One of the pillars for San Jose the past two years won’t be available for the 2015 stretch run.
The team announced Monday that left back Jordan Stewart, a Quakes’ mainstay since arriving midway through the 2013 campaign, suffered a torn left Achilles tendon Friday in a 1-0 defeat of Colorado and will be out for the rest of the season. Stewart, 33, collapsed to the ground in the first half without being touched by another player and immediately signaled to the bench.
He had started 54 of his 56 appearances since signing as a free agent in July 2013, after a long career in his native England. This season he also filled in at centerback when injuries left the Quakes thin at that spot.
“It’s a big void for us to fill,” center back Clarence Goodson told reporters after Friday's game. “[Stewart] has been excellent all season, when he’s played, whatever position he’s played. We’re really going to miss him.”
He’s logged only two assists and scored zero goals, so he’s not the offensive presence found on other rosters at outside back. But he stepped in confidently to take over for Justin Morrow, who was traded to Toronto in exchange for allocation money after the 2013 season.
Shawn Francis replaced Stewart in the 27th minute and is the obvious choice to take over long-term. Francis helped the Quakes post their seventh shutout of the season. He’s played 32 games (24 starts) since joining San Jose prior to the 2014 season.
There’s not much cover behind Francis, so another injury in that position might force the Quakes to scramble.
“We’re going to need guys to step up, and I think Shaun’s done a great job of stepping in there,” captain Chris Wondolowski told MLSSoccer.com.