With the final whistle on Sunday, Oct. 23 at Kansas City, the Quakes 2016 season came to an end. The season included highs and lows. While the Quakes did not make the playoffs, several players reached new personal milestones and broke club and league records.
The 2016 season was also the first time that #Panamaniacs shared the field at the club level. Although they have known each other since their adolescence, playing against each other in their native Panama and later together on the Panama National Team, 2016 marked the first time that Anibal Godoy and Alberto Quintero played together for the same club team.
Joining the Earthquakes on loan from Lobos de la BUAP at the beginning of the 2016 season, Quintero appeared in 30 matches and made 29 starts for the Quakes, finishing the season second in the club for assists (four) and tied for third in goals (three). Known for making himself a nuisance to opposing teams, he concluded the regular season tied for first in MLS for fouls suffered (81).
“I am happy with my personal performance, but disappointed that we didn’t achieve our objective in qualifying for the playoffs,” Quintero said. “We have to continue working hard and see if they decide to buy me, since I am on loan at the moment.”
Before arriving in San Jose, Quintero already had a friend in Godoy which helped make the transition easier. Godoy arrived at the Quakes in August 2015 from Budapest Honvéd FC and scored two goals in 10 appearances. Of the 2015 season games that he started, Godoy helped the Quakes earn a 6-1-3 record.
Godoy continued this form into the 2016 season. Of the Earthquakes 8-12-14 record this season, they won seven games with Godoy on the pitch (7-7-9) and only one without him (1-5-5). Godoy ranked third overall in the league in passing accuracy, completing 89.44 percent of passes.
While Godoy scored one goal this season, it came during a game that the #Panamanicas hashtag was born. On May 11, the Quakes defeated the Houston Dynamo at home 3-1. After a give and go with Quintero, Godoy scored. Quintero scored the other two goals for the Quakes in the victory.
The performances of the two in this game started a conversation about their on-field chemistry.
“It all comes from how well we know each other on the pitch,” Godoy said. “He knows when I have the ball, when I can pass him it or when I can play it into space. He knows when he needs to come to get the ball. When he has the ball, I know when he will pass to the middle or to me. We have this intuition on the pitch and it helps us complete plays and make them good.”
Off the playing field, Godoy and Quintero are friends and hang out together in their spare time.
“We are great friends,” Godoy added. “We started to play together a few years ago for the national team. Sometimes we meet up with our families and have barbeques. We hang out after games on the weekends when we are free. We always try to do something together with our families. He has two young daughters and I have a son, so we almost always do things after training.”
Now that the season is over and the transfer window is around the corner, the future of Quintero at the Quakes is left to be decided.
“Everything has been so positive,” Quintero said. “The city is beautiful and the weather is really good. I have known Anibal for a while playing for the national team and we complement each other well. The group received me very well. My family is content in the city.”