We’re getting off to an early start due to the holiday week. On Monday the Quakes playoff game will be summarized but for now, two items from our friends at The Beautiful Blog.
This is an interesting read on Simon Mrsic. Check it out. He did spend time with the Stompers several years earlier and has been a fixture on the lower flight soccer scene. We wish him well where he plays,
Update 11/23/20 7:30pm – our take on the Sporting KC/Quakes game. It was a thriller that could have gone towards the Quakes favor with an upset in the making but it was not meant to be. However, a bit of personal vindication six years in the making did take place.
The 8th ranked Quakes had to play catchup from the start with Roger Espinoza opening up the scoring in the 4th minute. However, the visiting side was able to draw even 18 minutes later with a strike from Carlos Fierro. Another tally from Shea Salinas in the 34th minute gave San Jose the lead that they maintained at the half.
However, the top team in the west once again opened up the second half with a goal from Ilie Sanchez once again tying the game 2-2. Sporting took the lead towards the end of regulation with another tally from Gianluca Busio one minute into the second half of stoppage time. However, the miracle in Kansas took place with a Chris Wondolowski strike seven minutes into added time. His strike in the box to draw even 3-3 sent the team into extra time, and was probably the one goal that made up for the one that got away when he played for the US World CupTeam in 2014 against Belgium. Back then, his strike that went right and missed could have sealed a one-nil win for the Americans but instead lost in extra time two goals to one.
The game went into penalty kicks with Sporting’s Roger Espinoza converting his chance. However, the Quakes ran into a brick wall with Tim Melia saving Oswaldo Alanis’ attempt. Ilie Sanchez and Khiry Shelton were able to get their kicks through JT Marcinkowski but Melia was probably the most clutch player in the shootout blocking Jackson Yueill and Cristian Espinoza’s kicks from the spot.
With Sporting KC converting 3 shots and the Quakes making none, the top ranked team advanced to penalties where they will host Minnesota United next. The Quakes have nothing left except to wonder what would have been but they did not go down without a fight. Their appearance for the first time since 2017 is a vast improvement over missing out last season and serves as a building block to get further next season but there will be decisions to make. With Wondolowski now returning for one more year there is the motivation for him to play on the field with the fans in attendance and riding off with the MLS Cup. There will also be other tough choices to make as to who will be retained for next season and who will be left unprotected for the Austin FC expansion draft. Also, the Quakes will try to retain Shea Salinas, who has been a stalwart with the team since the second return in 2008 save for going to Philadelphia and Vancouver before coming back in 2012. Plus there is the possibility that both Wondolowski and Salinas could walk and sign with another club.
Another issue looming into next year is if the Quakes will once again field a reserve team since that league is rumored to be returning rather than have a USL affiliate now that Reno 1868 FC decided to cease operations.
While only two matches were played with fans in attendance early on before the season was put on pause for 4 months, the remaining games were played in Orlando, Florida before returning to San Jose with no fans in the stands. While the matches from August to November were devoid of any spirit and fandom it did provide a welcome respite for everyone going through a very adverse time that is the pandemic.
There is no official word as to when the 2021 season will begin but it will be contingent on fans being able to once again converge safely. In the meantime between now and the start of the next slate of games we’ll be posting the latest “hot stove” news.
The final parting shot (twitter: sjearthquakes) and despite what is going on worldwide right now–Happy Thanksgiving.