San Jose Earthquakes

San Jose Earthquakes goalkeeper Andrew Tarbell (28) rolls the ball out to his teammates after making a save in the first half against Minnesota United on Saturday, May 12, 2018, at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. The Earthquakes won, 3-1. (Anthony Souffle/Minneapolis Star Tribune/TNS)

As San Jose Earthquakes players went through practice Wednesday — with the uncommon backdrop of snow-covered hills in full view to the east — club president Jared Shawlee contemplated soccer's striking momentum in the Bay Area.

Less than nine months ago, nearby Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara landed a coveted role as one of the host sites for the 2026 World Cup. In January, word filtered out that the Bay Area is in line to land an expansion franchise in the National Women's Soccer League.