SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- The Earthquakes closed out a largelydisappointing 2011 by matching their best result of the season, putting fourfirst-half goals past FC Dallas en route to a 4-2 win, but Chris Wondolowskifell just short in his quest to retain the MLS Golden Boot. Simon Dawkins proved the hero on the day as the Earthquakesscored four goals in the span of 11 minutes. The Englishman put two past ashaky Dallas defense to open and close the Earthquakes scoring. Rafael Bacatallied a minute after Dawkins 27th minute opener, squeezing in afar post header for his first professional goal. Wondolowski scored his 16thgoal of the season from the penalty spot in the 34th minute. Asked if the performance was San Joses best of the season, head coachFrank Yallop replied, I think playing-wise its been similar to that but nottook our chances, but we did tonight for sure. Simon Dawkins getting twogoals was terrific, and I think we well deserved the win. FC Dallas scored once at the end of each half, with GeorgeJohn connecting with a diving header to pull one back on the stroke of halftimeand Ruben Luna scoring from close range in the 90th minute.The Earthquakes players and staff admitted afterward thatthe late goal was at least partly a result of the team pushing extra-hard toget Wondolowski his second of the game.If you look at the game, we had the ball a lot, Yallopsaid. I thought we were going the length of the field a lot of the time. Dallas are a dangerousteam, we knew that. The pace of the game was high, we put a lot into it.Wondolowski took a unique point of view on his teamconceding two goals.I blame myself that they scored two goals because they myteammates were trying to go hard and feed me and kept going, Wondolowskisaid. To have teammates like that to have my back like that its one of a kindand I really appreciate and love them.Wondolowskis penalty allowed him to tie D.C. UnitedsDwayne De Rosario on 16 goals, giving him a share of the league lead inscoring, but De Rosario an Earthquake from 2001 to 2005 won the tiebreakerfor the Golden Boot award by virtue of having 12 assists to Wondolowskis four,one of which he tallied on Dawkins final goal.Wondolowski had three good opportunities to score in thesecond half, including two looks at a nearly open goal, but each time Dallas goalkeeper ChrisSeitz was able to pull off the save, and difficult ones at that.Its a shame because another night when you have fivepretty good chances to score and only get one obviously from the penalty was not like Wondo, so I just felt for him, Yallop said.Seitz himself mentioned that he was not even thinking aboutdenying Wondolowski his chance at the Golden Boot, stressing the importance ofputting together a solid second half after conceding four goals in the first.In all honesty, I dont look at it that way, Seitz said.I look at it as us coming out in the second half and trying to put up a zero.We were going to do whatever it took to achieve that, and as a whole we playeda lot better. We tried to shut him Wondolowski down and not give them as manychances.Despite losing out on the Golden Boot, Wondolowski becomesjust the fourth player to twice lead the league in scoring after Carlos Ruiz(2002, 2003), Taylor Twellman (2003, 2005) and Jeff Cunningham (2006, 2009).It means a lot, he said. Its just one of those thingsthat Im glad I can show myself and even others and the league and my teammatesthat I can do it.. His teammates were also full of praise for hisaccomplishment, veteran goalkeeper Jon Busch in particular.To me, Wondo over the last few years showed what a trueprofessional he is in scoring goals, Busch said. The mark of a trueprofessional is consistency, day in day out, game in game out, year in yearoutto put the numbers up back-to-back years that he did just shows he is a toppro and hes one of the best goalscorers in this league. Furthermore, with the Earthquakes finished for the seasonand U.S. national team games scheduled for November and a camp in January,Wondolowski hopes that his goalscoring exploits have put him on the radar ofrecently-appointed head coach Jurgen Klinsmann, himself a prolific goalscorerin his playing days. I would love it. It would be a true honor, Wondolowskisaid of the possibility of returning to the national team fold. Coach Klinsmannsdone a great job so far and I know he has the team in the right direction. Ijust hope and pray that I can be a part of it somehow, some way and hope to geta chance. What is certain, though, is that Wondolowski and theEarthquakes will be looking to return to the playoffs in 2012 after missing outthis year, and the teams star forward believes that process could start withthis win.We have a great core group of guys and I think we canreally build on that, Wondolowski said. Its just one of those things thatstoo little, late, its just unfortunate. I think we have a great group of guysand were going to build and one things for sure: I think well be moremotivated coming in and we have a bitter taste in our mouth right now.For more Earthquakes, MLS and world soccer chatter,you can follow Nick Rosano on Twitter: @nicholasrosano
San Jose - The San Jose Earthquakes announced Sunday that the club has parted ways with head coach Dominic Kinnear and assistant coach John Spencer. The club has named Chris Leitch head coach and Alex Covelo as assistant coach. Current assistant coach Steve Ralston and goalkeeper coach Tim Hanley will remain in their current roles.
"First and foremost, we would like to thank Dominic for his hard work, professionalism and contributions to this club over the years," said Earthquakes general manager Jesse Fioranelli. "He worked hard this year and was a first-class person all the way. This decision was made after a lot of thought and evaluation. We decided that we wanted to go in a different direction as we continue to build the identity of this club."
Kinnear started his second stint as head coach of the Earthquakes in 2015 and led San Jose to a 27-31-27 record in that time. Including his first term as head coach with San Jose in 2004 and 2005, his all-time record with the Quakes is 54-45-48. Kinnear led San Jose to the Supporters' Shield in 2005 and helped the Quakes launch Avaya Stadium in 2015, improving the club's point total by 17 in his first year over the previous season.
"I would like to thank the ownership group for giving me the opportunity to coach the club," said Kinnear. "I want to thank my staff for all their hard work and I wish the players the best of luck going forward."
Leitch, 38, has held a number of posts with the Quakes since retiring as a player following the 2011 season. He started as the club's academy director in 2012 and was promoted to technical director for the Quakes in 2015. He also served as interim general manager in 2016, following the departure of John Doyle. He becomes the ninth head coach in Quakes history.
"Chris is the ideal person to take this role for the Earthquakes at this time," said Fioranelli. "He has a history with the club and has very good knowledge of our entire development pipeline from the youth teams, through PDL and USL up to the first team. He combines that with a shared vision for the club's identity that we have been developing for the past months. Chris and Alex give us two very good soccer minds with a desire to make this club one of the best in MLS."
As technical director, Leitch helped build the partnerships with Burlingame Dragons FC of the Premier Development League and Reno 1868 FC of the United Soccer League, which give the Quakes a direct pipeline through all levels of soccer in the U.S. He also helped transform the Quakes Academy into one of the premier youth systems in the nation. In 2015, the Earthquakes U-18 Academy squad took third place in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy playoffs. The Dragons have also been a top team in the PDL during their first two seasons, claiming the Southwest Division Championship in 2015. Additionally, Leitch received his Elite Formation Coaching License as part of Major League Soccer's partnership with the French Football Federation.
"It has been an honor to work with Dominic for the past two and a half years," said Leitch. "I am grateful to have an opportunity to coach at this club. I am looking forward to getting onto the field and working with this great group of players and staff. Our immediate goal is to make the playoffs this year and we can definitely accomplish that if we all work hard together."
Before joining the Quakes front office, Leitch played professionally in Major League Soccer from 2002 to 2011. He made a total of 196 appearances during his 10-year career, tallying 14 assists. Leitch helped lead the New York Red Bulls to their first MLS Cup Final appearance in 2008 and later signed with the Earthquakes in 2009, playing in 58 matches with the club over the next three seasons. He was the Earthquakes Defensive Player of the Year in 2009 and helped the Quakes reach the conference final in 2010.
Covelo, 38, was named the Quakes director of methodology in April. He holds a bachelor's degree in physical education and sport (URL - Barcelona), a master's degree in high performance team sports (INEFC - Barcelona) and a UEFA A coaching license, which is the second highest of the five UEFA qualifications.
Covelo was most recently a coaching instructor at Ekkono Soccer Services Group based out of Barcelona that leads the technical programs of French powerhouse Paris Saint-Germain, and the Football Federations of Japan, Finland and Poland.
He previously served as the head coach of San Marino in the Italian third division from 2014-15, after a stint as an assistant coach and match analyst with the club in 2013-14.
Prior to joining San Marino's lone professional club, Covelo had a variety of roles in his native Spain. From 2008-12, he worked at one of La Liga's most prestigious youth academy programs, RCD Espanyol of Barcelona, in capacities such as head of methodology and director of fitness for the U-19s. He also served as the head coach of the U-15 and U-19 squads at CF Badalona in Spain's third division from 2005-08.
Covelo was a player in the FC Barcelona Academy, competing through the U-19 level alongside legendary midfielder Xavi Hernandez. He later played professionally for several clubs throughout Catalonia.
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SAN JOSE — Danny Hoesen scored his second goal of the season and assisted on Marco Urena's second goal, lifting the San Jose Earthquakes to a 2-1 victory over Real Salt Lake on Saturday night.
Hoesen opened the scoring in the 13th minute, off a long cross from Nick Lima. After touching the ball down, Hoesen gathered it off a defender's foot, stepped inside and unleashed a left footer into the top corner from just off the penalty spot.
Hoesen's long through ball down the right side sent Urena free and from a tight angle he rolled the ball past Nick Rimando in the 68th minute.
San Jose (6-6-5), which has battled injuries and call-ups to score just 16 goals in 16 games, won for just the second time in its last seven games.
Lima picked up two yellow cards in the second half and the Quakes played a man down from the 71st minute.
David Bingham made only one save in each half but was denied his seventh shutout when Jose Hernandez scored his second goal in the fourth minute of stoppage time for Salt Lake (5-11-2).