SAN JOSE, Calif. – Even when something is expected, it doesn’t necessarily lessen the sting.
That’s how things were for the San Jose Earthquakes on Tuesday after Monday’s news that forward Alan Gordon was being sent to the LA Galaxy in exchange for allocation money had sunk in.
The trade to the club where Gordon started his professional career wasn’t hard to predict, given that he was scoreless on the year, hadn’t seen action in the last three matches and was playing for a club that had publicly repudiated its tactical persona as a Route 1 adherent.
Nevertheless, it was tough to say goodbye to the 32-year-old, who persevered through injury to deliver a career season for the Supporters’ Shield-winning 2012 Quakes: 13 goals and seven assists in 1,297 minutes.
“Absolutely,” Quakes captain Chris Wondolowski told MLSsoccer.com after training Tuesday. “One, he’s a good player, but two, he’s a very good friend. He’s great for the locker room, but I understand what the plan is there.”
With Gordon following in the footsteps of Rafael Baca, Steven Beitashour, Marvin Chavez and Justin Morrow on their way out of town, the last eight months have seen the Quakes commit to an extensive reimaging of the lineup that brought the franchise its greatest success since being re-established in 2008 as an expansion side. Of the club’s 12 most-used field players in 2012, only Wondolowski, Victor Bernardez, Sam Cronin, Jason Hernandez and Steven Lenhart remain active for the Quakes.
“Unfortunately, it’s part of the business,” Quakes goalkeeper Jon Busch said. “The longer you’re in this league, it’ll be done to you at some point. It’s not a personal thing, it’s part of the world we live in. You just deal with it and move on.”
- Get the latest San Jose news at SJEarthquakes.com
With Lenhart expected back from knee surgery in a few weeks and second-year man Adam Jahn remaining under contract, the Quakes can still bash if they want. So trading Gordon, who never regained his 2012 form after suffering a crunching tackle in practice late that year from then-teammate Jean-Marc Alexandre, made sense from a roster standpoint.
The emotional side, however, is another matter.
“Alan is home in LA,” Wondolowski said. “He wanted to be here, but if there was a place [he had to go] I think he’s alright being there. He’ll be sorely missed, because he’s just a great guy.”