Earthquakes, Union play to scoreless draw


Earthquakes, Union play to scoreless draw



SANTA CLARA, Calif. After a disappointing midweek outing in Los Angeles, theEarthquakes returned to Buck Shaw Stadium, only to find more frustrationwaiting for them in the form of the Philadelphia Union. For the fourth time infive games, the opposition defense held the Earthquakes scoreless, and whilethe Quakes did the same to a dangerous Union team, they were frustrated withtheir efforts going forward. I thought it was a lot better performance than Chivas. Ithought at times we played OK, but then we couldnt sustain it, said headcoach Frank Yallop, after the game. I think were just kind of misfiring alittle bit, not just in front of goal, because were not really getting to thefront of goal that much. The most telling stat of the evening was plain to see on thestats sheet the Earthquakes only managed one shot on goal, while the Union managed to test Quakes goalkeeper Jon Busch six times,taking more than twice the number of shots the Earthquakes did.The Earthquakes found themselves continually frustrated inpossession by the Union, who defended deep andused their forwards to constantly hound the Earthquakes defenders, forcing theminto a number of miscues. After similar frustrations against the Los AngelesGalaxy and Chivas USAin previous games, Yallop admitted that it was an area of trouble for the team.We tend to struggle against teams that defend deep, hesaid. It seems that weve not quite figured how to play as a unit to play anyteam thats down, or if they sit back. In large part because of that deep defensive line, anotherglaring stat was to be found in Chris Wondolowskis zero shots. In the 11 gamesprior to his departure for U.S.national team duty, he regularly tested opposition defenses, averaging overthree shots per game. In the three games he has played since, he has managedjust one shot per game. Yallop attributed those struggles in part to the teamsplay, referring to Wondolowski as not a creator of shots, but a finisher ofchances. Wondolowski, however, acknowledged that it is a part of hisgame he needs to work on. Myself, I need to do a better job of finding space, I haventbeen doing that, I need to work harder out there, he said. I need to fight andif I battle and scrap for some of those second balls then that opens up andcreates some more space. The Earthquakes did find themselves without a vital tool totheir creation of chances, as striker Steven Lenhart missed out throughsuspension for an accumulation of yellow cards. Lenharts ability to battlewith defenders and lay off balls to players like Wondolowski and Simon Dawkinshas proved vital to creating dangerous opportunities throughout much of theseason, and his play was noticeably absent in the final third. I feel that anytime youre without Lenny its a huge blow,youre missing a big part of this team, Wondolowski said, noting that itwasnt just his play that made Lenhart a valuable asset. We for sure missedhim, his battling, his attitude, its just contagious, and you want to go outthere and you want to fight and battle even harder. Though the Earthquakes did miss a vital cog in their attackon Saturday evening, fans also got to see a new face going forward in the shapeof Mexican midfielder Rafael Baca. Baca, a Mexican-born creative midfielder whoplayed his college soccer at Loyola Marymount, finally signed with theEarthquakes after spending the season training with the team, waiting for hispaperwork to go through to allow him to officially sign. Hopefully I can provide more of an attack and some goals. Iwork hard at practice to get in sync with these guys, Baca said. While I wasout there, I got a feel for the player on top and saw that they wanted toscore. If the Earthquakes are to jump-start their sputteringoffense, Baca could indeed provide that little extra something, but for themeantime, its about looking ahead. Its easy criticizing after, I never do that, Yallop said.I work on the next game and Im not worried about us not scoring, Im justgoing to work on trying to get a win the next game.For more Earthquakes, MLS and general soccermusings, you can follow Nick Rosano on Twitter @nicholasrosano

Earthquakes acquire Danny Hoesen and Florian Jungwirth

Earthquakes acquire Danny Hoesen and Florian Jungwirth

The San Jose Earthquakes announced today that the club has acquired Dutch forward Danny Hoesen on a season-long loan, with an option to buy, using Targeted Allocation Money and signed German defender/midfielder Florian Jungwirth using Targeted Allocation Money, pending receipt of P-1 Visas and ITC.

Hoesen, 26, most recently played for FC Groningen of the Dutch Eredivisie. Since joining FC Groningen ahead of the 2014-15 season, Hoesen has tallied 15 goals and five assists in 72 appearances, including four goals in 12 matches so far this season. He helped the club win the 2014-15 KNVB Cup, the Dutch version of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.

"Danny Hoesen gives us a player with a strong frame that is tall, but also has a fast pace," said Earthquakes general manager Jesse Fioranelli. "He can attack the space in counter-attack situations. He can also work in tandem with whichever striker will be supporting him. He's a player that comes from very attack-minded football in Holland and will be the perfect striker to give us an additional element in the box that we may have been missing."

Hoesen began his professional career with Fortuna Sittard of the Dutch second division, before joining English side Fulham FC in 2008 at the age of 17. Playing with Fulham's U-23 side, Hoesen spent time on loan with HJK Helsinki of the Finnish first division in 2010, helping the club win the league title, and later his former club Fortuna Sittard (2011-12) before returning to England in June of 2012. He scored four goals in 10 total appearances for Fulham's youth side.

In August of 2012, Hoesen was transferred to Dutch powerhouse Ajax. Over the next season and a half, Hoesen scored 13 goals and added six assists in 44 appearances across all competitions for the first team, while also scoring eight goals in 22 appearances for the club's U-21 squad. He helped Ajax win the 2012-13 league title and the 2013 Johan Cruyff Shield. Hoesen also appeared in five UEFA Champions League matches against Real Madrid, Borussia Dortmund, FC Barcelona and AC Milan, scoring goals against Dortmund and Barcelona.

He then joined Greek first division side PAOK Thessaloniki on loan in January of 2014 and finished the season with one goal and two assists. Hoesen was then transferred from Ajax to FC Groningen in July of 2014 where he remained until signing with San Jose.

Internationally, Hoesen has made 13 total appearances for the Netherlands at various youth levels, scoring three goals.

Jungwirth, 28, joins the Earthquakes after two and a half seasons with SV Darmstadt 98 of the German Bundesliga. He made 63 appearances for Darmstadt, recording three assists, and helped the club earn promotion from the 2. Bundesliga to the top flight with a second place finish in 2014-15.

"Florian is capable of playing all defensive positions. He came up through the German National Team system and won the European Cup with them," said Fioranelli. "He grew up as a central defender, on both the right and the left. He was later moved to defensive midfield because he is a player that has a strong presence and is very logical and careful when it comes to possession and build-up situations. He is a player that has a lot of heart and has been very much liked on every team that he's played for because he will fight for his teammates and is a natural leader."

Jungwirth began his career at the youth ranks of TSV 1860 Munich. After making 33 appearances for the club's U-19 side, he earned his way onto the club's reserve squad, TSV 1860 Munich II, where he tallied three assists in 48 games played.

In January of 2010, he was transferred to Dynamo Dresden of the 2. Bundesliga, where he remained for three and a half seasons. During his time with Dresden, Jungwirth made 97 appearances and recorded two assists.

Ahead of the 2013-14 season, Jungwirth moved to VfL Bochum, also of the 2. Bundesliga. During his one season with the club, he scored one goal in 30 appearances with the first team and two goals in four appearances with the club's reserve side. Jungwirth then signed with Darmstadt in September of 2014.

Internationally, Jungwirth has made 44 appearances for Germany at various youth levels from U-16 to U-20, scoring two goals.

"I think both guys have a strong background coming from top leagues overseas and will help on both sides of the ball," said Earthquakes head coach Dominic Kinnear. "Our expectation is that Danny will score goals and Florian will provide a solid presence on the backline."

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Levi's Stadium to host 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup final


Levi's Stadium to host 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup final

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. — This year's CONCACAF Gold Cup final will be played on July 26 at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California.

The Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football announced first-round sites in December and the site of the final on Wednesday. The 12-nation tournament opens July 7 at Harrison, New Jersey.

The United States and defending champion Mexico head a field that includes Canada, Costa Rica, Curacao, El Salvador, French Guyana, Honduras, Jamaica, Martinique and Panama. The final spot will be determined by a playoff between Haiti and Nicaragua in March.