Behind the MLS Ambition Rankings: San Jose Earthquakes
• How much money has your team spent in the past five years on youth development? How much in the past year?
Spending on youth development this year alone increased by 80%. The Quakes are also in the development stages of a $37 million proposal that would see a seven field, 44-acre Academy HQ built in the heart of downtown San Jose.
• How many homegrown players have you signed? How many have played in MLS league games for your first team?
Tommy Thompson, our first homegrown player, made a career-high 17 appearances last year while the Quakes currently have six players representing the US at Under 16, 18 and 20 levels.
• Who pays to play on your youth teams? And how much do they pay?
Nobody pays to play for our Academy side. We now have pay-to-play youth club teams with more than 1,500 competitive players.
• Where does your first team train? Did you build the training facility yourself? If so, how much did it cost?
At a $1 million facility adjacent to Avaya Stadium which opened in 2010.
• Do you have a model for integrating your academy with the first team? How closely do your academy teams resemble the way the first team trains and plays?
Yes. Our academy kids train with the first team when viable (in summer). Our first team played our Under-18s at a season-ticket holder only event this pre-season. We promote a shared, evolving philosophy. Our technical director, Chris Leitch, oversees the academy while academy coaches Paul Holocher and Andre Luiz Moreira are both former Quakes players.
• What’s your philosophy on the use of technology in your training and preparation for matches?
We use a wide range of tools for analysis, scouting and injury treatment/prevention purposes including Catapult, SpartaTRAC and Opta. Our players also use technology to track their health and wellness including sleep, diet and nutrition.
• How many season-ticket holders do you have? How many did you have in 2015?
13,000. We upped this from 12,000 last season. Both numbers were/are capped and there is a waiting list of 2,000. In 2014, before the move to Avaya Stadium, we had 5,000 season ticket holders.
• Who is your jersey sponsor? What’s your total income on sponsorships this season?
Our sponsorship income has risen by 430% since 2014. Sutter Health, a fellow Northern California company, signed a multi-year jersey sponsorship deal with us which was announced in January. This will see their logo on our jerseys from 2016 onwards.
• Local TV deal: How many of your games this season are shown on local television? How much is your local TV deal worth per season?
All non-national broadcast matches will be aired by our local Comcast affiliate in a multi-year agreement with $1 million a season.
• Local radio deal: How many of your games this season are broadcast on local radio? In English? In other languages?
Every match is broadcast in English and Spanish.
• How many front-office employees does your team have? How many have you added or subtracted in the past year?
66. This year we have upped the workforce by 10%.
• Have you hired any additional technical staff over the past year to reduce doubling-up roles? Are you planning on expanding your technical staff in the near future?
We recently hired a data analyst and have further plans to extend our backroom staff.