In a season of lows, Friday’s game signals what might be hitting rock bottom. After a stretch of good play, old demons return to drag this team down.
While the loss to Portland may have broken this team, it feels like the foundations of this side are coming apart.

For most of the game, the Quakes kept up with NYCFC and threatened them at times. The total collapse at the end of the game shows just how broken this team is.

With May over, the summer window provides fans with the hope of change. From the manager to the captain, certain aspects of this team desperately need addressing. Friday’s terrible performance is nothing new, but the cracks have bubbled to the top, and the season may be unfixable. 

PHOTO: San Jose Earthquakes

If some see July as a potential fix, the summer window of 2022 serves as an example of what is possible. After Almeyda’s sacking, Leitch used the window to prep the team for the following season. Essentially, this comes down to punting on the season with the hope that 2025 will be different.


At a certain point, is it fair to both fans and players alike to keep this cycle of pain going?

Change could help, but what will actually lead to success?


The embarrassing finish to the game showed who this team really is. A broken squad with a manager’s system failing.

Despite the excitement over his appointment, concerns over Luchi always existed. Yes, he succeeded in developing younger players, but he struggled to translate that success into MLS results. Unfortunately for the manager, the team’s play continues to be below league average, and no player has developed well.

Until May of last year, the Quakes played exciting soccer that saw the team hover around the top three in the West. Once the league figured out Luchi’s system, which really meant forcing the midfield to create, the manager had no answer. It’s been a year since, and Luchi’s system lacks any sort of transformation to surprise opponents.

Even with López being the perfect player for the system, Luchi’s style is broken beyond repair. There’s still so much talent in this squad that you can imagine this team succeeding.

Friday’s lineup saw both Akapo and Costa out with suspensions, and the lack of depth really came out. Beason, a natural center-back, was forced to play as an attacking fullback while Marie, once more, needed to play a larger role. Especially once Wilson exited, the team’s barebone bench needed to step up, but played at a USL level. 

When fully healthy, the forward and back lines can compete with any side in the league, but the midfield drags this team down. Gruezo continues to underperform as a DP, and Tsakiris may be too young and inexperienced to be the answer in the middle. Perhaps the most disappointing player is Yueill, whose play makes him a total negative, and you can’t have that as a captain.

To fans watching that game, nothing was new. The demons who appeared during this game were those who continue to haunt this team for over a decade now.


It may be strange to say, but this current situation is something that fans are accustomed to.

In fact, the summer of 2022 feels awfully familiar to this one.


Once Almeyda left the club, Leitch used the team’s rock-bottom position to prepare for the following year. A new program needed to be built from the ground up, which meant a new manager and players who fit the club and manager’s vision.

Some key players arrived during that summer, with Akapo and Rodrigues headlining. Even with those players arriving, the managerial search dragged through the whole season. It felt that Leitch understood the severity of the moment and aimed to find the perfect person to be at the helm.

With MLS growing at an exponential rate, the Quakes remain at risk of being a remnant of the older league, one that saw teams treated as side projects in a league with little potential.

PHOTO: San Jose Earthquakes

There is still an argument to keep Luchi on, but at this point, a break feels necessary for both sides. No solution for his broken tactics is on its way, as the players continue to feel lost and opponents take advantage. Covelo offers the team a cheap alternative whose system saw this team play some of the best soccer in years.

The addition of López made this team almost complete, but the Yueill position remains a thorn in the side. Yueill’s performances lag behind those of his teammates, and the team needs a more dynamic playmaker to play with López. Depth can always be addressed in the winter window, but with the team so far behind, hitting on another starting midfielder is more important.


As the season continues to march on, the Quakes are in danger of sabotaging next season as well.

At a certain point, the team needs to make a decision, or they will be forced to do so with precious time wasted. 


July is slowly approaching, and it’s probably a safe bet to assume that this team will stand pat. It’s such a shame that this team oozes talent in its starting lineup, and a winner exists.
With another season wasted, the cycle of pain needs to be broken at a certain point, or the team will become a relic of an older MLS.

PHOTO: San Jose Earthquakes

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