It’s the summer of soccer.
Between the Gold Cup, international exhibitions and the regular season, fans have plenty of soccer to keep them busy over the next few weeks. The Quakes are also joining in on the fun, taking a quick break from their MLS and U.S. Open Cup campaigns to face off against the Bundesliga’s Eintracht Frankfurt on Friday, July 14 at 7:15 p.m.
The German club, which was was a founding member of the modern Bundesliga, is currently on a pre-season tour in the U.S., having recently played to a 1-1 draw with Seattle Sounders FC on July 8. Ahead of their visit to Avaya Stadium, here are three things to look for when the players take the pitch on Friday.
1. Vako’s (Potential) Debut
The Earthquakes’ youngest Designated Player arrived in San Jose last weekend and was presented to fans days later before the Quakes’ Open Cup matchup against the Galaxy. Friday’s friendly presents new head coach Chris Leitch with the opportunity to give his new signing some minutes with his teammates in a relatively risk-free environment.
2. Familiar Faces
Frankfurt’s roster features several international players, including the U.S.' Timothy Chandler. The right back will be reunited with Quakes captain Chris Wondolowski with whom he played alongside on the U.S. Men’s National team during the 2015 Gold Cup.
3. New Faces
It’s no secret that Leitch and Quakes GM Jesse Fioranelli are working to develop the younger players, with the recent rise of Jackson Yueill, Tommy Thompson and Nick Lima attesting to that. Five players from the Quakes’ USL affiliate, Reno 1868 FC, have been called up for Friday’s friendly: defenders Jimmy Ockford and Thomas Janjigian, midfielder Luis Felipe Fernandes and forwards Darwin Espinal and Dembakwi ‘Boxi’ Yomba. They will suit up for San Jose in the club's first friendly against a Bundesliga side since hosting Bayer Leverkusen in 1996, and will have the opportunity to face a team that finished as the runner-ups in the DFB-Pokal (German Cup) last season.