Thursday, December 31, 2015

Why Chad Barrett Makes Sense for San Jose

On Monday, the San Jose Earthquakes made their first major move of the offseason by signing free agent striker Chad Barrett to a contract. Here's five reasons why this is a good move for San Jose:

1) Despite another big season from Chris Wondolowski, the Quakes scored more goals than just two teams in 2015, Real Salt Lake and the Colorado Rapids. Midseason acquisition Quincy Amarikwa was the only player other than Wondo to score more than three goals, something Barrett has done eight times in 11 seasons including five goals in 2015 for Seattle.

2) Injuries to Innocent and Steven Lenhart left the Quakes without much quality depth up top in 2015. Adam Jahn, Mark Sherrod, Tommy Thompson, Leandro Barrera and Mike Fucito combined to score just 1 goal in 57 appearances, and it wasn't until the addition of Amarikwa that the Quakes had any semblance of a credible second attacking option.

3) Barrett is a winner. Over the course of his career he has won two U.S. Open Cups, two Supporter's Shields, one MLS Cup and two Canadian Championships. The Quakes have just one postseason appearance in the past five years while Barrett has made eight trips to the postseason.

4) Barrett is accustomed to coming off the bench as he's made at least as many substitute appearances as starts in each of the past four seasons. Quake reserves combined to score just one goal all year (by Cordell Cato vs LA on June 27th). Barrett scored two goals as a sub in 2015, three as a sub in 2014, two as a sub in 2013, one as a sub in 2012 and two as a sub in 2011.

5) Only two teams allowed fewer goals than San Jose in 2015, the Vancouver Whitecaps and the Seattle Sounders, but San Jose still missed the playoffs by four points in the tough Western Conference. If Barrett can even provide a slight uptick in offense, the Quakes who had five games in 2015 that ended as either a 0-0 draw or a 1-0 defeat could be a playoff team.

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