The San Jose Earthquakes have debuted a new look at the MLS is Back Tournament, and they're riding it as far as it will take them.
As detailed in a new feature on the Quakes' official website, it all started in San Jose's second match of the group stage against the Vancouver Whitecaps, when the Quakes were first forced to wear the new gold shorts due to a uniform conflict, the shorts initially being just a secondary option for their alternate '408 edition' kits they unveiled back in February. The plan was originally for the gold shorts to only get used a handful of times this season.
Sights & Sounds from Loons and Quakes quarterfinal wins
But after a miracle comeback against Vancouver that saw San Jose score three unanswered goals to turn a 3-1 deficit into a dramatic 4-3 victory, they've kept riding the vibes.
gold shorts appreciation tweet. pic.twitter.com/FPBIodDO1R— San Jose Earthquakes (@SJEarthquakes) July 28, 2020
The results since have only added fuel to the legend. The Quakes have gone on a full-fledged run, winning Group B and topping Real Salt Lake 5-2 in the knockout stage to clinch a quarterfinal spot against Minnesota United (Saturday, 8 pm ET | ESPN2, ESPN Deportes in US | TSN in Canada). All told, the Quakes have won three straight games and bagged 11 goals since the dawn of the new outfit. Are the players convinced to any degree that the kits are responsible for some of the tournament magic?
"No," said midfielder Cristian Espinoza. "It’s something that happens [to wear the same jersey]. I think it’s by draw that we have the same jersey. But the truth is that as a team we don’t give importance to these things. If anything as a South American we sometimes believe in those things but on the field personally these things don’t influence me. On the field it’s 11 versus 11 with a ball and whoever plays best wins the game."
Espinoza may dismiss it, but we'll be seeing the Earthquakes rocking the gold shorts again in the quarterfinal. Here are the jersey assignments: