The Quakes are in dire straits and probably won’t make the playoffs.
We got injury problems. Jordan Stewart is out for the year. MPG is playing injured. Innocent is not match-fit. We need those three players to make a playoff push.
We got production problems. The Quakes are 19th in goals scored (24), behind Chicago Fire (27), Real Salt Lake (27), and Portland Timbers (26). Despite Quincy’s four goals in six games production as the new #9 forward, our stats are worse with him playing up top. Before Wondo’s move to mid in April, the Quakes averaged 1.2 goals/game (Wondo had three goals in six games). After the move, the Quakes are averaging 0.94 goals per game. With Amarikwa at the #9, the Quakes currently average 0.83 goals/game. Wondo has just three shots on goal in four games, zero goals, zero assists. Amarikwa’s arrival has caused the Quakes to be statistically worse despite his production.
Our defense is stumbling. Including Friday’s shut-out win, the Quakes have allowed an average of 1.86 goals per game since the beginning of July. And now we have to play without Stewart, which means we’ll have to rely on Cato and Francis.
We got a tough finishing schedule despite finishing seven of 11 games league games at home. We have two road games this week, one against the team with the highest points-per-game average in the league (Sporting KC, recently named the “best” team in MLS for now) and one against the overall first-place team in the league (D.C. United). We also have to play a hot-as-hell and currently-in-first-place L.A. Galaxy, second place Vancouver, FC Dallas, and a second game against Sporting Kansas City. Seattle is back in playoff form with the return of Obafemi Martins and their 4-0 slaughter of Orlando City (the Quakes have yet to score four in a game all season) and will be looking for revenge.
If/when we don’t make the playoffs, we have to fire John Doyle. It will be John Doyle’s sixth time to fail to make the playoffs in eight years as GM, which is no small feat considering OVER HALF of MLS teams make the playoffs each year. Doyle has failed to retain quality players, most notably Alan Gordon, Steven Beitashour, and Justin Morrow. Doyle has also made very poor signings that have come home to roost: Lenhart and Pierazzi are eating up cap space with zero production. Doyle also brought in busts Geovanni, Sam Garza, Yannick Djalo (sorry, I know there are some Djalo lovers out there), and more. But perhaps most notably, Doyle has failed to bring in the “game changing” player that Quakes fans have been seeking, opting instead to roll the dice with international players that rarely pan out.
With the hiring of Leitch as Technical Director, I think the writing may be on the wall. With another abysmal season coming to a close, it should be chiseled in stone: Doyle needs to be replaced. If anything, it gives season ticket holders a reason to renew and hope next year can be the turn-around year this year was supposed to be.