SAN JOSE, Ca. (KRON) – The San Jose Earthquakes will take the field in the MLS playoffs for the first time since 2017.

One of the mainstays of the team’s back line is Bay Area native Nick Lima.

“It’s a dream come true to be playing in my home market,” said Lima. 

Lima’s soccer career began on the Castro Valley Youth Soccer League fields 20 years ago.

“I have two older brothers, just being at the sports field is where I fell in love with sports. Soccer is what my buddies were playing when I was super young,” said Lima.

As it turned out, Lima was a little bit better than his buddies.

He played in the Earthquakes youth system before competing for four years at Cal.

Then in 2017, the Quakes offered him the chance to play professionally and stay close to family.

Lima ended up being a finalist for the MLS rookie-of-the-year and was named the Quakes defender of the year in 2018. In 2019, he made his first appearance for the U.S. Men’s National Team.

“Every game whether it’s a final or friendly, they all mean the same, just to wear the crest and represent the nation,” said Lima.

He’s now hoping 2020 is the year he helps the Quakes advance in the postseason.

“We’re excited, we’re ready, we’re all hungry. There hasn’t been a playoff win in San Jose in a long time,” said Lima.

Lima tells us the team has shown resilience in dealing with the pandemic and embracing the new direction of second-year coach Matias Almedya.

He says they’re more ready than ever for Kansas City on Sunday.

The game kicks off in Kansas City at 1:00p.m. 

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