Hykachu strikes again! How did Earthquakes' star get his new nickname?

You may have noticed that the San Jose Earthquakes and their supporters have dubbed star Albanian midfielder Jahmir Hyka with the nickname "Hykachu," and are wondering why. 

(The crafty Hyka gave us all another reminder of why he's worthy of honorifics on Saturday, conjuring up an outrageous moment of skill to produce the game-winning goal that beat FC Dallas at Toyota Stadium, their first defeat of the 2017 regular season. )

No, it's not because someone in the Quakes' social-media team has a Pokémon addiction. The credit goes to a young supporter named Alex Ibarra, who created a "two-pole" sign celebrating Hyka's skills via an image of Pokémon’s best-known character, Pikachu, wearing Hyka’s No. 10 jersey.

Alex and his mother, Carina, displayed their work in the supporters' end at Avaya Stadium at the Quakes' match vs. FCD on April 14, and Hyka duly scored a late equalizer to earn a 1-1 draw. They brought it back a few weeks later for the game against Portland, and Hyka scored again, inspiring a 3-0 shellacking of the Timbers.

Little wonder, then, that the name stuck. The sign even drew the attention of Hyka himself, who approached the Ibarras to personally thank them and give Alex his game-worn jersey. 

It's a heartwarming story, and the Quakes' Jake Pisani has all the details and images here