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Monday Kickback: Week 34

The season ended in a loss but Quakes fans won in 2019

MLS: San Jose Earthquakes at Portland Timbers Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

The San Jose Earthquakes season came to an end on Decision Day against Portland Timbers. Questions about how this team might look next season immediately started swirling around, but I think we need to take a moment and enjoy the positive turn that was the 2019 season.

Great Season, Amazing Turnaround

The Quakes 2019 season ended on Sunday in Portland, but it will not be quickly forgotten in San Jose. The turnaround orchestrated by Matias Almeyda was unprecedented and a joy to watch. For years Quakes fans have endured a team that didn’t have a defined style of play. Whether you were entertained by Almeyda’s unique man-marking style or were waiting for it to come crashing down, everyone knew what to expect from the Quakes.

MLS: LA Galaxy at San Jose Earthquakes Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The 13 wins the Quakes had this season is more than three times the total they had in 2018. They also gave up 16 fewer goals while more than doubling their point total from last year. There is no question that this season was a success if the Quakes would have found a way to sneak into the playoffs that would have just been a cherry on top.

No matter what happens in the offseason, in regards to personnel changes, this was a positive season for the team. Quakes fans should be proud of the effort and be excited about the future.

Shoutout to Staff at Avaya Stadium

Now that the Quakes have been eliminated from playoff contention, the reality of the offseason set in. No more soccer at Avaya until next year. As much as I am going to miss the players, there is a group I will miss almost as much. The people that run the concession stands. Sure the view from my seats overlooking San Jose International Airport with the Diablo Mountains in the background is always a beautiful sight to behold. It’s just not the same without a cold beer in hand.

That beer is usually poured by Linda in the Beer of the Worlds section at the western end of the stadium. I make sure to always stand in her line whenever she is pouring because not only do you get a cold, tasty beverage, you also get to enjoy a warm smile and a quick chat about the Quakes’ recent performance.

MLS: Portland Timbers at San Jose Earthquakes
Rick and his well-worn blue Earthquakes hat.
Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

If the Quakes are in an exceptionally dry spell, a stiffer drink is needed to digest the disappointment. For moments like those, I head over to LOBINA, where I can find Rick and his trademark blue Quakes hat. Whiskey and cola is usually the drink of choice, a simple drink that can take years to master even for the most meticulous bartender. Rick, however, has mastered the drink with one little trick. His secret is to add only the slightest dash of cola every third drink. A delicate and subtle move that helps those Quakes late-season collapses go down smoother.

Cheers to everyone that makes Avaya such a wonderful place to watch soccer. See you all next year.

The Kickback will Continue in the Offseason

The Quakes may be done with their 2019 season, but The Kickback will continue every Monday. The topics will be more generalized than the San Jose Earthquakes, but I will still be keeping my ear to the street, trying to figure out what is going to happen in 2020.

Thanks to anyone that has followed along this season, and I look forward to bringing you more stories next year.