With the 2017 season officially in the books, the San Jose Earthquakes have plenty to be proud of on and off the field. A trip to the postseason for the first time in five years and a spot in the U.S. Open Cup semis for the first time since 2004 highlight the calendar year.
Let’s takes a look at how individuals on the team fared this year and how they impacted the club.
An immediate fan favorite, Jahmir Hyka left his mark on San Jose in his debut season with the club.
Hyka, 29, was touted as one of the team’s big European acquisitions prior to the start of the season, along with Danny Hoesen and Florian Jungwirth. The ‘Albanian Messi’, Hyka stands just 5-7, but is as elusive as they come with the ball at his feet.
Primarily featured on the left wing or in an attacking-midfield role, Hyka had a series of season-defining moments. Let’s take a look at a few:
- April 14 vs. FCD: Hyka scores a late equalizer against FC Dallas four minutes into stoppage time.
- May 6 vs. POR: Hyka tallies the game-winning goal in a 3-0 drubbing of Portland at Avaya Stadium.
- May 20 at FCD: Hyka’s wonder goal in the 81st minute, which earns a spot as a Goal of the Year finalist, hands FC Dallas their first loss of the season.
In total, the Albanian International finished the season with three goals and five assists, while appearing in 30 of the team’s 34 games. He was nominated for the MLS Fair Play Award after committing just six fouls in more than 1,800 minutes this season.
He also received a fantastic nickname, Hykachu, compliments of an eight-year-old fan.