Almeyda at River Plate.
- Nick Lima: The Quakes homegrown departs in a trade with Austin FC. The versatile fullback made 100 appearances in four seasons for the club.
Projected Starting XI
- Goalkeepers (4): Matt Bersano, JT Marcincowski, Emmanuel Ochoa, Daniel Vega
- Defeders (9): Luciano Abecasis, Jacob Akanyirige, Osvaldo Alanis, Tanner Beason, Florian Jungwirth, Marcos Lopez, Paul Marie, Tommy Thompson, Casey Walls
- Midfielders (11): Eric Calvillo, Cristian Espinoza, Carlos Fierro, Gilbert Fuentes, Siad Haji, Judson, Eduardo Lopez, Eric Remedi, Shea Salinas, Jack Skahan, Jackson Yueill
- Forwards (3): Cade Cowell, Andy Rios, Chris Wondolowski
Armchair Analyst's Breakdown
- Strength: The Quakes play a unique style, one which they’re often able to impose upon their opponents — making them the protagonists and putting them in control of the game. Being on the front foot has its advantages.
- Weakness: I think you could argue their attacking talent, even after the offseason additions, leaves them short of the true contenders. But the bigger issue is just how poor they were defensively on set pieces, which played a big part in their playoff elimination.
- Charles Boehm: 8th in West
- Tom Bogert: 11th in West
- Susannah Collins: 9th in West
- Matthew Doyle: 6th in West
- Sam Jones: 8th in West
- Michael Lahoud: 7th in West
- Joe Lowery: 10th in West
- Jillian Sakovits: 6th in West
- Greg Seltzer: 9th in West
- Steve Zakuani: 11th in West