Grading The Quakes Offseason Moves (7 Games In, Part 1)
After a last place finish in the West, the Quakes had a lot to do this offseason. They changed the team a lot, dumping veterans Jon Busch, Jason Hernandez, and Atiba Harris, making room for young players like Cordell Cato, Innocent Emeghara, Fatai Alashe, and Leandro Barrera. How have the moves faired 7 games into the season?
Jon Busch: A-
The Quakes did not re-sign Busch, which puzzled a lot of people. However, the move has worked out well for the Quakes. Apart from a small blunder at the end of the first game against Dallas, Bingham has been virtually perfect. Despite struggles and inconsistencies across the board in other positions for the team, Bingham has been very consistent. Bingham is second in the league in saves, with 26 tallied this year through 7 games. He has allowed 9 goals this year, but may of the shots he has faced would be un-savable for anyone. Meanwhile, in Chicago, Jon Busch was reunited with his old team and Frank Yallop. He will likely serve as a good backup and mentor to Sean Johnson, while getting a solid paycheck at the same time. Busch’s departure saved the Quakes a good amount of money, and also allowed for the emergence of young goalkeeper David Bingham.
Jason Hernandez: A-
With a healthy Clarence Goodson and Victor Bernardez along with the acquisition of Paulo Renato, the Quakes did not need to waste any more cap space on a veteran CB. Hernandez was not only a fan favorite, but he had also been with the team since the Quakes moved back to San Jose in 2008, and wore the captain’s armband for several games. It was time for Hernandez to move on though – and he will surely be happy to be playing in his home state for New York City FC.
Sam Cronin: A+
Cronin, another veteran who had been instrumental in the Quakes 2012 season, had a very lackluster 2014 contest that had many fans scratching their heads. Cronin was traded to the Colorado Rapids in exchange for allocation funds. This was another solid move for the Quakes, because it relieved a lot of cap space, and it made way for young central midfielders JJ Koval and Fatai Alashe. Koval and Alashe have shown a lot of promise this year, and look like the midfield duo of the future for the team.
Atiba Harris: A++
Harris was definitely not a fan favorite with Quakes fans. Under Mark Watson, Harris got more minutes than young potential players like JJ Koval, Cordell Cato, and Tommy Thompson – which upset many. Harris was a turnover machine up front, and did virtually nothing for the team. Quakes fans are probably ecstatic not to see him in the black and blue this year.
Yannick Djalo: A+
Djalo, the injury prone Portugese forward, came on loan to the Quakes in 2014 from Sporting. GM John Doyle was likely looking to recreate the magic of the Simon Dawkins loan in 2012, but Djalo definitely fell short of expectations. He was very good in the games that he did play, but he just couldn’t stay on the field. It is good that the Quakes front office made room for Tommy Thompson and other young players instead of relying on inconsistent loan players like Djalo.
The remaining moves (Billy Schuler, Billy Knusten, Andreas Gorlitz, and Tommy Muller) did not have much of an effect on the team, seeing as they never really saw any minutes in 2014.
So overall, a great offseason for the Quakes, especially as far as getting rid of players. But how did they fare in adding good players? I’ve got a feeling it isn’t nearly as good. Stay tuned for the second part of the article.