Fire sales are the worst experience that fans can undergo, as it’s a clear sign of giving up. It’s also a sign of potential rebirth, as in these sales, a future champion can be built. This makes the final moments of this summer transfer window so crucial to the Quakes’ future.
A few days ago, Paul Tenorio of The Athletic reported that the Quakes had received offers for some of their players, with the club debating their future at the club. No matter if they sell off certain players, this means that there must be a change this offseason where they must decide whether rebuilding is the correct path forward.
The players who had received offers include Cade Cowell, Jackson Yueill and Marcos López, all interesting pieces of both the Quakes’ present and future. With all those players being young and having good potential, it’ll be interesting to see if the Quakes choose to rebuild without them. Cowell and López will surely fetch a good fee from a European side while Yueill may draw the eyes of MLS sides.
This almost assuredly puts the team on a path where they will have to fully commit to a rebuild or retool. If the front office decides to rebuild, then the team should sell off all those players for fees to open up space for young players and spend that money on complementary pieces. For a retool, the club may choose to sell off one of those players and spend their fee on better pieces.
Since the Almeyda experiment collapsed over the past offseason, the team has been stuck in a limbo without ever committing to a path. The team can’t do this much longer and expect fans to continue caring about the club.
Marcos López was always going to use the club as a stepping stone to bigger clubs in Europe. With his contract up at the end of the season, the club will have to decide whether to cash in on him now or let him leave for free in the winter.
When López arrived from Sporting Cristal in 2019, there was excitement over the Peruvian left back and his potential development into a top MLS left back. For the most part, López’s time in San Jose has been a mixed bag, as he has had some memorable moments, but disappeared for stretches. That said, the moments of pure excellence show a modern fullback who is at home in the attack.
In his three years with the Quakes, López has truly honed his defensive skills and finds himself among the best defensive fullbacks in MLS. However, his goals may be what has endeared him to fans the most. Just ask the Galaxy what he can do with his goal scoring abilities.
If there is no hope of getting López to sign a longer contract, then the Quakes must sell him in this window. Should Feyenoord truly be interested in him, it would truly be a perfect place for the talented Peruvian, as the Eredivisie is a perfect developmental league. Feyenoord could give the Quakes a good fee and López a chance to continue his development.
López hasn’t truly developed into the all star player that fans had hoped, but he has displayed enough raw talent to draw interest from some European clubs. If the club isn’t able to make a decision on his future, then the future of the club will truly be harrowing.
Cade Cowell has symbolized the progress that the Quakes have made on the development of academy prospects. Many fans have Cowell’s first goal against the Galaxy seared into their minds, but is it time to part with their talented academy product.
After being made an all star last season, it had finally seemed like Cowell had finally made it to the top of the MLS. Since that all star weekend, things haven’t been as easy for Cade, as he has struggled to replicate that form. Both Almeyda and Covelo haven’t been able to find a role for him and Ebobisse has quickly taken the star role from Cade.
Without a doubt, Cade’s biggest strengths are his physical gifts, as he is able to combine insane speed with the physicality of a running back. Those gifts have never been in doubt, as his ability to bully players off the ball, but his technical abilities have been lacking. Both his playmaking and decision making have yet to really develop, no matter which coach has been at the helm.
Perhaps a move from the Quakes may be what Cade needs to truly reach his full potential, as Covelo hasn’t really used him this season. Making a move to Europe now would give him a much tougher challenge, especially if he moves to a more technically gifted league like Ligue 1. Although the Championship may be a better fit for his tools, much like fellow MLSer Daryl Dike.
It’s hard to really decide what the team should do with Cade, as he is both talented but has struggled to hold down a starting spot. This is yet another tough choice that the front office will face this winter.
Jackson Yueill’s situation is more interesting, in a way, than both Cowell and López, as he’s the club’s captain and already in his prime. It is surprising to see his name in transfer talks given how much he has meant to the side.
Since being drafted from UCLA, Yueill has played anywhere for the Quakes, from center back to center attacking mid. He has been everything for this side and has truly been a worthy replacement for Wondo as Quakes’ captain. It’s what makes these rumors so interesting and surprising, as there really isn’t a need to deal him.
Clearly one of the league’s better midfielders, Yueill has developed into a player who can bring play up from the backline while not needing to be the sole creator. Under Covelo, Yueill has played well by being paired with a defensive midfielder and a creator. This has allowed him to play the role of a number 8, connecting all the aspects of the game without any real flashiness.
Charlotte FC’s bid for Yueill is interesting, as he could really help a surprisingly good expansion side. It is also hard to gauge Yueill’s value as his potential may not be that of Cade, but he is clearly a better MLS player at the moment. For the right price, he is moveable, but this will require Charlotte to make an offer that gives the Quakes the necessary pieces for a rebuild.
It really is hard to guess whether or not the Quakes will deal Yueill, as it both does and doesn’t make sense to keep him for a rebuild. In a way, this may be the most interesting rumor for fans to keep their eyes on.
The last few days of this summer transfer window may not only define this season, but the next few years of Quakes’ soccer. For once, the Quakes’ hands may be forced into finally choosing their path towards future success. Fans can only hope that the front office makes the correct choices, or there will only be more misery in store.
Featured image: ESPN