The San Jose Earthquakes had been off from playing for over two and a half months, with no plan in place to restart the MLS season from the coronavirus shutdown, when they received devastating news May 28: Assistant coach Benjamin Galindo had suffered a stroke in Guadalajara and was rushed into emergency surgery.
The 59-year-old joined head coach Matias Almeyda in San Jose in 2019, and with an impressive head coaching record of his own, including a Liga MX title with Santos Laguna, Galindo was a key member of the coaching staff for the Earthquakes.
On the bright side, the surgery appeared to be successful, and late last week he was sent home to recuperate, according to an update from the club.
Update on Benjamin Galindo: He has been released from intensive care and is recovering at home with his family. pic.twitter.com/epiS66bPcn— San Jose Earthquakes (@SJEarthquakes) June 19, 2020
During a conference call with reporters Thursday, Quakes defender Tommy Thompson explained what has made the Mexican manager special and how the team has processed the news of his stroke.
“I think he has a very calming presence and a very positive influence to where he’s speaking to everybody,” said Thompson. “No matter how old you are, no matter how young you are, whether you’re 18 years old or 34 years old, he treats you the same. And he has been there for us throughout the whole time last year and through the ups and the downs.
“So as a group we were heartbroken to hear that he is experiencing what he’s experiencing, but we’re hoping for the best and we’ve received positive news from what we’ve heard so far. So we’re just going to continue to hope for the best and hope that he can re-join our group as soon as possible.”
The Quakes are gearing up for their return to action, with the MLS is Back Tournament, slated to take place July 8-Aug. 11 in Orlando.
But with Galindo focusing on his health right now — and rightly so — San Jose general manager Jesse Fioranelli said in a separate call that the sudden news about Galindo was a tough blow to the club overall.
“What happened to Benjamin put a lot of things into perspective for us in our lives,” Fioranelli said. “It is probably the most disturbing and challenging situation that we have had to face throughout this three-month period. We’re really close to Benjamin. He means so much to our team, to the club and we stay close to the Galindo family in daily contact to see how he’s progressing. We understand that what he suffered is going to take some time and we have to have patience.
“All we can do is hope for a full recovery and stand by Benjamin and the Galindo family.”
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