Quakes set for Red Bulls on Stanford pitch


Quakes set for Red Bulls on Stanford pitch


Nicholas Rosano

PALO ALTO New stadiums are popping up all across the MLS landscape and on Saturday evening, the Earthquakes will get a chance to test out some new digs of their own when they welcome the New York Red Bulls at Stanford Stadium. While the short move from Santa Clara to Palo Alto is for one game only, the Earthquakes have already found themselves right at home in a stadium that boasts five times the capacity of the teams usual stomping grounds at Buck Shaw Stadium. While Stanford Stadium cant exactly boast the same intimacy offered by Buck Shaw, those around the team anticipate that the atmosphere afforded by a bigger crowd will be a boon to the teams chances of winning. Were expecting between 20 and 30,000 people for the game, so its going to be great, said head coach Frank Yallop, of the anticipated atmosphere. Part of the draw comes from the events being planned around the game. The one-time move to Stanford coincides with the Fourth of July weekend, with Monday representing the 17th anniversary of the United States national teams 1-0 loss to eventual winners Brazil in the knockout rounds of the 1994 World Cup, a game played at Stanford Stadium. The veterans of that team will be honored in a pre-game ceremony, and a fireworks show will follow the game. I think it shows the fans will support us if we put on a show and weve got the game, and fireworks and all those things, but I think there are enough soccer fans around here that will come and support the team, Yallop said. Earthquakes forward Chris Wondolowski, who will be playing his first game in an Earthquakes uniform since missing the month of June on duty with the U.S. national team, insisted that the team was ready to handle a louder, more boisterous crowd. I think the guys will be alright, Wondolowski said. Weve had a lot of guys that have played in big games and Ive had big moments and big crowds, so I think well be alright and I think guys will make the most of it and enjoy it.
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While the crowd will be bigger than what the Earthquakes usually get, the field itself looks set to be smaller. It was narrow for practice on Thursday, with almost no separation between the stands and the playing surface, which could present a unique challenge for soccer teams playing their game on a field designed primarily for football. Indeed, the field at Stanford Stadium drew comparisons from two Earthquakes players to the teams old home ground at Spartan Stadium, on the campus of San Jose State University, also used primarily for college football. With football requiring a field slightly longer and narrower than soccer, the tight dimensions of Stanford Stadium could require some adjustments to both teams game plans. Its definitely tighter, Earthquakes goalkeeper Jon Busch said. Its going to be almost like were playing at Spartan Stadium back in the day where you can shoot from any angle. You have to be aware of that, balls are going to move around quickly and you have to be aware from shots coming from any different angle, because it is going to be a bit tighter than over at Santa Clara. Wondolowski, meanwhile, pointed out that the narrow dimensions of the field could not only affect how the game is played, but also how the crowd factors into the game. To be honest, it kind of reminds me of Spartan Stadium with the walls closed and tight like that and I hope it brings a little bit of the intimidation that Spartan did and something that Buck Shaw has a little bit, he said. Its kind of reminiscent of those fields and I think well play well on it.Between the intimidation factor and the narrow field, the Earthquakes certainly have their advantages in Saturdays game, ones that might be crucial in overcoming a very talented New York team. It isnt home in the truest sense, but if the stadium turns out as anticipated, it could provide just the boost the Earthquakes need.For more Earthquakes, MLS and soccer musings, you can follow Nick Rosano on Twitter: @nicholasrosano

Quakes choose young FIU defender with their first pick in 2018 MLS SuperDraft

Quakes choose young FIU defender with their first pick in 2018 MLS SuperDraft

The San Jose Earthquakes are hoping they've caught lighting in a bottle twice. 

Last season, Nick Lima emerged as one of the game's best young defenders. And on Day 1 of the 2018 MLS SuperDraft, San Jose went to the fullback well with the selection of Paul Marie from Florida International University with the 12th pick in the first round. 

"Paul has the profile we were looking for from the very beginning heading into the combine and the draft," said Earthquakes general manager Jesse Fioranelli via press release. "We were looking for a fullback. We see in him an offensive-minded outside back that has technical qualities and the ability to read the game."

Experts pegged Marie, 22, as a late-first, early-second-round selection. But a pair of solid days during the MLS Combine boosted the Frenchman's stock -- especially on San Jose's board. According to Fioranelli, Marie was No. 4 on their draft board -- having him there at No. 12 must have felt like a steal for Fioranelli and staff. 

"We especially liked that he has character and in the interview that we had with him, he convinced us," Fioranelli said. "The entire coaching staff are really excited about having him part of the club."

San Jose not only lucked out that their fourth-best footballer was there at 12, but with American parents, he does not take up an international slot for San Jose -- the team is still three players over their allotment.

In an interview after his selection with Jason Davis of Sirius XM radio, Marie told San Jose fans what they can expect from the defender. 

"They can expect Paul Marie to give it all for San Jose," he said. 

The Quakes were in need of defensive depth going in to Day 1 of the SuperDraft. In Marie, they have a fullback who can stretch the pitch from the right side and be a backup to Lima. 

Did Quakes pull off 'steal' of MLS SuperDraft in Danny Musovski?

Did Quakes pull off 'steal' of MLS SuperDraft in Danny Musovski?

Not too long ago, former UNLV standout Danny Musovski was the darling of the mock draft. 

And rightfully so -- with 47 career goals in 88 appearances with the Runnin' Rebels, Musovski possesses a knack and nose for the goal that no MLS team can have enough of and thus an early selection in the MLS SuperDraft was expected. 

So when you examine the San Jose Earthquakes' first day of the 2018 SuperDraft, their selection of Musovski can be viewed one of two ways: it's either the steal/ best value of Day 1 at No. 30 or you're skeptical of why the 22-year-old who many experts had going in the top 10 fell all the way down the Quakes in the second round. 

Judging by the way those who know Musovski talk about him, it sounds like Earthquakes fans can lean toward the former. 

"Danny is a striker that we actually saw as one of the biggest prospects considering that over four years he had scored around 50 goals," said San Jose general manager Jesse Fioranelli via press release. "He is a player that we already knew because he was inside of our ecosystem. We are excited to have him at the club."

Fioranelli is talking about Musovski's time with San Jose Premier Developement League affiliate, Burlingame Dragons FC, in 2016 where the forward made a huge impact on a squad that made the PDL postseason fresh off his 12-goal year with UNLV. 

"Quakes got a steal by drafting Danny at No. 30," said his former Dragons FC head coach Eric Bucchere -- who spent last season as an assistant with San Jose affiliate Reno 1868 and founded Path2Pro Soccer thereafter. 

"He's an MLS-ready player with pace, a good soccer brain and knack for scoring goals," Bucchere said, adding that yes, perhaps Musovski's work during the combine wasn't steller, but those two days shouldn't overshadow the striker's upside. "Sometimes it's obvious why a player is good at scoring goals and sometimes you have to watch a player during the course of an entire season to really appreciate what makes him so good." 

There are some experts who point to Chris Wondolowski as a comporable skillset and physical build to Musovski -- a player who no-doubt can find the back of the net but won't blow you away with his athleticism. 

"The last point is that Danny showed more enthusiasm than any other player to join the organization, which was a determining factor for him to join us," Fioranelli said. 

Musovski was a four-year starter and two-time All-America selection for UNLV and the first Rebel to be selected in the Super Draft since Bradley Kamdem in 2016. During his senior season in 2017, he scored 15 goals (good for fourth in the nation) and added six assists in 16 appearances, earning Third Team All-America, First Team All-West Region, First Team All-Western Athletic Conference and Western Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Year honors.

Time, and training camp, will tell if Musovski will make an immediate impact with the main club. But he'll definitely have a spot with Reno 1868, the Quakes United Soccer League affiliate known for scoring goals in (record-setting) bunches.