With so much attention focused on the start of preseason, many have missed the quiet Quakes revolution happening right before our eyes.
In the past month, the Quakes signed 28-year-old Simon Dawkins to a DP contract, retained the rights of 24-year-old Leo Barrera via a loan to San Martin of Argentina, and secured 23-year-old Cordell Cato to a “multi-year contract”. In the past year, the Quakes have signed 26-year-old striker Innocent, 25-year-old forward Mark Sherrod, a stellar controlling midfield in 25-year-old Anibal Godoy, an up-and-coming star with 22-year-old Fatai Alashe, and invested in youngsters Marc Pelosi (21), Tommy Thompson (20), and Matheus Silva (19). The Quakes also have the rights to the 26-year-old David Bingham, who could play well into his mid-30s. All of these players have yet to hit their playing prime.
In other words, in less than a year the Quakes have quietly tilled the soil and harvested a new crop of players to carry the team into 2017 and beyond. I would expect to see seasoned veterans like Muma, Goodson, and even Wondo to have their minutes cut to make room for the players of the future like Sherrod, Silva, and Amarikwa. Not only does this rest older veterans for the playoffs, it also gives the next generation valuable experience to hit the ground running next year.
I am both excited and cautiously optimistic about the team this year. I feel that this is the perfect balance of youth and veterans to make a strong run which might carry through to seeing some silverware. Don’t be surprised if the Quakes come away with a U.S. Open Cup trophy, or even play for an MLS Cup this year.