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Wednesday links: The Earthquakes player who raced* a horse!

Plus, interesting info on the development set-up and other news.

MLS: Philadelphia Union at San Jose Earthquakes Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Preseason is right around the corner for the San Jose Earthquakes, and the antsy feeling is palpable. In many ways, this is the hardest part of the season, with news trickling out, but no games played and no training yet.

In baseball we’re hitting what would be called “spring fever” but that doesn’t make any sense this time of year, does it? What should we call this feeling of anticipation before it all kicks off? Soccer fever doesn’t quite sound right, to be honest.

Here’s some of the notable news for this Wednesday:

  • Fioranelli talks development and academy: The must-read for Quakes fans has to be this very deep dive on Quakes Epicenter by Jamon Moore, in which he recaps a recent chat with Quakes GM Jesse Fioranelli about all things academy, development, homegrown players and more. Among the many revelations in the story: Why the club opted for the homegrown signings this offseason, facility talk, and Fioranelli’s pride of the girls side of the Quakes academy, which has also been producing talent.
  • Paul Marie races a horse*: There are many ways to train in the offseason, and some athletes have to get creative. Earthquakes defender Paul Marie trained alongside a horse, according to the team’s social media:
  • OK, it’s not quite accurate to say Marie “raced” a horse, the animal and player alike going out for a leisurely jog, really. But still, don’t see that every day!
  • CBA negotiations update: Yahoo’s Doug McIntyre got an update on the situation, from Montreal Impact goalkeeper Evan Bush, who is his team’s MLSPA team representative. The gist is that Bush is optimistic, but the players are gearing up just in case they need to do a work stoppage, with their deadline remaining Feb. 29. You will recall the Earthquakes are scheduled to open up their season that day, at home against Toronto FC.
  • Silva signs with Hartford: Former Earthquake alert, as Matheus Silva was announced as a new signing for USL Championship side Hartford Athletic. Silva has bounced around, but spent 2019 in Florida, with Orlando City B and Miami FC. Good to see the 23-year-old back in action after his near-drowning back in 2017.
  • The story behind that Zlatan statue: One imagines some folks in San Jose have felt some measure of glee over the perpetual vandalism of Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s new statue in his native Sweden. For more information on why it’s happening and what it means over there to locals, this deep-dive profile in The Athletic is a very good read.

Today’s question: What part of the development story was most interesting? A lot of good tidbits in that, would be curious to hear what you found most interesting. Leave a comment below!