Dragons Head Coach Eric Bucchere Entertain Fans on Reddit
First Year Head Coach Takes Questions From Fans on the San Jose Earthquakes Reddit
On Friday, Dragons Head Coach Eric Bucchere took fans questions on the current season from fans on AMA Reddit. Buccherre touched on the Dragons relationship with the Earthquakes, player personnel, tactics and the rivalry with San Francisco City Football Club. Here are the highlights from the conversation.
Hello Coach Bucchere, Congrats on the first two wins of the season and I really can't wait for the season opener ! Could you tell us how much rivalry means to you and the players when we play teams such as LA or SF City FC ? Which game means more LA or SF CITY FC ? And finally could you talk about the players Jamael Cox and Josh Smith who have been selected for PDL Team of the Week ?
Thanks! No easy games in the PDL and the guys played hard and competed well last weekend. Josh Smith and Jamael are two guys that are on the cusp of making the jump to full professional soccer. They are talented, as are most players at this level, but more importantly they are driven, honest, hard working guys. I imagine it's tough to pick a TOTW in the PDL with so many quality players and performances each week. So, a nice honor for those guys. My guess though, is that they care way more about the two wins than the TOTW honors. In our conference you play each team 3 times a season, plus potentially in playoffs. So every game feels like a rivalry game! That's one of the great things about the PDL.
You seem to prefer Josh Morton at right-back rather than his natural position center-back, do you do that because you believe it gives you the best chance to win? One could argue that developing him at his natural position (along with the other Quakes academy products) is more important than winning. The whole point of PDL is for development, right? At least that's what some would say, it's an interesting topic for debate.
Good question. I like Josh at CB, RB, DCM, and potentially even LB. Hard to know what his future will hold in the pro ranks exactly, but I know that versatility is a good quality that a lot of coaches value. If he makes an MLS roster one day and the starting RB gets injured and he gets an opportunity, now he can look back to the Fresno game last weekend and his experience there. That will help him greatly. What I love about Mort is that he's a humble young man and a team-first guy, which is maybe the most important thing as far as advancing his career. As far as winning and development go, for me it's important to do both. If you have a successful winning PDL team, that will only create more opportunities for players to develop and advance their careers. If you don't win those opportunities won't be there.
Hey! I've been trying to make a game to see the Dragons play, just wanted to say good luck on the season! I'm excited to see Bashti and Morton.
Thank you! We have been on the road so far, first home game is June 4th. Should be a good match. Amir and Morton are both guys that have been representing the Quakes for years, and have done a good job in the college ranks as well. Mort played well at RB in our Fresno match last weekend. He was battling the flu and gutted it out.
What's the relationship like with the Quakes FO and coaching staff? Do your staffs interact much on things like coaching philosophy and the like?
Yes, there is a good relationship there. I'm in contact with Quakes TD Chris Leitch every week. Chris cares a lot about the Dragons and knows the player pool really well, and is dedicated to the program. On the other side of things I'm in contact with Quakes Academy coach Paul Holocher (my college coach at UCSC) often as well, talking about the young guns that may be ready to make the leap to PDL.
Has the team had any discussion with any PDL teams -- particularly SF City -- about ways to jointly increase visibility of the league and local matches? I'm excited about the prospect of a local rivalry, but it's still early days.
Not sure of the exact discussions, but the Dragons Front Office of Jordan Gardner and Mike Jenkins have done a great job building some excitement so far this season. I think the buzz around the PDL reflects what is happening in the Bay Area and in America - soccer is exploding and people want a local team to support. SFCFC has a good fan base and team, which is great for the league and for Bay Area soccer as well.