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.
What a debut season for the rook. The Quakes Academy product gave San Jose everything they could have expected and then some in his first season as a Homegrown.
Lima, 22, was thrown into the fire in Week 1 after incumbent right back Marvell Wynne was sidelined with health concerns. Not only did Lima have to start the season opener, but he was tasked with going against arguably the premier left winger in Major League Soccer – Ignacio Piatti.
The Castro Valley native not only shut down the dangerous attacker, but proved to be a menace on offense as well, surely leaving the Argentine scratching his head. The Quakes won 1-0 and the Lima chatter around the league began to take shape.
The Team-of-the-Week performance in Week 1 was just a small sample of his 2017 campaign to be. He had scored a marvelous first goal against Vancouver in Week 2 and an even better one against Colorado on July 29. By the time the mid-point of the season rolled around, Lima was leading the charge for Rookie of the Year.
Unfortunately a hamstring injury sustained in August derailed the final 1/3 of his season, leaving him unable to hold off a rookie class that contained several standouts, such as Atlanta’s Julian Gressel and Minnesota’s Abu Danladi.
All in all, Lima put his name on the MLS map during the 2017 season. U.S. Soccer may be next.