San Jose Earthquakes goalkeeper Daniel will miss the next four to six weeks after undergoing successful surgery to repair a lateral meniscus tear in his right knee.
The goalkeeper suffered the injury during an Earthquakes training session on Wednesday, forcing several scans and examinations. After testing, Daniel is expected to be back anywhere from mid-March to early April.
He first joined the team in January, signing from Brazilian side Internacional. Daniel was expected to play a huge role in the up-and-coming Western Conference side, starting just two games before being ruled out.
Now, with the starting goalkeeper out, San Jose head coach Luchi Gonzalez is expected to lean on JT Marcinkowski to start. The team also has US and Mexican youth international Emi Ochoa as a third, less experienced option should they need.
Both Marcinkowski and Ochoa are homegrown players.
The pressure is now on for Gonzalez, as he hopes to turn the team around in his first season as head coach. Last year, the team concluded in last place of the Western Conference with a mere 35 points in 34 games and a record of 8W-15L-11D. Given the Earthquakes’ talent, Luchi Gonzalez maintains that last place is simply unacceptable.
He remains determined to change their fate.
“This team has the foundation to implement a game model and style that allows for creativity and verticality. We need to break lines, get in behind the last line and get goal-scoring opportunities. Our defensive structure, our defensive clarity, we will work hard with that foundation of intensity to be able to do it in the real game,” said the head coach exclusively to 90min.
“San Jose has so much potential. Why can’t we beat the opponent in front of us and have a better season. It’s going to take a lot of work and it won’t be easy. But I challenge other teams to underestimate that because I think we have the group for more.”
San Jose currently sit in fifth place, after two victories and one loss in the 2023 campaign. They return to action on Saturday, when visiting new expansion team St. Louis CITY at CITY PARK.