It was a busy day in San Jose, as the Earthquakes and new head coach Mikael Stahre took to the training field together for the first time. With the MLS season opener less than six weeks away, nearly the entire roster was assembled for the start of preseason training camp.
The mood of the group, kicking the ball around in the shadow of Avaya Stadium, was jovial, as Stahre and his new coaches, assistant coach Alex de Crook and goalkeeper coach Jyri Nieminen, along with returning assistant coach Steve Ralston, guided the team through a series of light on-the-ball activities. Oh, yeah. There was also the dreaded “beep test” to run, with the winner no surprise, but the third place finisher a bit unexpected. (LINK)
Stahre, with so little time to rate the team as he gets prepared to face Minnesota United on March 3, will need to quickly implement a tactical set-up to the formation and starting line-up. The Swedish coach has been preparing the best he can since taking the job last November, but he remains flexible in what he plans to install. (LINK)
A day after his Twitter post caused quite the stir with his smooth moves at the LOBINA, Tommy Thompson did a little dance for NBC Bay Area sports reporter Colin Resch as he talked about the upcoming season. And Thompson reveals the career path he would have followed if the soccer thing hadn’t have worked out. (LINK)
One of the newcomers to the Earthquakes, midfielder Eric Calvillo, will be the second youngest player on the roster to open the 2018 season — younger, in fact, than all the rookie selections in last week’s MLS Super Draft. But despite his age, the Palmdale, California native already has plenty of professional experience, as the San Jose Mercury’s Martin Gallegos learned. (LINK)
The youngest player on the team, and the third youngest player in all of MLS, took to the pitch for the first time as a professional, and CBS SF Bay Area was there to welcome him. 16-year-old Jacob Akanyirige, a Homegrown signing out of the Quakes Academy, is more than excited to play first team soccer, but he will have a lot to prove to the San Jose coaching staff. So has does Akanyirige get to practice every morning? Let’s just say that he has his own personal driver. (LINK)
Slideshow time from NBC Sports Bay Area reporter Julio Lara, who breaks down the questions that Stahre will have to answer to start the season. Is the new gaffer the man with the plan? (LINK)
What did the start of preseason training camp look like from the inside? The digital team at the San Jose Earthquakes produced another excellent Quakes Axis video detailing just that. Bonus: general manager Jesse Fioranelli addresses the team for the first time this year, and his message is quite powerful. (LINK)
What stories from around the Quakes world captured your attention? We’d love to read them too. Please share your finds in the comments section below.