The San Jose Earthquakes have emerged from the drowsy depths of the Major League Soccer offseason with a flurry of preseason preparation as the club aim to rebuild their squad ahead of the new season.
The signing of Panamanian defender Harold Cummings opened the floodgates to a wave of rumors linking the Quakes to two potential DP attackers Solomon Kalou and Darwin Quintero.
Jeff Carlisle of ESPN FC has linked the Quakes with former Chelsea star Kalou, who won the Premier League, FA Cup (four times) and Champions League in six years in London. The Ivorian international has played for Hertha BSC since 2014, scoring twenty-five goals in sixty-eight appearances for the Bundesliga side.
Also according to Carlisle, Colombian striker Quintero is near the top of the club’s shopping list. The twenty-nine-year-old currently plays for Club América in Mexico and made fourteen appearances for the Colombian national team between 2008 and 2012. He spent the majority of his career with Santos Laguna, for whom he scored sixty-eight goals in two-hundred-and-twenty-five appearances, before joining Club America in 2015. Quintero has drawn the attention of multiple MLS teams this summer and the Quakes are near the top of the discovery list for his rights.
The financial demands of the move would be similar to that of Kalou, suggesting the Quakes are only hoping to sign one of the players, not both.
Finally, the reports also mentioned Jahmir Hyka of FC Lucerne and Costa Rica forward Marco Urena of Danish side Brondby, the exotic nature of which rumors appears lends credence to their credibility.
Manager Dominic Kinnear fueled speculation with hints of new signings in an interview with Four Four Two, saying: “We haven’t really made too many moves in the midfield — I think the middle of midfield is a strong part for us, the goalkeeper position as well — and we’re on the verge of a couple other signings, a couple of guys who are returning who were out of contract coming up pretty soon. We’re working really well with [interim general manager] Chris Leitch, as far as trying to build a roster up. There are some things, hopefully, we can get going in the next week or so that we think are going help our team going forward.”
Specifically, he says they’re looking to bolster their attacking force after the signing of Cummings at the back. “I think [acquiring] a wide midfielder that can play inside and a couple forwards will be helping,” he said. “Because when you look at the season coming up here, Chris Wondolowski has been called into another [U.S. national team] camp, and we all hope he does great, but if he’s missing, then our forward line is already thin at the moment. It could be a little bit thinner.”
One such option would be Honduran national team midfielder Diego Reyes, who appears to fit the bill and has been linked with the Quakes by Honduran newspaper La Prensa. The quick second striker played for Spanish side Real Sociedad from 2012 to 2014 and currently plies his trade for Marathón, for whom he has scored thirty-three goals in one-hundred-and-five appearances. Per Quakes beat reporter Colin Entire, he is available on a free transfer.
And of course, the Quakes also acquired the rights to former Real Salt Lake midfielder Olmes Garcia in the re-entry draft, giving them exclusive negotiating rights for his next MLS contract. No doubt, it should be a busy few weeks at Avaya Stadium.