After making fans wait months for moves, the Quakes pulled off an impressive week of transfers. In the span of a few days, the front office addressed most of the concerns surrounding the squad, as the team is in Coachella. While two of the moves were expected, there were two that caught a few fans off guard.
As the season neared, fans’ concerns over the lack of improvements to the squad grew louder and louder. With a few expected moves, and other unexpected ones, the team will enter this season looking more complete.
Vítor Costa fills the void left by Trauco and allows Marie to be the supersub that he’s more suited for. There’s lots of reasons to like Costa’s fit in the squad, besides being a Portuguese speaker in a mostly Portuguese speaking backline. Like the overwhelming majority of this window’s transfers, Costa brings in plenty of experience to a team looking to make a jump.
In a way, the loan of Mikołaj Biegański is the most interesting move by the team. The 21 year old made over 100 appearances in the Polish second division and profiles as a project. Daniel is the best keeper in MLS, so why did the team decide to bring in a project to challenge him?
There was plenty of change for the Quakes this offseason in terms of both additions and subtractions. Fortunately for fans, the front office built a team with the experience and depth needed to push for a better playoff seeding.
After losing Trauco, most expected Marie to be the team’s starting left back given the lack of moves. Costa arrives in the Bay with the ability to contribute to a backline that needed an extra boost.
The left back played across Brazil and Europe, with a decent amount of time spent in Portugal. His career does follow that of a journeyman who never truly finds a home, but continues to be an impactful player. Like many of the moves made under Leitch, the Brazilian has first team experience in good leagues in both Europe and South America.
Costa’s addition marks the 3/4s of the Quakes’ backline as native Portuguese speakers. However, that’s not why his addition is such a good fit.
Trauco provided fans last season with truly incredible goals that were never really seen by Quakes’ fullbacks before. However, besides the goals, the Peruvian struggled to really make a meaningful impact. When compared to other MLS fullbacks, he was both a subpar defender and dribbler.
However, Costa’s numbers aren’t eye popping, but truly solid. What Costa lacks in highlight worthy goals, he makes up for in being a more well rounded player. Despite a few concerns with his intercepting numbers, Costa looks like a player who will fit into Luchi’s system.
The areas where Costa stands out is in his passing and dribbling. Across comparable players, Costa plays a good number of dangerous passes which, in turn, creates a good amount of shot creating actions. His defensive metrics aren’t create, but both Rodrigues and Wilson will be able to cover those concerns up.
There’s nothing wrong with Marie playing a large role with the Quakesnext season, but Costa makes more sense as the starter over him. Trauco was a good move last season, but Costa is a clear upgrade.
To cap last week’s transfer bonanza, Leitch pulled off a fascinating move. Polish keeper Mikołaj Biegański joined the Quakes on loan to, presumably, play as Daniel’s understudy.
At just 21, Biegański already played over 100 games in the Polish second division. An impressive feat for any player his age, but the quality of the league is hard to gauge in comparison to MLS. Leitch and the front office are clearly gambling with this move, especially with how his value has fluctuated.
It’s difficult to find decent metrics regarding his performances in the Polish second flight. Numbers do exist for the 21/22 season, where he made 80 saves to 31 goals conceded, but did average 1.6 goals allowed per game. These numbers need to be taken with a grain of salt as he turned 19 during the season and he did gain more experience over the following season and a half.
If we’re being frank, this move makes little sense. While it undoubtedly makes the Quakes goalkeeping crop as the best in MLS, there’s a lot of quality for so few chances.
Daniel became the best keeper in MLS as his performances kept the Quakes alive down the stretch. There’s no reason to replace Daniel given the consistency he has brought to the team. The Brazilian means so much to this team and it’d be tough to ask anyone to step in for him.
Excluding Biegański for a second, the Quakes already employed a deep and excellent goalkeeping unit. Yarbrough’s experience makes him the ideal backup who can start in a pinch, while Ochoa is clearly bookmarked for the future. The addition of Biegański muddies the future for Ochoa and negates the reasons why they brought in Yarbrough.
It’s hard to imagine Biegański beating out Daniel for the starting role, but then what’s the point of having him on loan? If the club is concerned about Daniel leaving, it makes sense, but Biegański would delay the growth of Ochoa.
Despite worrying by fans, the Quakes pulled off a solid while leaving some flexibility for themselves with an open DP spot. Costa will play a large role for the Quakes next season while Biegański’s addition is confusing to understand. Any further moves shouldn’t be expected, but the work done so far has made this Quakes side ready for the new season.
Featured image: San Jose Earthquakes