I have to say that when I saw the red card emerge from the ref's pocket in the 50th minute of our match against the Colorado Rapids this weekend, I just about fainted. After realizing that I was not dreaming and that the nightmare was reality, I let out a primal scream in disgust.
Regardless of whether it was the right call (it wasn't), Sam Cronin was headed for the locker room and we were a man down with 40 minutes left in a tied game that we desperately needed to win. Add the weight of the 10 game winless streak and the questionable hand ball/Colorado Christmas present penalty in the first half and you have pretty much summed up the Quakes' season. Facing some heavy adversity, the boys responded by playing some great attacking soccer and getting some great chances to take the lead in spite of being a man down. In looking back at the match, Colorado only had one non-set piece opportunity and that was the early shot off the post. Other than that, we dominated possession and pushed the action into their side of the field. It was a shame that the Rapids got another free kick in the attacking third and converted a missile through our stunned defense that gave them a 2-1 lead and eventually a win.
The loss concluded a bittersweet three-game home stand. We had some of our best crowds of the season, including our first-ever three-match sellout streak with tons of new fans and some great energy, especially when Krazy George worked the crowd into a frenzy. However, we emerged with only one point and had some tough breaks on the pitch. The Rapids game – along with the debacle in Salt Lake City – weigh heavily against our standing in the table.
But it is futile to look back at how we got here. What is critical is charting a path forward. We need to find our pace and the right mix of players to create the chemistry to score more goals and get more wins. With the injuries and recent results, it was apparent that a new offensive oriented player was needed.
In analyzing how to make the biggest impact and advance the team forward, it was crystal clear that we needed more help up top to complement our top-notch finisher, Chris Wondolowski. John Doyle and Frank Yallop spent a great deal of time over the past month identifying possible players both in South America and Europe. Since South American players were in season and in playing shape, it made the most sense to target those Leagues. Recently, John went off on a whirlwind trip across South America to find some good options.
With that said, we are proud to announce the signing of a new international striker, Edmundo Zura, from Ecuador. Zura brings with him some exciting qualities, including speed, strong technical skills and a flair for the dramatic. He celebrates goals by donning a Spiderman wrestling mask! Sounds like Major League Soccer's version of Ochocinco!
Zura has been playing in Ecuador for El Nacional as well as the national team. We are finalizing his situation and he will be added to the roster when the P-1 Visa is issued.
We are very excited to bring in another international player who can make an impact on the pitch. I would like to ask all our fans to welcome Edmundo Zura and make him feel like an immediate part of the Quakes family.
San Jose Earthquakes