Written by Will Parchman

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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.

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Written by Will Parchman

Yes, we brought you Kei Kamara and Benny Feilhaber doing similar things yesterday, but this is Tommy Thompson and Harry Shipp, the Homegrown Wonders. When that’s the case, you don’t question. You just enjoy. Real life FIFA skill games for all the wins.

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Written by Travis Clark

At least the second iteration of the MLS Homegrown game featured a couple of goals this time around.

As the league strives to highlight its development initiatives during MLS All Star Week — an event that should go by the wayside to begin with — this year’s exhibition (sponsored by Chipotle, in case you were wondering) saw the league fly in Club America’s U20 side to compete against players who joined MLS via its homegrown mechanism.

Tommy Thompson scored the very first goal in the game’s short history after last year’s 0-0 bore draw against Portland Timbers U23s. After America leveled it in the second half, penalties saw the Liga MX side triumph.

Keep an eye on Harry Shipp during the shootout in the highlights.

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Written by Will Parchman

Ok-ok-ok. Maybe this video highlighting U20 standout and San Jose Earthquakes Homegrown Tommy Thompson isn’t world altering. But maybe it is. Think about it.

Anyway, Thompson is fresh off an incendiary performance at the U20 CONCACAF Championships in Jamaica, where the U.S. qualified for this year’s U20 World Cup via a knockout game on the final day of the competition. By most objective measures (read: mine), Thompson was one of the tournament’s highlights. So indulge in this video, especially the part where Thompson briefly forgets his dad had a daughter.

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Written by Will Parchman

Your first YouTube highlight package as a pro is a notable moment. It means a random stranger felt strongly enough about your performance to boil up a pot of questionable music and all of your touches. It doesn’t necessarily mean you made it, but it kind of means you made it.

Tommy Thompson now has his first “touches” video as a pro. He got his first start against Seattle earlier this month and did some fun things, like that chest swirl at around 0:30 that gets him around Osvaldo Alonso and utterly confuses Jalil Anibaba (it was a handball anyway). Or the deceptively difficult touch to open up Wondo for a chance at about 1:50.

Almost certainly won’t be the last of Thompson’s pro highlight reels to hit YouTube, but at least you’ll remember the first.

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Written by Travis Clark

TommyThompsonMainJuly17
Readers of TopDrawerSoccer.com would already know that Tommy Thompson is regarded as one of the top prospects in MLS and the youth national team pool

Signed by the San Jose Earthquakes after one season at Indiana, Thompson’s season has been hampered with injury. Having recently returned to full fitness, the Earthquakes shipped him off on loan to Sacramento in USL Pro, where he’s had the odd chance or two over the past few weeks to show what he can do at the pro level.

Last week, Thompson returned to the U.S. youth national team fold, where he started twice, scored a goal against Bermuda in a 4-0 romp, helping the U.S. U20 MNT to win the NTC Invitational.

If you’re wondering what it is that makes him such an exciting talent, it’s moments like this one against Australia that truly stand out, as the goalkeeper is all that stands between him and a wonderful solo goal:

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Written by Travis Clark

In the second game of the 2014 NTC Invitational, the U.S. U20 MNT made light work of Bermuda on Wednesday night, jumping out to a 3-0 lead, en route to a 4-0 win for Tab Ramos’ side.

Andrija Novakovich, Tommy Thompson, Zach Pfeffer and an own goal accounted for the scoring, which you can now see for yourself in the packaged highlight reel above.

After the jump, hear from Ramos along with Thompson and defender Caleb Smith.

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Written by Travis Clark

ZardesOne of the many oddities about MLS is that on a semi-regular basis, the MLS Players Union releases the salaries of every single player in the league.

And whether or not the numbers listed are accurate, the release of these figures always generates a lot of discussion, and is a fascinating insight into how much (or how little) players in MLS actually make on a yearly basis.

In the light of this, it’s an interesting exercise to extract the salaries of players signed to homegrown contracts (Academy products). Whether players sign directly from the Academy or after a year or more of college, the numbers are of a wide variety.

There are a few notables from this week’s announcement: the reported salary of what former Indiana striker Tommy Thompson makes is third highest among homegrown signings, behind Gyasi Zardesand Will Trapp. Jordan Allen isn’t doing too bad for himself after a season playing at Virginia, while the same can be said for Harrison Shipp, who has looked like well worth his salary so far. New TFC homegrown signing Jordan Hamilton certainly had a solid offer to go to when he decided not to play for Maryland.

For comparison’s sake, here are the salaries of homegrown players from last year. The full list of homegrown player salaries from this week’s report is after the jump.

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Written by Will Parchman

Tommy Thompson San Jose Earthquakes (San Jose Earthquakes)

We should all be rooting for Tommy Thompson. The creative midfielder embodies the future of American soccer. A young, skillful player willing to have a go in the pro ranks before he turns 20. We’re constantly harping on the relative lack of technical ability from our player pool, and guys like Thompson, who are willing to go pro young, are pushing the needle forward. Box-to-box, A-to-B Thompson is not.

Here’s proof he knows his way around a ball. Fun stuff. Don’t screw this up, San Jose. We need him later.

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