The San Jose Earthquakes have made the youth system a priority in recent years and have already begun to reap the benefits.
Earlier this season, the team completed their organizational pyramid by agreeing to a multi-year USL affiliate partnership with Reno 1868 FC. The partnership is similar to the one with Sacramento Republic FC that spanned from 2014-16, but differs in one key area: San Jose maintains a much higher level of control with the roster and tactical decisions. Reno head coach Ian Russell was also a longtime Quakes assistant coach and builds a tremendous bridge from one club to another. Watch his introductory press conference here.
San Jose signed their second-ever Homegrown Player, inking 22-year-old Nick Lima to a contract earlier this week. He represents what could be the first of a series of Homegrown Player dominos to fall in the coming years.
The Quakes continue to have a strong relationship with Premier Development League affiliate Burlingame Dragons FC. The U-23 side that plays just up 101 has helped the development of what could prove to be many future First Team players, including Nick Lima who played for the club during the summer in 2015 and 2016.
The Earthquakes have also pressed forward on a fantastic new youth complex to serve as the headquarters for the team’s academy. More information will be released on this as it trickles out.