Quakes facing history

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Quakes facing history

Every time the San Jose Earthquakes get close to winning something, veteran soccer watchers get a twitch. After all, the last time they were a big deal in Major League Soccer, they celebrated by moving to Houston.Such has been the teams history, though. Poor stepchildren in the heyday of the old North American Soccer League (think the New York Cosmos and 23 dwarves), always marked for death because Spartan Stadium was too small and not fashionable enough, the Quakes and their fans did with attitude what they could not do with economic or real estate throw weight.And now, with the second leg of their Western Conference semifinal against the Los Angeles Galaxy (formerly Beckhams) Wednesday night, they have a chance not only to face their history but burnish it.They must first restrain the Galaxy, then hope to evade the winner of Seattle-Real Salt Lake, and then hope that Houston escapes the Eastern Conference thicket, so that they can do what no team has ever done in MLS history.RELATED: L.A. Galaxy-San Jose Earthquakes preview
Play themselves for the championship.The Quakes, who probably assembled their best team ever this year and won the West despite being branded as a team that played ugly soccer and were a bunch of jokes, according to Los Angeles Omar Gonzalez, have been down this road before. They won in 2001 and 2003, but have always worn the ugly stepchild clothes well. After all, this is the sixth (or is it seventh?) version of the Quakes, and they have always been . . . well, unfashionable.Indeed, they are as close as any MLS team has ever come to being the old Toronto Metros-Croatia, a proud old Canadian semipro side from the years when each ethnic group had its own local club. The team bought its way into the old NASL when the leagues franchise there was hemorrhaging money, and won the 1976 title (right before the Cosmos ate the league), but the TV broadcasters were told they could never refer to Metros-Croatia, because it was, even for 1976, uncool.RELATED: Earthquakes roster Stats Fixtures
Eventually, they did die, just as the Quakes have on several different occasions, but as it turns out, they dont really die so much as disappear, get angry, and then come back.And when we say get angry, we do mean the Eric Wynalda-vs.-Laurie Calloway days, and the Richard Gough-vs.-Brian Quinn days, and the Johnny Moore-vs.-AEG days, and the everyone-vs.-Alan Rothenberg days.Theirs is a charming, stubborn, sometimes disputatious story, and when forward Steven Lenhart said, Goonies never say die, he didnt know the half of it.But for the circle to close, they not only have to get to the final but meet Houston in it. The Dynamo, which was originally going to be called Houston 1836 as part of the lets-name-our-teams-like-they-came-from-Europe fetish, had to change its name because Hispanics know that 1836 was the year that Texas won its independence from Mexico in that very Texas-y way it has. With a war.But before that, it had to change its name from San Jose Earthquakes, and those who have been around awhile remember that little piece of bait-and-switch.And while were at it, I wondered why the Quakes never fell for that pretend-were-from-the-old-country dodge and called itself Shakhtar San Jose, or Pruneyard Ajax, or Earthquakes Moenchengladbach. And then I remembered that Moore quit when the new owners wanted to hook the team into an arrangement with the Mexican side Club America and call itself San Jose America.God help us all.But we digress. The Quakes still have much to do before they get to the December 1 final, against a number of difficult sides, and they will doubtless have to do it chins out, attitudes at the ready. With any luck they will resist the temptation to resort to soul-eating horrors like Gangnam Style or the other signature fan manipulators the other local teams like to employ.If it helps to remind them of how hard it is to stay a Quake with this clubs history, maybe they can proclaim themselves the San Jose Earthquakes-Croatia. History says that works, at least for awhile.Ray Ratto is a columnist for CSNBayArea.com

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."

Earthquakes media services

Levi's Stadium to host 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup final

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AP

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.