Beyond the success off the pitch, we made several key advancements on the player and technical side that will better position the Quakes to compete and win another MLS Cup.
First of all, we invested in additional staff and technology in the technical department. New Technical Director Chris Leitch and General Manager John Doyle added a full time analyst/scouting coordinator to better enable us to research and secure international players. With the new targeted allocation money and budget for three DPs every year, having a robust and effective decision making apparatus to vet and sign international players is essential to a club’s success. We need to make sure that new signings are as successful as possible and that we can complete in the global marketplace for players. We also added an additional full time trainer so our head trainer can focus more on developing the proper sports science processes to have healthy players ready for selection by the head coach. Finally, we partnered with Sparta and Bridge Athletic to build on our existing use of the Catapult wearable system. This provides more date on player training methodology, return to play protocol, and injury prevention. Having best of breed partners in this area are an essential ingredient to the long term success of the club.
As far as players go, we made a marquee signing in bringing Simon Dawkins back from Derby County as a Designated Player. John Doyle, Dominic Kinnear and I met after last season and the priority was to add more goal scoring options. Simon was a proven MLS commodity and an outstanding gentleman. Plus, he can push Jordan Stewart in terms of the best dressed Quakes player. In addition to Simon, we bolstered our wing play by signing Albert Quintero on loan from Mexico. The Panamanian midfielder adds a new dimension to our attack in the mold of Marvin Chavez. Getting better service inside will be critical to improving our chance creation and scoring goals. Finally, we signed our first MLS free agent as part of the new collective bargaining agreement when we went out and brought Chad Barrett in from the Seattle Sounders. Chad is a reliable goalscoring option and will give us more options up top.
On the defensive side, Argentine defender Andres Imperiale will provide some much needed youth on the back line fulfilling another key off season goal.
Beyond new players, we locked down some of our core young players with new contracts. We made sure to sign Quincy Amarikwa to a new contract. Quincy was a catalyst in the second half of last season. His hard work and dedication is infectious and is always a fan favorite both on and off Twitter. Cordell Cato was another key signing. By extending the young and versatile player, we get a player who can play multiple positions. This is a great quality to manage the club through the long MLS season with international call ups and injuries.
As I have stated in the past, it is our strategy to be in the top half of spending on players in the League every season. We feel that by intelligently investing at this level, developing youth players, and having a world class coach in Dominic Kinnear we can compete at the highest level and bring another MLS Cup to San Jose.
We look forward to an exciting and memorable 2016 campaign.