Out of nowhere, the Quakes added desperately needed depth. As the season dragged on, it became abundantly clear that the team needed help.
To the surprise of most, the front office acted on this need.

So far, the Quakes have brought in two players this transfer window. Their work may be over, but these players will impact the club differently.

Ayo Akinola is a young but experienced MLS forward. The Canadian international has played over five years in MLS but has not found any real footing. His transfer, and fit, scream rotational player who will come off the bench.

Photo: San Jose Earthquakes

Matthew Hoppe’s loan move to San Jose was as surprising as it was interesting. Hoppe has played across multiple European leagues before the age of 25. Given the immense potential he has shown, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Hoppe become a starter.

Both moves are valuable additions to the Quakes made at a relatively low cost. Each player will bring their own quality to a side looking to capture a playoff spot.

Toronto is a dumpster fire that needs to unload players. Like any other MLS side, the Quakes are a perfect partner for these sellers and got an interesting player in Akinola.

Having come up through the Toronto academy, Akinola has seen the club’s rise and fall as a MLS powerhouse. He was part of the youth movement that helped push the Canadian club to the forefront of MLS. During this time, the forward was also able to become a Canadian international.

Despite playing five years in MLS, Akinola never found any sort of consistency with Toronto. He saw his role go from being a starter to coming off the bench. Neither role ever saw him deliver on his potential as he drifted out of the side.

Akinola profiles as an MLS journeyman striker who will join the sides to give them a spark off the bench. Over his time in MLS, he has never shown to be proficient in one area, but his numbers do show he is a willing passer. Perhaps this is why the front office moved for him, as he could be of more help in build-up play, similar to Kikanović. 

Photo: Getty Images

It may not be the sexiest of moves, but this loan is a great way to add depth to a forward line desperate for it. Looking at the current team, Akinola will likely be Ebobisse’s understudy and give the Quakes a shot off the bench. Due to his lack of experience at other positions at the professional level, it’s hard to envision him as anything other than a super sub.

The first move of the summer window was by no means the most interesting, but a world does exist where Akinola can be of help off the bench. Luchi will definitely call on him as the season nears its end.

By far, the most interesting of the two transfers is the loan of Matthew Hoppe. The US international brings much-needed experience to this Quakes side.

Along with Weston Mckennie, Hoppe was one of the early batch of promising US internationals who were developing in the Bundesliga.

Within a few months of making his debut with Schalke, he scored a hat trick.

This and his importance to the side boosted his image as the next big thing for the USMNT.

After breaking onto the scene, Hoppe saw his career begin to stagnate. Struggles in La Liga, the Championship, and Scottish Premiership pushed him back to the US this summer. 

Hoppe is an interesting prospect for the Quakes. He is a tall and strong striker who is perfectly suited to play up top as the loan striker. One could envision him finding success in Luchi’s system in Ebobisse’s place. 

With this current Quakes team, unless Luchi changes his formation, Hoppe will most probably come off the bench. He profiles as a sub who can offer what Ebobisse does without the build-up play. His addition could also give Luchi more flexibility with in-game adjustments.

Photo: Getty Images

Hoppe’s addition does bring up an interesting question, is he a contingency plan for Cowell’s potential departure? While they don’t have similar profiles, Hoppe is still a young player who could develop with the Quakes. If Cowell does leave, it would give the Quakes another future star that could later be flipped.

Leitch and the rest of the front office pulled off quite the addition with Hoppe. While his fit isn’t perfect, Luchi could benefit from his presence. 

Most fans were not expecting the Quakes to make many additions this summer. However, the two additions thus far will likely play important depth roles in the coming months.
Both players profile as interesting additions, but how much will they play?

Photo: San Jose Earthquakes

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