Kaval's Kickoff: Time to bury the winless streak

San Jose President David Kaval addresses the club's winless streak, Zura loan termination

How about that Wondo? What a great equalizer this weekend in the 87th minute against Toronto FC to earn a late draw! I thought we had the possession and energy to get three points, but one point is better than none. I thought it was nice to see Jacob Peterson bring some intensity to the pitch when he came in as a sub in the 66th minute and his long throw to Bobby Burling set up the Quakes goal was fantastic.

It’s frustrating that in a match where we dominated possession that one quick lapse in the first half led to a goal by Eric Avila and another draw. Too many times this season we have been left with draws when we should have got three points. It is a shame because we have had our chances. Despite the misfortune, we can still put a couple of wins together and make a late push for the playoffs. That is the nature of the MLS Cup Playoff beast and we need to continue to push forward with a new level of intensity to earn our wins and make a run.

One thing I would like to address is today’s announcement that the club has terminated a loan deal for Edmundo Zura. Quite honestly, we made a mistake. To acquire Zura, we went through a very respected agent in South America, who has had success in bringing South Americans to MLS. However, Zura was not ready to contribute due to his fitness and our findings in his full medical examination. Fortunately, we made sure to include a clause in the loan deal that allowed us to terminate the loan agreement without any financial repercussions if he did not pass his full medical examination. Going forward, we have plans to allocate more resources to improve the process of international player acquisitions to make sure a situation like this doesn’t happen again.

That being said, I would be lying if I said that the 13-game winless streak has not had an effect on everyone associated with the club. It has been even worse since so many of the games were affected by red cards and suspensions and under the backdrop of high expectations from last season's awesome final four run. I know that the fans and supporters are just as frustrated with the bad breaks and bad outcomes. It would be easy at this difficult time to either give up or turn against one another, but that would be a huge mistake. It is how an organization and its fans react in these difficult times that define one’s character and what it means to be a Quakes fan. I was proud that we rallied for the draw this past week and I am optimistic that we can build on that late goal. It is always great when a scorer like Wondo gets on track – more goals usually follow.

I think instead of trying to ignore the 13 match winless streak, we need to accept it in order for it to end. In the spirit of that, we will be digging a hole in the Epicenter Fan Zone (fans can view the hole before the game). When we finally end the winless streak, we will physically bury the final box scores of all the games from the streak in the hole. For example, if we win against the Fire on Sept. 10, we will throw all the previous 13 box scores in the hole and cover it with dirt. Additionally, if there are any other items that fans want to bury from this streak, we can also toss them in the hole. Fans will be allowed to fill the hole with the pile of dirt after the match. Hopefully, this will allow us all to put the bad breaks and bad calls behind us and move forward. Plus, it will be fun.

In order to celebrate with a Burial Party after the game, we need a great showing by the fans on Sept. 10 against the Fire. I am personally asking for our fans to give that extra special amount of support. Whether it is standing with your shirt off in the Supporters Section or making some creative GO QUAKES signs in the Epicenter, we can all do our part and give the guys another reason to find that next level of strength to beat the Fire. It would be great to have another sellout as a way to show our team how much we want them to perform at a high level. I know there are quite a few tickets remaining for the match so we would need a big push. If you don't have your tickets, let's get out to Buck Shaw for the match. Next year you can tell people that you were at the match where we physically buried the 13 match winless streak!

GO QUAKES!

Dave Kaval
President
San Jose Earthquakes