There are teams that come and go in the world of Major League Soccer, and while it’s a bit rarer these days to see teams go out of business, that isn’t necessarily what we’re referring to. We have seen franchises go from being at the top of the mountain to the very bottom, and with that decline comes a distinct lack of urgency to get back to where they once were.
However, there are some clubs that visibly scratch and claw to get back to where they believe they belong – and there’s something so unbelievably admirable about that. It takes a lot to pick yourself up and dust yourselves off, and that’s exactly what the San Jose Earthquakes are doing.
Up, down, then up again?
In the present day you’ve got reports from MLS Soccer that detail how San Jose is bouncing back, but they’re only really referring to this season specifically. Whilst we can appreciate where they’re coming from given what has gone down so far, we want to take a minute to consider what else they’ve been through in the last few decades. Yes, you heard us right, we said decades.
Some newer fans may not be aware of this, but the San Jose Earthquakes are actually one of the original teams from the history of the MLS – being formed way back in 1994. As well as that, they also took part in the first game in the history of the league when they defeated DC United. Since then they’ve won two MLS Cups way back in 2001 and 2003, to go alongside two Supporters’ Shields in 2005 and 2012.
But it’s not like they haven’t had to deal with adversity, and that comes in many different forms. In 2005 they had the episode in which it looked like they were going to be absorbed into the Houston Dynamo, mainly due to their inability to find a soccer-specific stadium in the San Jose region. It was a period of great uncertainty for the club, to the point where many didn’t know whether or not they’d survive it.
Getting after it
In recent years they’ve flirted with the idea of making a real push towards the top of the league, but it’s never really been in a serious manner. They’ve always seemingly been on the edge of something great only for it to fall apart, which is why we’re still referring to them as a ‘sleeping giant’.
Case in point: this recent report from Seattle Times showcases how the Sounders were able to come back from two goals down to secure a point against San Jose. In our mind, though, that isn’t the story. The story is about how San Jose were not only able to come close to beating one of the best teams in the league, but also about how they were able to steady the ship and hold on for a point despite Seattle seemingly being destined to score the winner.
The Quakes are quite easily one of the most misunderstood franchises in all of North America, and their loyal fanbase deserves to see some success.