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The best of Center Line Soccer in 2020

Some highlights in a deeply weird year.

MLS: San Jose Earthquakes at Sporting Kansas City Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

It was a strange old year, 2020, and like most of you I’m ready to move on.

But it was a pretty interesting year for the San Jose Earthquakes. Some highs, some lows, and in the end some memories to keep us engaged before a new day dawns. Which is hopefully right around the corner.

Before we enter 2021, let’s take a look back at some of the highlights over here on Center Line Soccer, because who doesn’t love looking back?

  • Mar. 18: Let’s watch some old Earthquakes commercials. The shutdown was already in effect, but I found a handful of old Quakes commercials on YouTube, and boy was it a trip down memory lane.
  • Apr. 6: The Royal Treatment: How San Jose embraced its MLS team in 1996. Spoke to Eric Wynalda and Jeff Agoos about the first-ever MLS game, which featured the San Jose Clash. Wynalda had great insight on how the community came to embrace the team.
  • Apr. 9: First MLS coach Laurie Calloway ran a tight ship. More from Wynalda, on his unhealthy relationship with the Clash head coach.
  • Apr. 13: The best that never won: 2010 Earthquakes. We did several theme weeks during the shutdown here at SB Nation, and this one was maybe a little galaxy brain but think the explanation here is sound.
  • May 14: Fioranelli on girls academy shutdown. One of the stories that may have gone under the radar this year is how the elite youth soccer landscape completely fractured. That included the Earthquakes shutting down their already well-regarded girls academy. the Quakes GM spoke about that decision.
  • May 18: 2012 Quakes were best underdog story in MLS history. In thinking about the elusive combo of successful underdogs, there was just one choice.
  • July 15: Almeyda’s tactical gamble works in epic win. What kicked off the comeback win in Orlando over the Vancouver Whitecaps? A line change of four subs seemed to unlock the winning spirit in what seemed like a hopeless cause.
  • Aug. 27: Wondo talks player strike. The press conference Chris Wondolowski held after the Earthquakes went on strike for a night to protest racial injustice was absolutely remarkable, an incredible moment and honestly a highlight of my season. Here, he talks about why they did it.
  • Aug. 27: Wondo critical of RSL owner. Part of the aforementioned press conference was Wondo speaking out forcefully to condemn disgraced Real Salt Lake owner Dell Loy Hansen, who turned out to have many racist and sexist skeletons in his closet.
  • Sept. 25: Is it time for Vega to step aside as GK? Look, it wasn’t rocket science that the Earthquakes probably needed to try something new in goal, but days after I wrote this, JT Marcinkowski took over as the starter and the Quakes turned their season around.
  • Oct. 9: Is Almeyda superstitious? My favorite quote of the season came from Matias Almeyda practically spitting when asked if he was wearing purple for good luck. Then he proceeded to wear purple the rest of the season, haha, it was incredible.
  • Nov. 25: The time Almeyda surprised Maradona. After Diego Maradona died, this video circulated of Almeyda surprising his compatriot and it’s honestly one of the most touching moments I’ve ever seen on a TV talk show.

Thanks once again for reading this year! We’ve got big plans for 2021, and hopefully they can happen and we can have a better year ahead.

What do you think? Leave a comment below.