Dorian Gray, may he rest in fictional peace, can relate to San Jose’s deformities of creative impetus lo these last several years.
Oscar Wilde’s Picture of Dorian Gray finishes with the protagonist confronting his own depravity in the form of a grotesque, gnarled painting of himself. Throughout the novel the magically-imbued painting assumes Gray’s lesser virtues, and by its end Gray is so horrified by the result that he attempts to stab it into nonexistence. Gray, though, is ultimately stabbing at himself, and in his fit of madness he inadvertently brings about his own demise.
This has largely been the San Jose Story for the last three years. KinnearBall has never been particularly reliant on direct assists, and the 2012 Quakes were about as English as MLS is ever liable to get – all mad scrambles to second balls, boot-and-chase into the box, wildly swung headers on crosses and a lethality on free kicks that tested the bounds of credulity. But even still, the service provided to Chris Wondolowski in the last three seasons has been… shall we say… abysmal?
In 2014, the Quakes finished a 30-point season – the second-worst in the league – with a meager 22 assists. It was also second-worst in the league, exactly 40 assists behind league leaders LA Galaxy. A year later, the Quakes again finished second-bottom in the league in total assists, this time with a modest uptick to 26. They missed the playoffs again. In 2016 (I think you can see where this is headed) the Quakes, incredibly enough, finished second-worst in the league in assists again, falling back to 24 as a team throughout another season without the playoffs.