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Earthquakes Stood Pat - Good or Bad?

Discussion in 'San Jose Earthquakes' started by QuakeAttack, Jan 23, 2013.

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  1. QuakeAttack

    QuakeAttack Member+

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    San Jose Earthquakes open camp, aiming to recapture 2012 magic

    http://www.mercurynews.com/earthqua...e-earthquakes-open-camp-aiming-recapture-2012

    The Earthquakes basically stood pat after their uplifting run to the MLS Supporters' Shield as the team with the best record.Now, in a league full of upgraded rosters and confronting a taxing 2013 schedule, are the Quakes poised for an MLS Cup or a hard dose of reality?

    Coach Frank Yallop, whose team opened camp for the new season Monday, is clearly expecting the former.
    "We had some terrific performances, not just individually but collectively as a team," Yallop said. "Why mess with that? This group's a strong group. Why change what's done well in our league? ... Most of the big players from last year are obviously back, and we'll be adding some players to that."

    I would prefer that Quakes look at strengthing the roster rather than making few changes to the Quakes roster (I.e. adding journeyman players and through the draft). I'm not looking at dramatic changes, but adding just a few more quality players could be the difference between a long playoff run and struggling to make the playoffs. Observing the successful teams in other sports, I believe the teams that were able to continue to compete for a championship on a yearly basis where constantly looking at adding good young talent and quality experienced players.

    While I believe the Quakes did it last year (add Bernardez who provided experience and Beta, Morrow, and Baca as youth), I still would like to see more for this year. I will hold on to Frank's last line above about about still adding players, but with the starting to training camp, it would be nice to have added another impact player. We can't rely on being the comeback kids again this year, and while we had our fair share of injuries last year, we were fortunate that Cronin and Baca were healthy through the full season. I would specifically like to add more depth in the middle for both positions.

    I'm pleased with the draft getting a promising central defender, but central defender is a position which usually takes some time with playing with your teammates. Also, we added speed up top which is good. So, we are going in the right direction...

    Thoughts?
     


  2. fadedtoblack

    fadedtoblack Member+

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    I'll be upset if they have this type of offseason next year. I would hope they'd make a splash for the new stadium.
     
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  3. JazzyJ

    JazzyJ BigSoccer Supporter

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    Obviously, you don't want to "overhaul" the roster after a great, great season. But every team is looking to improve and some will improve significantly. I don't think "standing pat" is good enough. The Quakes have basically done that in the year after each of their relatively successful years (2009 - after a pretty good 2008, 2011 - after a pretty good 2010), and both of those years were terrible. None of those "relatively successful" years were nearly as successful as 2012, so I think this year will be different. But I expect them to struggle more this year. I'm thinking third or fourth or so in the west. As usual, you read it here first. :--)
     
  4. Neuwerld

    Neuwerld Member+

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    I'm happy with it. The important players we have led the team to a very successful 2012, and we have been improving depth. Other teams are picking up more players, but that doesn't necessarily mean they're getting better. We have a core of players who have played together for a while, which is something you can't buy. Teams like NY and Toronto are constantly picking up new, expensive players and they never impress.
     
    markmcf8 and QuietType repped this.


  5. JazzyJ

    JazzyJ BigSoccer Supporter

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    Yeah, but one or two of the teams is going to "hit pay dirt", like the Quakes did last year, and make some "big" additions that work out great. Those teams will leap frog the Quakes this year. There will be a couple of them in the west I believe. That doesn't mean, however, that the Quakes can't make the playoffs and go on a run and win MLS Crapshoot Cup.

    I look at it this way. Some teams will "stand pat" and mostly be about the same team, some teams will make significant changes and get worse, some teams will make significant changes and get better.
     
  6. QuakeAttack

    QuakeAttack Member+

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    Correct. Teams like Dallas and Portland took a step back last year, but could be much more competitive this year. Dallas was playing well at the end of the season and Portland was never solved by the Quakes.

    Also, we have two key players who have had a history of injuries: Chavez and Gordan.
     
  7. SoccerMan94043

    SoccerMan94043 Member+

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    Standing pat is never a good idea... keep pushing for incremental improvement at a bare minimum.
     
  8. KMJvet

    KMJvet Moderator Staff Member

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    We cant' say we're standing pat until Dawkins is purchased or we replace him with someone of equivalent quality. So at this moment we're down from last year.
    Other than that, I'm not too worried about standing pat. I think paying for the players that deserve raises so they stay is high priority.

    Perhaps Fucito will get more minutes and be cheaper than Guvenesik. Seems good.

    We replaced Opara with Muller and probably Hardin. If that's true, I'll bet it was two for the price of one easily, salary-wise, in terms of what Ike would have cost to keep. That's good provided Muller lives up to first round quality as this would be a true depth increase in terms of body count.

    Gargan for Zeyner is a wash and probably similar in price.

    I hope that Ramiro takes a salary cut that pays one of newbies to apprentice at left back. So, I hope, again an increase in body count without increased cost.

    Since Medhi is expected back relatively early in the season, I say skip re-signing Khari even on a reduced salary. We can use the some of that money to pay for needed raises for Baca, Gordon, and Beita, provided they'd take them. The already-negotiated contracts of Morrow, Cronin, and Hernandez have to paid for too. Hopefully the dumping of the two sick-notes that didn't play at all provided the $$ for those raises. To me that seems like an improvement, by subtraction, because we can use the money to help keep the core of our team intact.

    Different position, but I think Tracy for Alexandre could be an upgrade in that he was more heralded coming out of college and he wasn't around enough last year to even know what we have with that player.

    So, it seems to me like the changes are either neutral or to the good in terms of either depth or investing in keeping important players, with the exception of our elephant in the room, which is whether they'll pay the money to Spurs to keep Dawkins.
     
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  9. QuakeAttack

    QuakeAttack Member+

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    Dawkins is gone. We can'thave no new attacking players. We have about 1 month to the start of the season. We need to pick up someone in the next week or so...
     
  10. markmcf8

    markmcf8 Member+

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    So, if we're about the same as last year ... we'll be the best team in the league.

    Seriously, what would you want for changes? We dumped those guys that either weren't cutting it, or were over priced. Good moves those. We drafted some guys, we picked up some guys in the waiver draft, we've got some trialists to look at. So not too bad.

    Also, and not to be overlooked, we have a rumor of one to two new Hondurans. If these guys are half as good as Bernardez or Chavez they will be a big help. This is a club that hold it's cards close to their vests. We have time yet to sign another quality player or three. (I'm counting Dawkins here.)

    I'm fine with our "standing pat," because we're actually replacing six or seven guys, which is a not inconsiderable fraction of 30 players.

    GO QUAKES!!

    - Mark
     
  11. markmcf8

    markmcf8 Member+

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    Dude, relax! We do have more than a month ... er, OK, 32 days. Still, it's not dire yet. And chances are, our sneaky FO are working on something even as you and I type. We should be very good again this coming season. Possibly not SS winners, but in the top four would still have to be seen as a very successful season. (And then there's that whole Cup Run thing.)

    GO QUAKES!!!

    - Mark
     
  12. SJTillIDie

    SJTillIDie Member+

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    there are no two ways about it, losing Dawkins is really going to take the wind out of our sails. Our players loved him just remember that Wondo quote last year when asked if we were getting him back he had a big grin and smiled and said "I'm a very happy man" or something. this is probably very deflating for our locker room going into the season.

    who knows if JD has anything up his sleeve I'm sure they are holding their cards close to their chest as they should. we are definitely weakened going into this season without dawkins.

    one thing for sure the trialists and supplemental picks just got a big boost, this really ups their chances of earning a contract out of preseason camp.
     
  13. QuakeAttack

    QuakeAttack Member+

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    Who are you? What have you done with Mark?
     
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  14. markmcf8

    markmcf8 Member+

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    I swear I'm still Mark, and I'm not on Prozac. Life has been good lately, and hey, OUR Quakes kicked some serious ass last season. I wouldn't make a ton of changes either, were I in Franks shoes. But we are picking up a few new guys, we did ditch some dead wood. We aren't "standing pat." We're doing a little tinkering around the edges to the best team in MLS. Ooooooo. That sounds good!

    GO QUAKES!!

    - Mark
     
  15. SJTillIDie

    SJTillIDie Member+

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    before today you could just say we were tinkering or standing pat.

    after today we are objectively weakened
     
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  16. Earthshaker

    Earthshaker BigSoccer Supporter

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    At least offensively.
     
  17. lurking

    lurking Member+

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    Lets not be too worried just yet, we were 8-2-3 in games Simon didnt start last year. Its a blow and everybody here wanted him back, but its not a loss that is going to derail our season.
     
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  18. JazzyJ

    JazzyJ BigSoccer Supporter

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    Well, then you apparently you don't buy into my logic that:

    1) Other teams are changing a lot more, getting new DP's, etc.
    2) Some of those "significantly changed" teams will actually get worse and some will get better.

    Assuming the Quakes "stay the same", they will lose ground on the "changed" teams that have gotten better. What we don't know is if they will have improved enough to be better than the Quakes.

    What it boils down to is Darwinism. In a dynamic environment, those that do not change are doomed to failure, beaten out by those who change for the better. The only question is how long it will take for that process to manifest itself. :)
     
  19. Neuwerld

    Neuwerld Member+

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    Indeed. Simon was and is a great player, but I think we'll be okay without him.
     
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  20. SourCream&OnionUtd

    SourCream&OnionUtd Member

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    I just noticed Tracy isn't listed on the roster at the league's website. Is that a mistake?
     
  21. Qrom

    Qrom Member

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    this is becoming a pattern when the team has a good year the feet get raised and almost no new people get brought in. It shouldn't be that much of problem cause without dawkins the team should still be a playoff team however a "2011" year is entirely possible.
     
  22. lurking

    lurking Member+

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    2011 we brought in several new people and lost people. Geovanni left, we brought in Dawkins and Lenhart, 2 guys I think we can agree were good adds that year. 2011 and 2010 werent that far apart in terms of overall play though, the GD went from +1 to -5. Add to that some untimely losses (Dawkins being out for the middle of the year and Lenhart missing the entire second half of it) and 2011 was a combination of bad luck, some poor pre-season preparation, and some bad attitudes. Point being that 2011 wasnt a giant step back, but more of a little stumble.
     
  23. lurking

    lurking Member+

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    If by 2011 year you mean our goal differential is -6 below what it was last year, or our record is 8 points worse, then ill take it and run to the bank. That would be 58 points with a goal differential of +23, and still better then anyone in the west last year.
     
  24. KMJvet

    KMJvet Moderator Staff Member

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    As far as we've heard, he's merely rehabbing.
     
  25. QuietType

    QuietType Member+

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    Losing a guy who got us 8 goals last year? Bad.
    Losing a different dimension to our attack? Bad.
    Losing a guy who teammatws in the clubhouse(including Alan Gordon) referred to as the best player on the squad? Bad.

    The question is whether we have the depth and talent to make up for it, which we do have Shea, but some depth would be nice.

    How many of our players are getting recruited by EPL teams? Exactly. I think that speaks to Simon's talent and answers the thread title's question.

    That said, I'm happy for him, and will be excited to see the team this year. I guess my dream of Baca going to the bench just got a little more dreary.
     
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