The San Jose Earthquakes are playing it safe with Tommy Thompson.
On Thursday after training, head coach Mark Watson discussed the strategy of bringing along one of the most talented young players in all of MLS.
“I think the thing to keep in mind is that he’s only 18 years old,” said Watson. “He’s only really been playing since his injury and operation for probably six weeks. You know, so we’re going to try to be smart with him.”
The attacker sustained a knee injury last year, and has spend most of the 2014 season playing for the Quakes’ affiliate the Sacramento Republic FC.
“He’s done well enough to work himself into the squad and I think that his minutes will just keep improving and improving.”
Thompson, of course, has played a grand total of one minute during the MLS season.
“It’s a combination of doing well when he gets on the field, which hasn’t been a lot. Doing well in training and continuing to get minutes with Sacramento if he’s not getting the minutes here.”
San Jose definitely doesn’t want to jeopardize Thompson’s future.
“We feel really good about his progress. We did not want to rush him because he had an injury that was if not handled properly could have caused some real problems. So, there’s a little bit more to the story.”
“So, we want to be really smart with how we handle Tommy, but ultimately his play, his performances will dictate his playing time.”
Listen to the full interview with Watson right here: