With three points through five games, the San Jose Earthquakes have plenty of ground to make up should they challenge for a Supporters Shield or earn one of seven playoff spots in the Western Conference.
But San Jose veteran midfielder Anibal Godoy doesn’t have time for skepticism or doubt. None at all.
““No one can take it out of our minds that we want to be champions," the 29-year-old said in an interview with FutbolMLS.com. "Not even the early results. I hope that this (first win) is the step that puts us on the path forward.”
Godoy, part of the Panama national team, felt the Timbers game “should have ended 6-0, practically,” and didn't only because the Quakes couldn't finish all their chances. Accordingly, this week at training was particularly upbeat.
“Every Monday we came to training with long and sad faces,” Godoy said, “and this [Monday] was much better than all the previous ones.”
To fully turn the corner, San Jose will need to further adjust to Almeyda’s system, one that’s predicated on winning 1-on-1 matchups and then seizing attacking chances when they arrive. The coach, who’s had previous success leading Liga MX giants Chivas Guadalajara and River Plate of his native Argentina, has injected the side with confidence.
“We have a coach that is a winner, that has taken us forward and that knows that we have the quality to continue moving forward,” Godoy said. “He gives us a lot of confidence and has insisted to us that that whatever happens, he’s never going to jump ship.”
Last year, San Jose plodded to the Western Conference’s cellar with Mikael Stahre as manager. In his stead came assistant Steve Ralston on an interim basis, then Almeyda this past offseason.
The managerial carousel has slowed down in San Jose, and Godoy is confident the Earthquakes can string together results now. That all starts this Saturday at the Houston Dynamo (3 pm ET | Univision. Twitter in the US; MLS LIVE on DAZN in Canada).
“The critics are always there and we’re exposed to that,” Godoy said. “If we didn’t understand that, we wouldn’t be here.”