In this week’s newsletter: #Valeri2SJ, Injury Affliction, and more insider coverage of the San Jose Earthquakes!
Valeri is coming to San Jose! No, not Diego. The other Valeri. Qazaishvili. Valeri Qazaishvili.
Not ringing any bells? You obviously haven’t been attuned to the Georgian national team. Reports out of the Netherlands have appeared to confirm the Designated Player signing of Qazaishvili from Dutch Eredivisie side Vitesse, which is expected to be completed shortly.
The link was first reported by Dutch outlet de Gerlander and VoetbalZone, then corroborated by ESPN’s Jeff Carlisle. Without any other substantiated rumors ahead of the looming June 30 target date set by Quakes GM Jesse Fioranelli, these reports appear increasingly on target.
Qazaishvili spent the last season on loan at Polish dynasty Legia Warsaw, scoring one goal in sixteen appearances. The twenty-four-year-old netted twenty-four times in just over a hundred appearances for parent club Vitesse since 2011 and has also scored five times in twenty-five caps for Georgia, as recently as a June 11th World Cup Qualifier against Moldova.
He has played in both wide and central positions and is well-regarded as a highly-technical, attacking midfielder despite his lack of name recognition. In that sense, the Quakes can only hope his MLS career trajectory will mirror that of the league’s other Valeri.
Goalkeeper David Bingham has hitherto been one of the club’s most consistent players in the Dominic Kinnear era but a series of patchy performances this season have eroded confidence in the twenty-seven-year-old and distanced him from the USMNT conversation. He endured another patchy performance against SKC, making multiple crucial saves despite also fluffing some crosses. He has been more timid in the air this year, in contrast with backup goalkeeper Andrew Tarbell’s dominant recent performance against the lower-league SF Deltas.
The Quakes have been plagued with injuries and suspensions over the past week, which rendered them unable to even fill out a full eighteen-man roster against SKC. An ankle injury suffered against the Deltas ruled out center-back Florian Jungwirth for the SKC match and additional suspensions to Marco Ureña and Darwin Ceren also forced Kinnear to field reserve players such as Jackson Yeuill, who scored a debut goal against the Deltas and made his first MLS appearance against SKC. All of which should cast an Open Cup victory and draw against the Western Conference leaders as satisfying results for the Quakes.
Defender Andres Imperiale has been on the fringe of the Quakes squad so far this season but was finally called into against the Deltas and SKC, making his case for more playing time with two strong performance and clean sheets.
What They Said
Rookie midfielder Jackson Yeuill on his debut goal against the Deltas: “Obviously it was a great start for the entire team. It was very important for us to go out and score. The free kick from Danny (Hoesen) hit off the wall and came right to me. I just saw the perfect opportunity. I couldn’t be happier in that moment. I’m just happy for that.”
“That goal made me more anxious to keep going. The next goal came and I was happy about that. After that we kept the ball and were able to stay composed. We didn’t risk too much after going up 2-0, which is really good from us. It was a good performance scoring two goals early.”
Quakes coach Dominic Kinnear on the SKC draw: “[Sporting Kansas City] probably had the better chances overall through the game. We had some good moments. I think our final ball was off today and our crossing and shot selection. Let’s give them credit, they’re a good team. They had their best lineup out there today. I don’t know that anybody was missing for them. We went with a lot of guys who haven’t been starting a lot of minutes. It’s difficult. Not only are they putting out their best lineup, they’re a good team.”
Quakes defender Andres Imperiale: “It was a tough game. We didn’t play our best game. We didn’t clear a lot of chances, but we played against the best team in the league. We have to move on. We have two games ahead at home and we have to collect points because we need to step up in the standings.”
Quakes 2-0 Deltas:
Quakes 0-0 Sporting Kansas City:
THE WEEK AHEAD
The Quakes return to action against Real Salt Lake City on Saturday.
TWEET OF THE WEEK
It looks bad, i cant do model photos next week with this face https://t.co/8pt1pyPuKt
— andres imperiale (@imptuna) June 18, 2017
AFTERSHOCKS: FROM THE WEEK’S NEWS
New Zealand Football: Five things to know about Kip Colvey
SJEarthquakes.com: Quakes to host Seattle in Open Cup
The 24/74 Show: Episode Four
MLS All-Star Voting
Nominate your own San Jose Earthquakes players for the 2017 MLS All-Star Game here. Fans can vote once per day.
TRUCKEE TALK: RENO 1868 UPDATE
Despite their formidable home form, Reno 1868 succumbed to a 2-1 road defeat against the Real Monarchs on Monday night. Quakes loanee goalkeeper Andrew Tarbell nearly converted after pushing upfield to try and salvage a draw in the final moments of the match, only to be denied by an offsides call and the crossbar. Ian Russell’s men will next be in action against the Portland Timbers II on Saturday.
The Quakes U-14s flew to Indiana for an Academy showcase tournament following the recent conclusion of the regular season, tallying one win and one draw so far. The U-15/16s also kick off in Indiana on Thursday. Additionally, Quakes Academy product Andrew Paoli scored his first international goal for the USMNT U-18s against Portugal in the 23rd Lisbon International Tournament.
First international goal ✅🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/BYuu2Sgauc
— Andrew Paoli (@andrewpaoli1) June 22, 2017
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