Derek Lawrance – Derek Lawrance is the club’s Director of Health and Performance, overseeing all department efforts and working closely with athletic trainers, first team and academy coaches, psychologists, and other medical personnel. Working with the Quakes first team since 2013, Lawrance took lead this year in all team safety operations, testing procedures, planning COVID-19 protocols, and consulting with Santa Clara County and Major League Soccer officials. His hard work, commitment and adaptability helped keep the first team safe and cleared to play every scheduled match this season.
What does it mean to get the Devotion Scarf?
It is truly a privilege and an honor to be a part of this group, let alone to even be considered! I’m not sure who thought I would be fit for this award but I’m thankful to those who believe I’m worthy enough to have earned it.
Talk about fandom…how long you’ve been a fan? What is your most memorable moment?
Let’s be honest, after being around for eight seasons, you can’t narrow it down to just one, so maybe I’ll touch on a few. The first win in 2013 (my first career “win”) was the birth of the legend that was Pillow Feet, roofing a goal and earning the PK for the 2-1 win (thanks Roy Miller) vs. NYRB….our away game in CCL vs Toluca was something else, a wonderful goal by Ty Harden to tie the game, the disallowed Gordo goal (it was really a goal, he wasn’t offside but I digress) and although we lost, I’m pretty sure the fans clapped as we left the field as no one expected a MLS team to go the distance at that elevation. My first California Clasico, wow is the only way to describe being down a man and scoring two goals in extra time. The first game at Avaya was something else. Now, there’s no party like a Buck Shaw Party but inviting eight thousand more of your closest fans to take in some firsts, was great too! Fatai nabbing the first “official” goal at Avaya, and Ty Harden doing his best Wondo impression, scoring his first MLS career goal to beat the Fire 2-1 set the tone for Avaya very quickly. Other notable moments: closing down Candlestick Park vs Atletico Madrid, opening up Levi’s vs. Seattle, playing Manchester United at Avaya, and working the All-Star Game in 2017. It was truly incredible watching those talented guys practicing together but more importantly being able to watch Drogba and Kaka go at it on the ping pong table after practices. The win vs Minnesota to send us into the playoffs for the first time in my career! And then Wondo’s 4 goal game vs Chicago to break Landon’s record was really amazing (inside story).
Who is your favorite Quakes player and why?
Not the easiest question either as I’ve been around some amazing players over the years. I’ve been lucky enough to be around the likes of Wondo, Shea, and Tommy for many years now and to see them embrace what it really means to be an Earthquake, is something I’ll never forget.
What would be your message to Quakes fans out there?
Embrace the “Earthquake Way” because that’s what makes this organization a perfect match for soccer fandom. You will feel the full spectrum of emotions with this club year after year and without those real emotions…we would just be an afterthought.