2013 Off-Season Discussion Thread

Discussion in 'San Jose Earthquakes' started by Via_Chicago, Nov 9, 2012.

  1. JazzyJ

    JazzyJ BigSoccer Supporter

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    In terms of goal scoring, I think Dawkins was one of the most productive attacking mid in the league, if not actually the most productive attacking mid in the league. The Quakes really need a guy who can attack on the ground, in traffic, and throw the defense off balance. That's what Dawkins gives you. Salinas and Chavez can attack 1v1 when there is space, but only Dawkins has the ability to do it centrally, in traffic.

    If they can't sign Dawkins with a reasonable contract, then they will need to look for an alternative for this kind of player. Otherwise, the Quakes will be too predictable - it will be all attack down the wing and cross in. Ideally it would be someone that they would feel comfortable with playing centrally - someone who also has a significant 2-way aspect to his game and plays good D. But easier said than done - there are very few players like that - a DeRo type.


  2. SJTillIDie

    SJTillIDie Member+

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    Nick DeLeon... :cry:
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  3. markmcf8

    markmcf8 Member+

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    What I notice most about Dawkins, is his tendency to keep the ball, rather than pass to the open man, run into traffic, and lose the ball. Granted, we need someone to do that from time to time, but my view is that we need a distributor, someone who gets a lot of assists.

    Someone like Graham Zussi maybe? Mauro Rosales? Martin Rivero? Nick DeLeon? And I mean someone in the mold of these guys, as opposed to actually trying to get one of these guys.

    GO QUAKES!!

    - Mark
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  4. JazzyJ

    JazzyJ BigSoccer Supporter

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    I think you want someone who is a threat to either pass or shoot, like DeRo, who typically racks up lots of goals and lots of assists. Brad Davis usually scores less, but this year he had 8 goals and 12 assists. Keane is another guy - as a withdrawn forward rather than a mid - a threat to pass or shoot.

    I think Dawkins can develop into someone who looks more for the pass. He is still only, what, 24 or 25? Remember the reputation of DeRo, when he was with the Quakes, before 2005 - a guy who dribbles around and tends to lose the ball? Dawkins could bloom into more of a DeRo kind of player. You can see it already when he is asked to play in the center. He is orchestrating the attacks down the middle of the field and doing a lot of distributing. Problem is that in these scenarios the Quakes are usually desperate for a goal and the opposition is packed in. Still he does a pretty good job in these situations.

    The other thing about Dawkins and losing the ball. There has to be guys making off the ball runs for him to distribute to, or it doesn't make any sense to try to distribute, and you might as well make something happen yourself. I just don't think the Quakes are good at this style of play yet - a level of maturity that will hopefully get better next year.
    Via_Chicago repped this.


  5. markmcf8

    markmcf8 Member+

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    JazzyJ, I've seen Dawkins dribble, rather than pass to an open player in the lane.

    Now you want some of that from your a-mid, to be sure. But I think that Dawkins needs to look for the pass more.

    When we first got Khari, I thought he was alright as an a-mid. Too slow to be sure, and not very two way because he doesn't have the speed to get up and down the field. But Khari looked for the pass and he shot from range too. Now if we could just find a younger, faster Khari, I'd be fine with that.

    I don't think Dawkins is going to develop into the sort of player that I want, but I'd love to be wrong on this. We could even play like this:

    - - - - Lionheart
    - - - - - - - - - - - Wondo
    Shea - Dawkins - Chavez
    - - - - - - Sam
    JM - - Ike - - Vic - - Beta
    - - - - - TheBusch

    The only drawback here is that Frank will think we're giving up too much defense. Me, I'd go for it.

    GO QUAKES!!

    - Mark
  6. JazzyJ

    JazzyJ BigSoccer Supporter

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    Khari will look for the pass or a long range shot but generally won't move the ball forward with his feet much. Moreno just looked for the long pass and rarely shot (he took 3 shots in about 6 full games worth of minutes). Even Geovanni was maddening in that he didn't attack much with the ball at his feet for some reason.

    We need an attacking mid who will actually attack!! I think it's the combination of running with the ball and creating movement and space, disrupting the defense a bit, and then passing or shooting that is most effective. Guys like DeRo, Brad Davis, and Keane all have that. I think Dawkins has the skills to do it - just needs more maturity and coaching to look for the pass as well as the shot.
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  7. OWN(yewu)ED

    OWN(yewu)ED Member+

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    heres a little somethin else i just dug up on Hustedt too, this is the scouting report on him. This is why we let em bake in the oven and abide by the 3 year rule folks. We could have our Khari replacement here and now

    Though he is nominally a defensive midfielder, Hustedt could find himself in a more advanced position as he transitions to MLS. He is not afraid to get forward and take shots, while the Earthquakes have said that the coaching staff was impressed by his ability to take on defenders one-on-one. While he probably won’t start right away, he could add depth to the roster and put some pressure on the Earthquakes midfield corps, which was not at its best in 2011.
  8. Earthshaker

    Earthshaker BigSoccer Supporter

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    I like the idea of giving Simon a shot at CAM, but, I think Frank might be afraid to try it. I don't think he ever played Giovanni in the middle in a 4-4-2, and was reluctant to do so with Moreno. To play someone like Simon in the middle we need more of a presence at d-mid then what Cronin has to offer. I think Sam has played well this year, but, that was with playing next to Baca, who we all know is not that adventurous going forward and pretty much did the same job as Sam, but, just did it slightly forward of him. We need Sam's composure and distribution in a body like Alexandre's.
    We will also need to have our outside midfielders track back a little more willingly to defend when playing a Simon type player in the middle. Not saying Seattle plays a Dawkins type player in the middle, but, in the game Sunday at LA, Seattle's RM, Martinez, could have prevented LA's first two goals if he had not lazily loafed back when LA was on the break. Dreadful defending on his part.
  9. JazzyJ

    JazzyJ BigSoccer Supporter

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    Yeah, it's the same old problem - how to get that attacking mid component w/o sacrificing too much defense, and Frank's apparent reluctance to play an attacking mid in the center. I don't know if the attacker has to come from the middle anyway. Dawkins attacking from the left and drifting centrally works fine, just seems like it would be better if he looked more for the pass instead of his tendency to always go for the high risk / high reward dribble through traffic.

    The other thing that would help would be for Baca to start to push forward more aggressively. He gets the ball, he does is spin / quick movement to hold possession, and then he typically releases the ball soon after. I'd like to see him turn and take the ball forward on the ground if there isn't a good forward pass available and there's some space to be had. Haven't seen him do that much yet.

    So I'm not sure that the Quakes need new players necessarily to get better at this. They've got young players - 24 / 25 years old who have just been starters in the league 1 or 2 years. They can develop into better attacking players. But new players / more competition / upgrades are probably necessary in order for the team to continue to compete at the level they are competing at. Have to expect that every team is going to get better.
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  10. Revolt

    Revolt Member

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    What a great season, but retooling is inevitable. First off, the wing play of the outside mids and defenders was simply terrific. We need to return these guys - especially Chavez. Corrales will be missed - he's smart and tough, but he's slow.

    In the middle and starting from the back, Bernardez is a rock - though prone to getting cards and doing stupid stuff. Need depth at centerback. I am not a Hernandez fan. Jason gives his all, and I like him as a sub, not as a starter. Opara has not progressed after his rookie season injury. I would definitely keep him, but he's a sub as well.

    In the midfield, I love, love, love Cronin. He is the perfect defensive midfielder for this league. Smart, tireless, always does the dirty work. I like Baca - but only in the center of the field. In fact, have liked the combo of Dawkins, Baca, Stephenson and Cronin in the middle. But if, as others have posted, Dawkins is gone (damn, that hurts), then another play making central midfielder will be needed. I would love to see more depth at this position, though the salary cap may be stretched as I expect a number of players will be receiving raises.

    What can we say at forward? IMO, the team was unstoppable when the big three were on the field together. Other teams could not stop the physicality of Bromance + the guile of Wondo. However, additional depth IS needed up top. One part of me wants another big bruiser type, another wants to go with the small, speedy guy. I'll just settle for another Wondo (LOL!).

    Speaking of Wondo, it will be a damn shame if he doesn't get a huge DP raise to at least $1,000,000 a year. He is easily the best player in the league, and certainly San Jose's most valuable player.
  11. markmcf8

    markmcf8 Member+

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    100% of Moreno's minutes were logged at a-mid. But, he didn't get a lot of minutes. That was mostly because Baca was playing so well at the start of the season and covering so much ground. Also, Moreno, good as he was, didn't have the pace to avoid being closed down by the opposition. MLS is a high pressure defense league. So players from other leagues some times don't work out well here because they have so little time on the ball before a defender is on them.

    You're right that Geo almost never played a-mid for us. I don't he played there at all, but he might have for a few minutes. That was a waste, and it shows that Frank is set in his ways when it comes to the center mids positions. Thus, Sam and Rafael fit his style and mind set.

    I can see two or three solutions to this situation, but I don't think Frank will go for any of these, well maybe . . .

    - - - - - - - strikers - - - -
    Shea - - Dawkins - - Chavez
    - - - - Baca - - - - - Croninja
    JM - - - - - - Vic - - - - - Beta

    Frank is not going to play a 3-5-2, but we have the personnel to pull it off.

    - - - - - - - strikers - - - -
    Dawkins - - Croninja - - - Chavez
    - - - - - - - - Jean-Marc
    JM - - - - - - Ike - - Vic - - - - - Beta

    This leaves Baca off the field, which some of you will dig, but it also leaves Dawkins at left mid, which is not ideal.

    - - - - - - - strikers - - - -
    Shea - - Dawkins - - Chavez
    - - - - - - Croninja
    JM - - - Ike - - - Vic - - - - - Beta

    Ike gives us enough speed on the backline that we can get away with Dawkins at a-mid. Simon is getting better about playing defense, and Ike's speed combined with Victor's organization (and JM and Beta's speed) should provide enough cover for us. Also, we're going to score goals by the bucket load with this lineup.

    Speaking of which, why did we revert to so much boot ball late in the season? I think it had to do with Baca running out of gas late, but also, I think it represented a tactical decision by Frank, which makes me unhappy.

    Shea and Chavez have both shown plenty of willingness to track back on defense. Not always effectively, but they make the effort. I think that Baca needs to eat his wheaties every morning and work on fitness a bit harder. Our team were very fit at the beginning of the season, and even late into the season we were still dominating teams by just running them into the ground. We're young, we're fast, and we're good. That's going to carry us a long ways in this league. We need a bit more killer instinct from our coaches though. (No, I'm not calling for anyone's head, but this playoff tournament failure is only partly on the players.)

    GO QUAKES!!

    - Mark
  12. QuakeAttack

    QuakeAttack Member

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    First of all, 2012 was probably my favorite Quakes season. This team was fun to watch, played hard, and had some exciting results. It's going to be hard to top this past season.
    For next season, we are going to be playing in CONCACAF Champions League and will require more depth. Additionally, MLS is a league where constant improvement is needed due to the parity. We can't sit back and try to make only slight adjustments to the team. We need to continue to improve depth, add speed at forward off the bench, and upgrade our central midfield.
    I have categorized the players below and graded them on their offense, defense, and overall contribution to the team (intangibles such as leadership, community service, etc.). In some cases, the sample size has bee too small to really make a determine (would have needed to see them practice throughout the season).

    2013 Starters
    Rafael Baca - I loved the intangibles that Baca brings to the team. Good on the ball and a great work rate. However, he trailed off at the end of the season and had a poor playoffs. This is a position that I would look at upgrading or getting more depth.
    Steven Beitashour - Solid offense season and improved on defense. Just needs more experience.
    Victor Bernardez - A leader who provided good distrbution from the back. Jeff Agoos of this team...
    Jon Busch - He had an average year. His strengths in 1v1 and leadership aren't needed with Bernardez and a solid defense. His weakness on set plays and balls in the air needs to be improved with this team. I would like to see him challenged next year.
    Sam Cronin - He became a consistent player this year and a leader on the field.Very good season.
    Simon Dawkins - His defense improved and provided a variable on offense that really helped the team. At the right cost, I would bring him back.
    Marvin Chavez - The biggest surpirse on the team. Great balls off of corners and he just scared defenses. Health over a long season is a concern.
    Alan Gordon - Air Gordan.Adds the target forward that Frankwas looking for...
    Steven Lenhart - The Disruptor! He needs to get a little more focused and consistent.
    Justin Morrow - Needs experience. He struggled with balls in the air and making decisions in the offense. Still, he will get better...
    Chris Wondolowski - Really?

    2013 Bench Players
    David Bingham - Would like to see him pressure for starting position
    Ramiro Corrales - Needs to retire, but at that right cost, would be fine off the bench.
    Sam Garza - Showed potential on tje wing. Need to stay healthy.
    Jason Hernandez - This is a position that I would like to see upgraded. He would provide good depth, but too many mental errors and lack of speed.
    Shea Salinas - Good start to the season, but wasn't the same after the injury.
    Jed Zayner - Solid backup.
    Jacob Hustedt - Give him another year.
    Evan Newton - Who?
    2013 Released or Traded
    Cesar Diaz Pizarro
    Joey Gjertsen -Not worth the money.
    Khari Stephenson - Good start to the season. Bad end to the season. Bye.
    Tim Ward- Hit the road Tim.
    Brad Ring- We can do better.
    Ike Opara - Trade bait? I just don't think he has the ball skills.
    2013 ?
    Jean-Marc Alexandre - Not enough playing time..
    Mehdi Ballouchy - Could be a solid sub. I would prefer to release him.
    Sercan Guvenisik - I liked him, but didn't produce...
  13. falvo

    falvo Member+

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    I've got kind of a sinking feeling with our Quakes eliminated and another all AEG MLS Cup final upon us.

    Really have no desire to watch the final.....
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  14. ColinMcCarthy

    ColinMcCarthy Member

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    Anybody know what the salary cap will be for the team next year? The team gets extra due to CCL qualifications.
  15. JazzyJ

    JazzyJ BigSoccer Supporter

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    I agree with most of your list, though I would want to keep both Ring and Ike. Ring is a tough d-mid who actually tackles, and played very well there in 2011 when he had a reasonable amount of playing time. And he is cheap. If Cronin were to go down, he would be the logical replacement unless there is a new player / upgrade. Ike had a good run later in the season when he finally had a chance to settle in and get a reasonable number of minutes with the 1st team.

    Don't really know what to make of Alexandre. A lot of us expected that he'd be the d-mid starter, but he barely got to see the field. He's very versatile but not known as a good passer, so I don't know if d-mid in the Quakes system is really the best place for him. He is intriguing as a forward because he's got some ball skills and he is a big body. Maybe give him a 4th / 5th forward spot? He scored a couple of goals for RSL in 2011. I can't see that he'd be a downgrade at that position from Sercan, and he is probably cheaper at this point.

    There is also Marcus Tracy, who at this point is sort of a wild card - don't know what to expect from him, can he get fit, etc.
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  16. falvo

    falvo Member+

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    Then there is the college draft and undrafted players (I.E. Baca), and/or any USL/NASL free agents who may become available...

    The way I see it is Ike & Ring have never really made the grade regardless of their many years of service. Ike will no longer be a GA player whose salary doesn't count against the cap so its either move into a starting position or off the team. I'm sure reserve team players can always be found somewhere....
  17. guamster

    guamster Member

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    The CBA calls for a 5% increase of the salary cap every year until 2014.

    The salary cap for 2012 was $2,810,000.

    Therefore the salary cap for 2013 should be $2,950,500.


    BTW, off of the twitter wire:

    Quakes sign Hernandez, Cronin to new contracts
  18. QuakeAttack

    QuakeAttack Member

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    I don't have necessarily have a problem with keeping Ike. I think that the he did show some improvement in his mental game and positioning prior to his concussion. Still, his weakness is with the ball at his feet and distribution (same as Jason). Similar to Jason, I'm not sure this will be resolved with experience.

    I forgot about Marcus. I guess that he could be the fourth forward for next year.
  19. OWN(yewu)ED

    OWN(yewu)ED Member+

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  20. SJTillIDie

    SJTillIDie Member+

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    USL free agents - we should sign that Matt Fondy kid who trialed in the San Luis friendly and cut Pizarro and Sercan. He showed better than both Pizarro and Sercan have for us. I believe he also has 3 goals and 3 assists for the LA Blues this season.

    Ring vs. JMA - Keep Ring and cut JMA no doubt. Having seen JMA he does not cover enough ground to be a midfielder. He is too slow for this level. Ring might not look as physically imposing but he is a much better destroyer than JMA... he covers WAY more ground, is very tenacious, gets stuck in well, clogs up passing lanes well, reads the game defensively much better than JMA, and wins way more balls than JMA. Also, JMA probably cut himself by injuring Gordon in practice right before the playoffs. That is not going to endear him to Yallop or Doyle. No reason to being doing risky tackles in practice right before the playoffs.

    Ike - We don't know for sure that he is graduating from GA yet. Even if he does graduate I still think he has too much raw talent to give up on... the injuries set him back and he showed improvement from the early season disasters and put in some solid shifts in August and September.
  21. falvo

    falvo Member+

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    Isn't the GA contract 3 years only? If that is the case, then he has just completed his last year ....Don't see how he will be paid $200k without a GA contract and I doubt he would settle for less considering he is use to making that. I mean would he take a $100-$150k pay cut? I'm not him but I really don't think he would.
  22. OWN(yewu)ED

    OWN(yewu)ED Member+

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    absolutely, i love the value Ring brings bang for the buck wise. reliable cheap depth. But i think someone mentioned he wanted to leave this season? if thats the case keep JMA. Also enter Hustedt. I keep emphasizing.....three year rule, any sport, abide by the three year rule. It is downright scary to think how close we were to dumping Morrow.......what a monumental error that would have been.
  23. SJTillIDie

    SJTillIDie Member+

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    GA deals vary... it all depends on when the player is "established" whatever that means... generally they graduate between 1 and 3 years. So yeah Ike will probably graduate even though he is not firmly established.

    However rookie contracts were 4 years back when Ike was drafted (they have since been changed to three I believe). So he has 1 year left on his deal.
  24. falvo

    falvo Member+

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    Therefore, this is GK David Bingham's last GA year.....
  25. Goodsport

    Goodsport Moderator Staff Member

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