One of the important deadlines of the MLS offseason is the roster deadline day. This day allows fans to see how the shaping of next season’s roster will be like. For the Quakes, there weren’t too many surprises.
The first major part of the MLS offseason is roster decision day. Each team must announce the contract status of their roster.
For the most part, the decisions the Quakes made fit with the expectations of most fans. Players like Paul Marie had their contract options exercised. While fringe players like Gilbert Fuentes were released.
There was one glaring surprise as Tommy Thompson did not have his contract extended. Given what he has meant for the club, it’s a bit of a shock to see this. In terms of other surprises both Judson and Eric Remedi did not get new contracts.
As the Quakes begin gearing up for yet another crucial offseason, they have begun to make moves. While these aren’t ground breaking moves, these are still necessary to any new roster construction.
When the team announced this wave of roster moves, fans weren’t expecting many surprises. They didn’t really get any, as the moves the team made weren’t shocking for the most part.
Paul Marie has been a key rotation player for a few seasons now. He has gone from a struggling young player to one who can play up and down either wing. Keeping him around will give Luchi key depth off the bench.
Out of all the players who had their contracts extended, the younger ones are the most interesting. Oskar Ågren barely played last season, but given what the Quakes gave up for him, he still seems key to the future. Will Richmond did get some chances last season and could be a nice rotational piece next year.
Matt Bersano has been part of the keeper rotation in San Jose for a few years now and got some good chances in the Open Cup. However, with the rise of Emi Ochoa, it makes sense to part with him.
The young players who were released are those who never really got a shot with the Quakes. Siad Haji and George Asomani were both draft picks who never saw any real first team experience. Gilbert Fuentes seemed to be the next great Quakes product, but he failed to develop.
Both the players the team extended and didn’t made sense given where the Quakes are headed. Paul Marie will continue tearing up the wings while players like Haji will hopefully get a chance somewhere else.
There were only less than a handful of surprises with the departure of one mainstay hurting. Certain players who had their options declined may just return to San Jose as well.
Tommy Thompson has been a key staple of the San Jose soccer scene since 2014. His rise from an academy prospect to MLS veteran would serve as a model for all academy players. Under multiple managers, he was able to change his playing style to fit in MLS.
Seeing him leave will hurt fans given how much he loved the club. Thompson had immense potential when he joined, but was never given the chance to develop. One interesting thing to note is that the club has yet to give him an official goodbye, leaving the door open for a potential return.
Both Judson and Remedi have been excellent defensive mids for the team. However, having both players made the other redundant which meant that the club was always going to keep one. It does seem like the club will keep one of them as Judson has yet to officially say goodbye.
Jan Gregus is a great MLS veteran who can help any side by controlling a midfield with his experience. He could have given the Quakes another key piece to their thin bench, but he may be more useful to real contenders. If the Quakes were further along in their rebuild, he could have contributed way more.
Fans will miss Thompson if he doesn’t return, but his omission is not the only surprise. Judson and Remedi’s departures make sense if one of the two returns.
The Quakes enter yet another new era where they will have to make tough decisions to find sustained success in MLS. These moves are by no means groundbreaking, but are necessary when it comes to building next season’s team. Fans should expect this offseason to be one of change and these moves are just a part of the rebirth.
Featured image: San Jose Earthquakes