San Jose Earthquakes manager Matias Almeyda share his philosophy of life and soccer

Matias Almeyda interview - San Jose Earthquakes - July 2020

Ahead of the San Jose Earthquakes vs. Real Salt Lake match in the Round of 16 of the MLS is Back Tournament, the staff at MLS Español sat down with charismatic Quakes manager Matias Almeyda for a special interview.

Watch the video feature above, during which "El Pelado" shared his thoughts on soccer, life, the Earthquakes and his admiration for MLS all-time leading scorer Chris Wondolowski. His translated quotes follow below and correspond with the video above:

00:12: I coach the way I live.

00:28: I would not be able to transmit something that I don't feel and that I don't live.

00:33: [To players from sideline] Play it again. Play calm. That's it. Good. More confidence.

00:36: I have my own way of thinking about life and soccer. If you're in soccer and you love what you do, you have to be humble enough to continue to grow. And you grow by correcting your own errors. 

00:54: I was convinced that we could turn the [Vancouver] game around, including when we were 3-1 [down]. The subs brought something different. We were able to add more speed.

01:09: Everything we do on the field is what we train, including the subs.

01:28: I would have loved to coach Wondolowski at 25 or 30 years old. Today seeing him train at 37 with the desire and enthusiasm he has, it's remarkable. And I highlight his attitude, his desire, his energy. Age doesn't matter. It's the love with which you do things. 

01:47: Personally, I like when my players enjoy playing with the ball. We try to transmit values that I think are part of life and soccer. 

01:58: If in life you do what you love, and you do it with passion and love, you're going to have fewer opportunities to make a mistake. 

02:20: I've been in soccer since I was 15 [years old] and I've had the chance to be in several countries and I got to know other cultures. I have my own way of thinking about life and soccer. 

02:35: I believe a lot in the group [team]. I believe a lot in the human side and the connection that could exist between the players, the coaching staff and management.

02:44: I'm in search of teams that become sporting families, but more than anything else that they have a clear style. 

02:56: When we got to the United States we lost a lot in those first games and after that the team began to interpret and what we wanted to when it came to the soccer and what I wanted. [Editor's note: The Earthquakes started Almeyda's first season in 2019 with a four-game losing streak.]

03:09: We're on a path and it all depends on all the good that we can continue to do in the construction of a club. And a lot of times it doesn't depend on a coach. It depends on a lot of factors.

03:36: What the team did was really good [to come back to win 4-3 against Vancouver]. They regrouped after two errors with calm and confidence and this made it so that we could overturn the result at the end of the game. It was a little dramatic, but [done] with passion and love. And I think it was a just result. When you take into account all the stats at the end of the game, it was the just result.

04:14: We have to be very thankful that we are working and the players are playing soccer where in many parts of the world people are dying. There are people that really have it bad. There are people who are left without work. There are families that can't eat everyday. So how can we not be thankful? We're at Disney playing soccer. It's crazy. It's a dream.

04:43: The truth is that's the sad part about soccer [that no fans are permitted in the stadium due to COVID-19], because fans are always part of every game. It's the bonus of sports: the spectators. I come from Argentine soccer where a while ago they took away half of the fans -- as if you could only play with [home] fans. Well, they got rid of the other half [due to COVID-19 pandemic]. [Editor's note: Several years ago new rules in Argentine soccer banned away fans due to violent incidents.]

05:10: The biggest wish we all have on the human side is that we find this famous vaccine that the specialists are working on. We have to show solidarity among ourselves and take care of each other. [COVID-19] is not a joke. It's reality. It's real. Hopefully this gets solved first and then I think people will be back in the stadiums to enjoy every spectacle even more.