As the team continued to play better in the past few weeks, most players began to rebound from an awful start. Adding López opened the game up for so many players on the team.
However, one player is still trying to break out of the rut.

After scoring 17 goals in his first full season in San Jose, Ebobisse promised to be Wondo’s successor. With a great eye for goal, the striker gave fans hope for the post-Wondo years.

Since then, however, the striker has reverted back to being a low double-digit scorer. Longer scoring droughts plagued him both last year and now. While he continues to be helpful in buildup play, Ebobisse struggles to put chances away.

PHOTO: Getty Images

It’s hard to see where it gets better in terms of solutions. Benching him hurts the team, as the other options aren’t reliable. Perhaps the best solution is to continue to let him grow his relationship with López.


If the Quakes get the Ebobisse that terrifies defenders, the team may sneak into the playoffs.

However, if they don’t, Luchi’s side lacks the goals necessary to make that push.


2022 disappointed Quakes fans in an all too familiar way. As the Almeyda era crashed and burned, Ebobisse delivered hope to a fanbase sorely lacking it.

A moment in Saturday’s game illustrated his struggles since 2022. After Espinoza and López carved up Orlando’s backline, the ball fell to a rather open Ebobisse. With just enough time to get a shot off, Ebobisse fluffed the chance.

Looking at Ebobisse from a statistical perspective is fascinating. The numbers aren’t great, but not really for the reasons most would expect. 

Ebobisse’s ratio of shots to shots on target isn’t totally concerning, as he hovers around 50%. What’s more noticeable is the amount of shots he’s taken this season. Only 18 shots for a striker this far into a season explains the lack of production up top.

PHOTO: FotMob

Combine that with a shot map produced by FotMob, and the picture becomes clear. Only a small subset of shots taken are close to the goal. Too many are from outside the box or in areas of lower quality. 

This also explains why he is outperforming his expected goals. Due to the shots he takes, the expected goal amount is low, and he’s already surpassed it. To be fair to the striker, this seems to be the result of the lack of opportunities created for him at the start of the season.

Ebobisse’s game helps the team in more ways than just scoring. However, if this team aims to be in the playoffs, he needs to find form.

With the transfer deadline past, few options exist for the Quakes outside of Ebobisse. Especially with the form of López, it might be worth it to just have the striker play through this stretch.

Understandably, fans started calling for Ebobisse to be benched recently. Given his form as of late, it’s definitely warranted. Saturday’s game showed how desperate this team is for a real threat up top.

The Quakes’ options aren’t promising, however. Kikanović plays much better on the wing in that pseudo-Mandžukić role that he creates via his physicality. Judd started the season well but profiles as a backup striker at best.

While Pellegrino continues to look good, he’s much more effective on the wing than he could be as a striker. Pellegrino loves to cut in on his right foot and unleash shots on target; he’s not a poacher.

So many players look transformed because of López, Gruezo and Pellegrino chief among them, so wouldn’t it be fair to give Ebobisse more time with him? Luchi’s system relies on a number ten to open play for the rest of the team. This means that the striker must react to López and play off him.

PHOTO: Apple TV

Perhaps the solution is to have Ebobisse reduce his role and revert to being a pure poacher. After all, this is the role that saw him succeed under Covelo in 2022. By being forced to expand his role, his production in front of goal tanked and continues to hurt the team.

Now that the team has the number ten that they have missed for years, Ebobisse can reduce his role. With the team’s lack of options, this is the only way that the team can find ways to score.


Two years ago, the Quakes seemed to have found their next cornerstone in Ebobisse. While the striker still threatens backlines, the lack of production over stretches of time hurts the team’s success.
López’s arrival changed so much for this team, and he may be the only one who can help unlock Ebobisse’s potential.

PHOTO: San Jose Earthquakes

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