San Jose Earthquakes general manager Jesse Fioranelli has apologized to the club's supporters and vowed that they will "correct the course," after they went down to a 6-1 defeat at home to the Portland Timbers on Saturday night. The loss followed similar heavy defeats in recent weeks to the Seattle Sounders (7-1) and LAFC (5-1).
"We have to have a hard look at ourselves. Today was a very painful loss," Fioranelli said during the team's post-match press conference. "We apologize, I apologize for the way we performed today. This is not who we are. We know we can do better.
"We had a long conversation with the players but rather than speaking much today it's going to have to be tomorrow after we have analyzed the game carefully. Then we will come to more in-depth conclusions about what went wrong, and how we have to correct the path. So I don't want to jump to any conclusions tonight other than expressing an apology to the fans, the sponsors and the club in general because this is not who we are."
Fiorenelli was speaking instead of coach Matias Almeyda, who the GM said was suffering from a terrible headache. Asked about the potential for new signings to bolster the roster, Fioranelli stressed that the first priority was for everyone involved at the club to analyze themselves.
"We've had several conversations and talks with regards to potential signings, but now's not the time to speculate about which players we're going to sign," he said. "We have to check ourselves properly, correct things. And we have to stick together as one."
Recent performances for San Jose have been a far cry from the highs experienced at the MLS is Back Tournament during the summer, when the team reached the quarterfinals and became a neutral's favorite for their high-octane style. Since the resumption of the regular season, the Quakes have been faced with the dual challenges of a packed schedule and the devastating wildfires along the West Coast that have disrupted their training schedule. But Fioranelli refused to blame those external circumstances for the recent poor run of form.
"That's no excuse for why you lose 6-1," he said. "One thing that I can say is that we will have to make certain decisions as to how we want to move forward as a roster. And for that reason, I don't want to jump to any conclusions, I just want to make sure we analyze it carefully, give ourselves the time. And we're going to have to do this together."
Despite the tough circumstances of Saturday night's defeat, it is the togetherness that the team has exhibited before that Fioranelli said gives him the belief that they can turn things around.
"I can assure you based on what the work, the effort and also the commitment has been of the entire first team, I have no doubt in these last 11 games that we're going to present ourselves in a different way" he said. "And we will keep strengthening this team. We'll have to have some deeper discussions but one thing is for sure, this is not who we are and we will correct the course."