Quakes eliminated from U.S. Open Cup with loss at Kezar

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Quakes eliminated from U.S. Open Cup with loss at Kezar

SAN FRANCISCO -- A tense U.S. Open Cup quarterfinal match between the San Jose Earthquakes and Seattle Sounders finished 1-0 in favor of the visitors, when Sounders midfielder Cordell Cato scored through the legs of Earthquakes goalkeeper David Bingham in the 19th minute.

The match played at historic Kezar Stadium in San Francisco drew a crowd of 7,219, but the majority in attendance went home unhappy when the Earthquakes were unable to continue a season of late-game magic with an equalizing goal.

With the setting sun shining directly into their eyes, the Earthquakes found it difficult to muster anything on offense to start the game. By the 9th minute San Jose finally found a seam in the Seattle defense, when Rafael Baca carried the ball into the top left corner of the area. He squared the ball to Shea Salinas 15 yards from goal, but his shot was weakly taken and Sounders goalkeeper Andrew Weber made the easy save.

The Sounders began to turn the momentum to their advantage over the next quarter hour, and were rewarded for their efforts in the 19th minute when they broke through for the games opening goal. A pass across the top of the Earthquakes penalty area was misjudged by defender Ike Opara and fell to the feet of Sounders midfielder Cato. With Justin Morrow stabbing at the loose ball, Cato rounded the Earthquakes defender and drove the ball to the endline. He elected to shoot to the near post, and managed to sneak the ball through the legs of goalkeeper Bingham for the Seattle goal.

The remainder of the first half saw the intensity on the field increase as both teams tried their best to wrest control of the game, but the score stayed 1-0 in favor of Seattle to the interval.

The second half brought even more physical play and the behavior from both sides tested the patience of the referee. In the 49th minute, the referee produced the first yellow card of the game to Alan Gordon.

The Earthquakes went to their bench in the 53rd minute and inserted the first-team forward tandem of Chris Wondolowski and Steven Lenhart. The match immediately turned in San Joses favor, but the ability to finish on a host of scoring opportunities went by the wayside.

In the 82nd minute, a yellow card was awarded to Seattle midfielder Andy Rose for a hard tackle on substitute Marvin Chavez. The resulting free kick was well struck into the area, but punched away from Weber. On the play, Lenhart was knocked hard to the grass, which caused an uproar from his teammates toward the referee, but no call was given.

As the match entered six minutes of stoppage time, the Earthquakes continued to press for the equalizer. A throw-in from Steven Beitashour in the 95th minute was flicked toward the mix of players and popped out to the top of area. Defender Victor Bernardez stepped into the loose ball and unleashed a volley that took a deflection off a defender. The Earthquakes claimed a hand ball against Seattle, but the referee did not agree. The match ended less than a minute later.

Having been eliminated from the Open Cup, the Earthquakes will now turn their attention to their next league match on Saturday, June 30, when they host the Los Angeles Galaxy at Stanford Stadium.

Earthquakes part ways with head coach Kinnear day after win

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Earthquakes part ways with head coach Kinnear day after win

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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Hoesen leads the ways as Earthquakes take down Real Salt Lake

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Hoesen leads the ways as Earthquakes take down Real Salt Lake

BOX SCORE

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).