Andres Imperiale has a message for San Jose Earthquakes supporters – believe in this team.
Drenched in sweat following his first taste of MLS in Saturday night’s 3-1 defeat to California Clasico rivals LA Galaxy, the Argentinian defender cut a steely, determined figure in the visitors’ locker room at the StubHub Center.
“The fans are amazing,” Imperiale, 29, said after coming in for an injured Clarence Goodson.
“My message to them is ‘believe in this team’. This team will do everything for this club. It is just one loss. If we keep on in the same way it will be a good season.”
Losing to the Galaxy is always hard to swallow and the manner of defeat – with the home side taking full advantage after Earthquakes midfielder Simon Dawkins was shown the first red card of his career.
However, with the dust settling, Imperiale’s words may strike a chord.
Heading into the international break, Dominic Kinnear’s men are tied for first place in the Western Conference, with six points out of the first possible nine.
Evergreen talisman Chris Wondolowski continues to shine, with a Marvell Wynne assisted strike leaving the 33-year-old with three goals in as many games.
And with a few members of the first team squad working on their recoveries from injury, there are plenty of positives.
Not that Imperiale was comfortable with the loss, which came via two goals from Gyasi Zardes and a penalty from Robbie Keane.
“We work as a team and it was hard with 10 players,” the former Rosario Central man added.
Imperiale, who looked calm and composed throughout despite last playing on December 15, was happy to see action.
“It was good to get the minutes but it was frustrating,” he said. “I know I have good teammates. They support me all the time
and so I felt confident. It’s been a long time but it felt really good.”
San Jose return to action on April 2, when D.C. United visit Avaya Stadium for the 20th anniversary celebration of the first MLS game between the Clash and the men from the nation’s capital.
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And Imperiale is already looking forward to it.
“We are good in the table,” he said. “We will get some rest and move on. We are in a good way.”