After winning the elusive Supporters’ Shield and then crashing out of the MLS Cup playoffs earlier than anyone wished in 2012, the San Jose Earthquakes are now looking towards 2013.
Ramiro Corrales, current Quakes captain and the last MLS original from 1996 responded that his goal and aspiration is “First and most important, is for me to stay healthy throughout the season. I came back because I believe in the team, I believe we can bring the Cup back to San Jose.”
Shea Salinas the only draftee by the ‘new Quakes’ when they returned to the league in 2008 added: “As a team, I want to win the Supporters’ Shield, that is the first goal because without doing that you can’t go to the playoffs. And once we make the playoffs than I want to win the Cup. Definitely want to start off the same way we did last year with a bunch of wins. And personally, I just want to play as often and as well as possible. I don’t really have any personal goals as far as goals and assists or anything like that, I just want to be on the field and I want to perform well to give our team chances to win.”
Newly minted Designated Player and 2012 league MVP, Chris Wondolowski has the “MLS Cup as both a team and personal aspiration. I think that I’m going to do as much as I can to help the team and if it means playing in different positions, doing the little things then I’m all for that. We want to get as many wins as possible, I thought we did well last year but that was last year, this is a new team, a new season and we are planning on going out expressing ourselves as best as possible...”
Runner up for MLS 2012 Defender and Newcomer of the Year, Honduran national Victor Bernardez (through a translator) declared: “The most important goal or aspiration is to do better than last year. It is the goal for all of us as a group and that is what we’re focused on right from the start.”
New San Jose forward Mike Fucito came to the team after being traded from Seattle to Montreal (part of a trade that sent himself and Lamar Neagle to the Impact for Eddie Johnson) and then later in the year traded from the Impact to the Portland Timbers. His main goal is to “Just to kind of put myself back on the map. I think last year was, you know I had a lot of expectations going into last year based on how I kinda finished the previous year and it just didn’t pan out. And I think that this is sort of going to be a rebirth and a chance to put myself back on the map and make an impression and hopefully surprise a lot of people.”
Finally, midfielder Rafael Baca said: “Starting with the team, I think just to have a good season. I think that last year we left with a bittersweet taste after being eliminated but I feel our first goal is to make it into the playoffs, after that hopefully get into the final for MLS Cup and winning it. I think our fans deserve it, our club deserves it, we deserve it because we work so hard. And hopefully that happens. As a player, I hope I can contribute more to the team, just play my role right, keep on improving as a player and hopefully I can help my team get all the way to the MLS Cup.”
I know that all the Blue and Black faithful are hoping that all the Quakes’ dreams and more come true this year.