Thursday, February 13, 2014

San Jose Earthquakes

San Jose was one of the better MLS teams back in the early 2010s. With the new stadium that opened in 2015, the Quakes were continuing to add to the deep history of the team. After another 2 playoff runs in, the team of the early 2010s started to be dismantled, whether it was due to age or trades. After that, the team went in a slump. For 6 years, the team missed the playoffs. Their youth stars would come up and move on because San Jose was considered a lost cause. The fans were showing up, but they were disgruntled. But in 2023, the team made some smart moves.

They brought in a former MLS American coach that had been coaching in League One in the UK before getting axed by new management. They gave him the heavy task of turning the team around. He brought over a striker from his English side, two defenders from the MLS, and a Japanese national team midfielder that had been playing in Australia. They also rebranded back to a mix of their old logo. The curse may have been broken, because the team made a run to the playoffs and snuck in on the last game. Now they were cooking with fire. With the announcement of the promotion/relegation system, they knew that they needed to improve the team on all aspects. The new coach retained a whole class of youth players, and stole a player from Los Angeles that they weren’t wanting to give his desired contract to. They brought in a player from the Panama national team to help in defense. The team had a great starting XI, but weren’t very deep. They made a move to bring up a NASL player from Sacramento that had scored 14 goals the previous season. The 2024 team made a deep run to the playoffs before being knocked out. The community had soccer fever, HP signed a sponsorship deal, and they were selling out every home game. This wasn’t good enough for the Quakes. They retooled their offense and got runner up in the MLS after losing to Philadelphia in the finals. That year they opened up a deal with San Francisco SC as a place for their youth to gain some experience. Fast forward to the 2027 season, and the MLS writers were writing off San Jose, considering them mid-table and nor going to make the playoffs. The manager took that personal. They brought up a goalkeeper from their youth system the previous year and he earned the starting spot when the previous starter retired. This was the final piece they needed. Their team had 7 starters that were from their academy, the Earthquakes probably had the deepest team in the last 10 years. The team finished 2nd in the league, surprising everyone that wasn’t the Earthquakes. The team carried them to a championship over Philadelphia, who had bested them two years before. San Jose has built a deep team, but is declining in strength since the championship. A few players have left to the MLS or Europe. They should finish in the top half of the MLS, but anything is possible.

I waited to see what the rebrand would look like, and I just hate it. The old logo was better, but I wanted to change a few things. I replaced the clip art looking soccer ball with the default one of this project. The shape was way better so that stayed. I did shockwaves on the crest that get smaller the farther away from the ball it is. The blue/black/blue look is back on the home, and the clash is a black version of the home. I wanted to focus on blue and black, but kept red as an accent color.

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