Quakes' roster still has room ahead of 2013 opener

Roster decisions on the horizon for San Jose

Alan Gordon vs. Portland Timbers

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Otto Greule / Getty Images

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- For all the bodies the San Jose Earthquakes have had at training this week -- and on Tuesday, the count was 32 -- there’s still plenty of room left on the Quakes’ 2013 roster.

In fact, with so many potential starters out due to injury and a bevy of still-unsigned trialists on hand, filling out an 18-man roster of active players actually on San Jose’s roster requires some creative thinking -- especially on the offensive end.

The Quakes vetoed the notion of helping fill the void left by departed Simon Dawkins and injured Marvin Chavez, Alan Gordon and Steven Lenhart with English midfielder John Bostock. Signing the Tottenham property to a loan deal through June would have taken up the rest of San Jose’s available salary cap, coach Frank Yallop said. With so many players hurt, tying up that much capital in a short-term rental didn’t make sense -- especially if that attacking trio can’t return in a timely fashion.

“It was just too big of a gamble for us to let that much money go,” Yallop said, insisting “John did fine with us. We liked him, but it just didn’t quite work out financially. At least it gives us some room to maneuver and have the ability to replace guys . . . We just hope it’s not going to be long-term with these guys. It doesn’t look like it is, but again, you never know.”

In the meantime, the only signed attacker likely to be on the bench for San Jose is second-year winger Sam Garza. Forward Cesar Diaz Pizarro is not officially on the injury list, but hasn’t practiced the last two days.

Yallop said the Quakes are interested in signing three players at the offensive end: target man Adam Jahn, a Stanford product taken by San Jose in the Supplemental Draft, and midfielders Cordell Cato and Abu Tommy.

Cato’s MLS rights officially belong to Seattle, although the Sounders declined his option and allowed him to train with San Jose this month. The Quakes have liked the Trinidad & Tobago youth international for a couple of years -- even having him in at the end of 2011 for several weeks despite the Sounders’ discovery claim.

“We’d like to do something,” Yallop said. “We’ll see. I would think that [the chances are] more positive than negative, but as you guys know, until players are signed and the league approves everything, then they’re not on the team.”

Yallop confirmed the club is planning a likely offer for Tommy, late of FC Tiraspol in Moldova. The Quakes hold Jahn’s rights, although they might hold off on signing him depending on what else transpires; the club is still looking at adding players from outside their current crop of trialists.

“There’s options right now that we’re trying to [use to] at least fill some areas where we need [help],” Yallop said. “Then again, I don’t want to say anything because we have no idea if it’s going to come through. It won’t be a big-money signing, it’ll just be adding to the roster.”

Geoff Lepper covers the Earthquakes for MLSsoccer.com. He can be reached at sanjosequakes@gmail.com. On Twitter: @quakesbeat