18-year-old Tommy Thompson is San Jose Earthquakes‘ first homegrown signing ever. Although born in Illinois, Thompson is a Loomis, Ca. native who played in the Earthquakes’ academy. He even played with the Earthquakes’ reserves in 2013. This is not a risk on the Earthquakes’ part; the team knows who it’s getting.
The Earthquakes are very slow to take advantage of the league’s “rules” that have been put in place to help the clubs. They did not take advantage of the Designated Player (DP) rule until last year when they signed star forward Chris Wondolowski as their first DP. Wondolowski more than deserves a DP contract as he usually makes most of the goals for the Earthquakes, and he’s an all-around great player. His talent did not go unnoticed as Jürgen Klinsmann included him on the US National Team roster. The Earthquakes knew they had to sign Wondolowski to a DP to keep him in the club.
Another thing the Earthquakes lack is a kit sponsor; they are one of the few clubs in the league that does not have one. The sponsors’ names do make the kits somewhat of an eyesore sometimes, but it’s part of the sport. However, there is definitely not a rule that you must have one, so the Earthquakes have gone without. Maybe this is why the team doesn’t have the extra cash for more expensive players? Yet they seem to be doing fine without the money. They recently started building a new stadium, and they have already sold out for season tickets. The team knows what it’s doing.
Thompson will hopefully be just what the club needs. He’s young and still needs to train more to catch up to the first team, but he has the time. He’s a midfielder who was highly recognized during his year with the Indiana Hoosiers even though he only played as a freshman. If the Earthquakes were this quick to take him, it must mean he has what they want.