San Jose Earthquakes Academy is on its way!

Discussion in 'San Jose Earthquakes' started by SCQuakes408, Mar 4, 2010.

  1. jeff_adams

    jeff_adams Member+

    Dec 16, 1999
    Monterey, Ca
    County planning meeting just concluded. Go to last 16 minutes to hear them talk about academy proposal.



    Not much news, but I do like the fact that Vice Chairman Chavez wants the Fairgrounds Management to speed up the process to get the agreement in writing and get construction moving. This looks very positive so far.
     
    Beckham7 repped this.
  2. jeff_adams

    jeff_adams Member+

    Dec 16, 1999
    Monterey, Ca
    Assuming that Chris Leitch gets the GM job, I would really like them to pursue hiring Luchi Gonzalez to run the youth academy. He was very involved in building the Dallas FC academy into one of the best in the country and he has great contacts to help SJ players get training with European teams. If the Quakes really do aspire to sell their youth players, they need a guy like Luchi to chart that path.

    I have heard of several players at the oldest end of the academy that have left or are about to leave because of coach Alex Covelo. He has stagnated the team and players are not interested in wasting their time going to his practices anymore. If the Quakes don't replace him soon, they will have to deal with losing most of their best players at the U23 level. Covelo needs to go and Gonzalez should come in to coach that team.

    Luchi was also a first round draft choice of SJ and played for a few years here. He knows this area.
     
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  3. run_it_out

    run_it_out Member

    Earthquakes
    United States
    Jun 19, 2018
    The exact same thought went through my head. After all the FC Dallas academy success, I would imagine that competition for his services would be high.

    My two main questions are first whether he would want to go back to running and academy after three years of head coaching? He was already moving in that direction because he was going to be the USL coach for the FCD affiliate before Oscar Pareja's departure opened up the head coach slot.

    Second, and maybe more importantly, why would he want to come here? Maybe one day we will have the level of investment for a good academy, but that seems quite a ways off and we haven't really shown much of a commitment to invest in much of anything. We really don't have the infrastructure at the moment. It's incredible to hear about the infrastructure at FCD, and I would think he would want to go some place more set up for immediate success.
     
  4. jeff_adams

    jeff_adams Member+

    Dec 16, 1999
    Monterey, Ca
    It looks like the Quakes are on the cusp of getting the site to build their training grounds at the Fairgrounds. I think it would be very advantageous to have Luchi's input into the design of the facility. He probably has some terrific ideas on how to make it work best. I have to believe that Fisher is greedy enough to want the kind of millions that Dallas is getting from their homegrown player transfers. Pay Luchi the big bucks to make San Jose into one of the best academies in America. Fisher splashed the cash to hire Almeyda. I think he could afford to lure Gonzalez back to San Jose.
     
  5. bsman

    bsman Member+

    May 30, 2001
    Santa Clara
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Earthquakes Soccer LLC have demonstrated (as highlighted by the design of PayPal Park) very little interest in soliciting or listening to anybody's opinions. Remember - these are baseball guys who know it all...
     
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  6. jeff_adams

    jeff_adams Member+

    Dec 16, 1999
    Monterey, Ca
    In cases like this you appeal to their greedy side (look at all the returns on your investment if you do this right)
     
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  7. run_it_out

    run_it_out Member

    Earthquakes
    United States
    Jun 19, 2018
    Jeff, the problem is that the ownership doesn't believe in Bay Area soccer. Fox doesn't have faith that there will be a return on investment, either in the fanbase or in player development. In the short run, he might be right. My opinion is that the area is a sleeping giant, and that it needs someone with vision to awaken it. Unfortunately, I doubt Fox cares about such opinions.
     
  8. JazzyJ

    JazzyJ BigSoccer Supporter

    Jun 25, 2003
    Fox? Who's Fox? Ex-Quakes President Tom Fox?
     
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  9. Quakes05

    Quakes05 Member+

    Oct 1, 2005
    birthplace of MLS
    I don't think Fisher does either. I agree there's lots of upside potential here but Quakes desperately need a winning season, at least a deep playoff run, to generate some excitement and buzz around town. Quakes fans have had to be very patient since 2008 and for all it's intrigue, '21 looks like it too will end poorly.
     
  10. Quakes05

    Quakes05 Member+

    Oct 1, 2005
    birthplace of MLS
    :ROFLMAO:

    I'm sure s/he meant JF.
     
  11. JazzyJ

    JazzyJ BigSoccer Supporter

    Jun 25, 2003
    OK, Fish, and not Fox?
     
  12. Quakes05

    Quakes05 Member+

    Oct 1, 2005
    birthplace of MLS
    I expect so.
     
  13. Scott Rohde

    Scott Rohde Member+

    San Jose Earthquakes
    United States
    Jul 28, 2018
    But JF was just recently fired?
     
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  14. JazzyJ

    JazzyJ BigSoccer Supporter

    Jun 25, 2003
    What's the Fabulous Tom Fox up to these days? He's president of FaZe Clan, a gaming company known for first person shooter games like Call of Duty and others. From chief executive of Aston Villa to Quakes pres to president of 1st person shooter games company, he's on quite a career trajectory - of sorts. I guess he could be a Park City, UT ski bum for only so long with his Quakes cache before he had to pay the bills again.
     
  15. run_it_out

    run_it_out Member

    Earthquakes
    United States
    Jun 19, 2018
    Yes, I meant Fisher. :) I've complained about him so often you'd think I wouldn't make that mistake.
     
  16. jeff_adams

    jeff_adams Member+

    Dec 16, 1999
    Monterey, Ca
    From a fan's perspective I agree with you, but I believe Fisher is in this for the monetary return and not the glory of owning a winning team.

    While there are many ways to maximize profit, attendance is often the one talked about as being the most important. There are other ways to make money though. Selling developed youth players is becoming more and more profitable.

    FC Dallas is the shining example, but Philadelphia and NY Red Bulls are also doing some good business too. I don't know what the profit margins are for them, but unlike most MLS revenue sharing activities, it seems the sale of youth players can go directly into the pockets of the individual owners.

    Here is the kicker. Compare the average attendance of the teams I mentioned with the lowly Quakes.

    https://soccerstadiumdigest.com/2021-mls-attendance/
     
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  17. Beckham7

    Beckham7 Member+

    Jul 10, 2001
    Northern, California
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
  18. JazzyJ

    JazzyJ BigSoccer Supporter

    Jun 25, 2003
    I think you're on the money here, so to speak. If Fish is in it for the money, the development route is probably the way to go for ROI. There's the conventional forum wisdom that if we'd just become a better team, we'd suddenly have rafts of people clamoring to come to the games. History of this team has not really born this out (i.e. 2001-2003, 2012-2013, etc.). It would be better, but I think only incrementally. Let's say that Fish spends an extra $10 million and we acquire 2 elite DP's and finish in top 3 or 4. I think attendance would probably increase in the 20-30% range. That's not a good ROI, and probably a significant loss, and then you need to try to sustain that and possibly incur more losses.

    At this point, after 25 years, the perception of the team in the market is pretty much baked in, and it would take some kind of huge "bloody big deal" to try to move it, and that would be a big money loser, at least in the short term if not in a year after year recurring way. We had a chance to reset the perception of the team in the market when the stadium opened, and we blew it. Our big signing was.....Innocent.

    So what if Fish put that $10 million or even $5 million extra per year into the development program instead. We'd get more cheap young talent and possibly move up the standings anyway and reap the additional incremental $ for that, + the ROI for player sales, which could take good chunks out of those investments.

    FTR, this is the strategy that Jesse outlined at one point - we're going to become a "selling team". But you need the $ commitment to make it happen.
     
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  19. Quakes05

    Quakes05 Member+

    Oct 1, 2005
    birthplace of MLS


    Fans are well and truly screwed when the owner is purely in it for ROI, as we know. All he has to do is sit back, invest minimally in players and staff and watch his profits soar based on the overall valuation of the franchise.

    I’m thankful for Matias and the stadium, glad we have a 12% chance of making the playoffs this year, but I’m kind of resigned to mediocre Fishball for all eternity so any bright spot (see: Chofis) is cause for celebration.

    I would be more excited about being profitable in other ways if I thought that profit would be reinvested in building a better first team.

    Hopefully this training facility gets built, that would surely be a big step towards making SJ more attractive to youngsters. A winning culture would help a lot too.
     
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  20. Quakes05

    Quakes05 Member+

    Oct 1, 2005
    birthplace of MLS
    if? :confused:

    20-30% is significant! but it's all magic and ponies. we will never know.

    in fairness, 2001 through 2003 games were pretty well attended despite the specter of uncertainty and relocation rumors continuously swirling around. Mid-week games would dip down to 7-8k.

    and post 2012, I recall games at Buck Shaw being packed. Most nights at Buck Shaw the place was rocking.

    Quakes could do a whole lot better selling tickets at PPP with a little imagination and a few top 4 finishes.

    yes indeed, this was the single best shot at changing the culture and the Quakes completely bombed.
     
  21. JazzyJ

    JazzyJ BigSoccer Supporter

    Jun 25, 2003
    #2296 JazzyJ, Sep 22, 2021
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2021
    2004, after the Quakes historic championship run and 2 unbelievable home playoff games in a row, was mediocre in terms of attendance. I remember the horrors - the 1st game of the 2004 season - almost nobody there - maybe 6k. We just didn’t get any kind of bounce. Unconscionable. Buck Shaw has like 8k seats. It was not hard to make it look full.

    20-30% increase in attendance against $10-20 mil spent is not good business. We can whine about how our owner wants to do good business or we can imagine what’s the best strategy for ROI that might *also* result in a better team year over year. I think the development strategy is the best shot we have. We’re not going to do a Tim (I’m a macho man because I can spend a whole bunch of someone else’s money) Lieweekly “Bloody Big Deal” thing and spend an additional $20-30 million on players all of a sudden.
     
  22. Quakes05

    Quakes05 Member+

    Oct 1, 2005
    birthplace of MLS
    #2297 Quakes05, Sep 22, 2021
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2021
    sounds like a youth development strategy as an overall strategy for improving the first team is backwards thinking. Instead, Quakes should be focused on building a successful first team which then improves the likelihood of building a successful academy. The Quakes also need to make the case for why a state of the art academy is important to the growth of the Quakes. Is the goal to have academy kids get first team playing time and help the club to win titles? will any profit from the academy program be reinvested? hard to get excited about a development program without assurances from the FO on these things.
     
  23. Quakes05

    Quakes05 Member+

    Oct 1, 2005
    birthplace of MLS
    Buck Shaw was 10k and it was typically full.

    I don't remember 2004 that way but I don't doubt that the numbers were low. Like I said, the specter of relocation, crap media coverage, might've been factors too.

    with the right marketing, some exciting signings, a deep playoff run or two, the Quakes could pack PPP on a regular basis. Maybe not weeknights, but weekends. The Bay Area is loaded with soccer fans. We've seen plenty of huge crowds (the Classico games, when Beckham came to town, etc)...the Quakes would need to convince regional soccer fans that they're for real but I think its doable, but there is an element of winning fans back after being so poor for soooo long. But Bay Area fans aren't any different from fans to the north and south of us (the bigger markets like ours where attendance numbers far outpace our own), except maybe more diverse with soccer fans from literally over the world. I absolutely believe that if Fisher ever decides the build a contender, the fans will come.
     
  24. JazzyJ

    JazzyJ BigSoccer Supporter

    Jun 25, 2003
    #2299 JazzyJ, Sep 22, 2021
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2021
    10k :ROFLMAO:

    Soccer in SJ is a harder nut to crack than you might think. It’s not nearly so simple, as years like 2004 and 2013 showed. After 25 years the team has an embedded impression in the market. It’s extremely hard to move that. There are “soccer fans” but almost exclusively europhile or latinophile. North bay / peninsula snobbery. A workaholic techno dominant culture. You can’t easily solve these problems by winning a few more games. Rather than the extra $20 mil would be way, way, way more cost effective to have more $2 beer nights.

    And an extra $20 mil doesn’t even ensure success. Toronto eventually got it together but in that Bloody Big Deal year with many many million for Defoe and Bradley, 7th place and 1.21 PPG. They were essentially the 2021 Quakes. And how do you sustain it? They’re now the worst team in MLS. A team like Philly is in much better position for sustained success.
     
  25. Quakes05

    Quakes05 Member+

    Oct 1, 2005
    birthplace of MLS
    Even better, an MLS cup final on $2 beer night!
     
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