San Jose Earthquakes fans should not get up to adjust their TV set or hit refresh on their browser window Saturday if they see something they can’t believe during the Quakes’ exhibition match against Tottenham Hotspur.
It won’t be a problem with your satellite feed or a glitch in the wireless router: Eduardo is expected to suit up and take the field for the Quakes.
The 30-year-old Brazilian forward was one of the Quakes’ biggest signings in the offseason, but he’s been dogged by a variety of injuries and clocked only 31 minutes of MLS play, making his lone appearance two-and-a-half months ago.
“I hope on Saturday we’ll get some minutes out of him, in some capacity,” Quakes coach Frank Yallop told MLSsoccer.com. “We’ve had enough injuries with him, we’ve just got to make sure we protect him a little bit. We’re trying to get him to the point where he’s fit to play.”
Yallop said Eduardo was unlikely to play Thursday against the Los Angeles Galaxy, but could make his return to league play on July 31 at home against Seattle – assuming, of course, that Eduardo stays healthy.
In any case, with the MLS midseason transfer window officially open, San Jose are keeping an eye out for help, especially to shore up an inexperienced central midfield that lost Brazilian veteran Andre Luiz to knee surgery last month. The team worked out MLS veterans Pablo Ricchetti and Tiger Fitzpatrick during the World Cup break, but is currently looking in other directions.
“We’re still looking," Yallop said. "We’re not sitting still. We’re looking at players as we speak, and if they’re better than what we have, then we’re interested in having them. But we have some good players. That’s why we’re not panicking and doing deals that are not right, long-term. Hopefully, if we do a deal, we’re going to do one that makes the team better in certain areas.”
Getting Eduardo healthy could alone be considered a transfer-window reinforcement.
”A player of his caliber, he’s done a lot in his career and he can help us a lot,” Quakes rookie defender Ike Opara said. “We’re looking forward to it. It’s like getting an offseason acquisition immediately, whenever he’s back and healthy. I think he can help the team out in ways that people haven’t seen yet.”
Geoff Lepper covers the Earthquakes for MLSsoccer.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter: @sjquakes