This week has primarily been about welcoming players back to the facility, going through all necessary COVID testing, performing physicals, and ultimately getting the team ready to head to Santa Barbara for preseason.
Saturday marked the start of the hard work in store for the San Jose Earthquakes players, with the home opener looming just five short weeks away.
Head strength and conditioning coach Guido Bonini put the team through their annual yo-yo test, AKA beep test, to record each player’s endurance level on day one. The drill has players running back and forth between two lines a set distance apart. They continue running between the two lines, turning when signaled by the recorded beeps, and the pace gets quicker as time passes. When a player can no longer keep up with the pace, he stops.
Players were divided into two groups for the grueling test. The first group was paced by defenders Tommy Thompson and Tanner Beason who outlasted the rest. Bonini was particularly impressed by Thompson’s performance as the 26-year-old spent half of the offseason recovering from shoulder surgery and could not train.
The second group had a pair of newcomers lead the way: Homegrown midfielder Will Richmond and Slovakian import Jan Gregus. Richmond’s performance may have turned a few heads as players rising from the collegiate ranks often need time to catch up to their counterparts.
At the conclusion of the test, players returned to the locker room to shower, eat lunch and board a pair of buses for Santa Barbara.
It’s hard not to notice the sheer stature of Jan Gregus. He’s listed at 6’3 and that may not tell the whole story. The Quakes are very deep at central midfield with Jackson Yueill, Eric Remedi, Judson, Chofis, and Jack Skahan, among others, but Gregus clearly brings a unique physical element. It will be fun to see how Matias Almeyda utilizes the players and their different skillsets.