The San Jose Earthquakes announced their offseason roster decisions Friday, typically the first step in building the roster ahead of the next season, although San Jose have already announced contract extensions for three players.
Notably, the Earthquakes have declined contract options on Vako, Guram Kashia and Luis Felipe, and Danny Hoesen is out of contract and isn’t negotiating with the club for a new one. That means those four are out the door, notable because Vako, Kashia and Hoesen were all either Designated Players or counted on to be starters before falling out of favor with Matias Almeyda.
San Jose have meanwhile picked up contract options on JT Marcinkowski, Daniel Vega, Jacob Akanyirige and Jack Skahan.
Oswaldo Alanís is on a two-year loan from Chivas de Guadalajara and the Liga MX outfit did not recall him by the deadline, so the second year has kicked in.
Chris Wondolowski and Matt Bersano are also out of contract but the club is negotiating with Wondo and have extended an offer to Bersano.
Tommy Thompson, Shea Salinas and Paul Marie have all been signed to new contracts this week.
The remaining players under contract are Emi Ochoa, Tanner Beason, Florian Jungwirth, Nick Lima, Marcos Lopez, Casey Walls, Eric Calvillo, Cristian Espinoza, Carlos Fierro, Gilbert Fuentes, Siad Haji, Judson, Jackson Yueill, Cade Cowell and Andy Rios.
So, that means 23 players are under contract for 2021 at this stage, with Wondo and Bersano bumping it up to 25 if they re-sign. That probably feels pretty high, and for a team looking to retool, it may be, but it’s worth noting most teams in MLS have retained most of their players, unusually. For the sake of comparison, the LA Galaxy have 18 players under contract but could bring back as many as 26 players ultimately, while LAFC have 20 players under contract but could also bring back some more.
The big difference is that the Earthquakes should have the room to bring in three to four starting-caliber players, if you count the midseason departure of Magnus Eriksson. Imagine this group but with three or four more starters to help raise the squad’s quality and hopefully help the Quakes push on to become contenders in MLS. There’s no guarantee, but we knew the Georgians and Hoesen were not in the club’s plans, and Luis Felipe never really got a regular run of games and so his departure is not a surprise, either. If the Quakes can spend enough and as importantly, spend well, then there’s real reason to be optimistic about what can happen in 2021 and beyond. We’ll keep you posted on more news and rumors on this front as we find them out.
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