Quakes land Lenhart, Ampaipitakwong on draft day

Quakes land Lenhart, Ampaipitakwong on draft day


SAN JOSE The San Jose Earthquakes announced today that they acquired forward Steven Lenhart from the Columbus Crew in a trade at the 2011 Major League Soccer Draft in Baltimore. The Quakes sent their first round pick (15th overall) and allocation money to the Crew in exchange for Lenhart, who grew up in Yorba Linda, Calif. With their second round pick (33rd overall), the Quakes selected midfielder Anthony Ampaipitakwong from the University of Akron. "Steven is a young player at only 24 years old, but he has three years of experience in MLS," said General Manager John Doyle. "He is a big forward who is difficult for defenders to handle. We think he can come in and help bolster our attack."Originally drafted in the fourth round of the 2008 MLS SuperDraft, Lenhart was an important part of the Crew for the past three years, helping them win the club's first MLS Cup in 2008 and two Supporters' Shields (2008 and 2009). The 6-1 striker has netted 13 goals in league play in his career and also contributed two goals in Champions League matches. His lone playoff goal was the game-tying goal in the first leg of the Crew's 2008 MLS Cup Playoff series against Sporting Kansas City. The Crew defeated Kansas City in the home leg before going on to win the MLS Cup Championship."I have always liked Steven and the way he plays," said head coach Frank Yallop. "He's a big, strong, fast forward who is excellent in the air. We are excited to start working with him."Last season, Lenhart set career highs with six goals and 27 games played, helping the Crew to the playoffs for the third straight season. He also helped Columbus reach the quarterfinals of the CONCACAF Champions League and the final of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup in 2010. He appeared in four Champions League games in 2010 and netted one goal, while scoring two goals in four Open Cup games.As a collegian, Lenhart, 24, led Azusa Pacific to the 2007 NAIA national title and was named an All-American. He scored 38 goals and notched 12 assists in 61 career games in college. His father, Gary, was a defensive lineman in football at Azusa Pacific.Ampaipitakwong helped the Zips to their first ever national championship in 2010 with an overtime win in the College Cup Final against Louisville. He was on the Hermann Trophy Watch List and was a College Soccer News Preseason All-American. He was a co-captain on a team that lost just two games over the past two years. He was a National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) First Team All-American and a Soccer America MVP First Team selection in 2009. His coach at Akron was Caleb Porter, who played four games for San Jose in 1999.The Texas native started all 93 games he appeared in over his four-year career at Akron, scoring 17 goals and notching 30 assists. He scored three goals and had a career high 11 assists in his senior season. From 2003-05, Ampaipitakwong was a part of the United States U17 national team Residency program in Bradenton, Fla.Transaction: San Jose Earthquakes (MLS) Earthquakes acquire F Steven Lenhart from the Columbus Crew in exchange for allocation money and a first round draft pick in 2011 MLS SuperDraft and select M Anthony Ampaipitakwong in the second round (33rd overall) in the 2011 MLS SuperDraft.
Courtesy San Jose Earthquakes media services

Neymar to sign extension with Barcelona through 2021


Neymar to sign extension with Barcelona through 2021

MADRID — Neymar will sign a three-year contract extension with Barcelona on Friday, a deal that will keep the Brazil forward with the Spanish club until 2021.

Barcelona and Neymar had made the announcement of the agreement in July.

The previous contract was to end in 2018. The new deal will run through June 2021, Barcelona said Monday.

The club's announcement in July ended speculation that Neymar was unhappy in Spain and was looking to move to another club. Paris Saint-Germain was among the clubs reportedly trying to sign him.

At the time, the club said the contract's buyout clause would be fixed at 200 million euros ($219 million) for the first year of the new contract, 222 million euros ($243 million) for the second, and 250 million euros ($274 million) for the final three years.

Neymar has been with Barcelona since moving from Brazilian club Santos in 2013. He has scored 90 goals in 149 matches, including five goals in eight matches this season.

A key player in Barcelona's potent attack along with Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez, Neymar helped the team win nine titles: two Spanish league titles, two Copa del Reys, two Spanish Super Cups, the Champions League, the European Super Cup, and the Club World Cup.

The trio of attacking players scored 122 goals in the 2014-15 season and 131 goals last season, both record figures.

Neymar and his father, who acts as his agent, are likely to face trial for fraud in Spain in a case into alleged irregularities regarding his transfer from Santos to Barcelona. A Brazilian investment group which was entitled to 40 percent of the transfer claims it received a smaller compensation than it should have because part of the fee was concealed.

Barcelona also confirmed that defender Javier Mascherano will be staying with the club until 2019. That deal also had been announced in July.

Bingham makes seven saves in Earthquakes' 0-0 draw with Whitecaps


Bingham makes seven saves in Earthquakes' 0-0 draw with Whitecaps


SAN JOSE -- Paolo Tornaghi had a clean sheet in his first MLS start and the Vancouver Whitecaps tied the San Jose Earthquakes 0-0 on Sunday in a game with no playoff implications.

Both teams had already seen their postseason hopes vanish. Vancouver (9-15-9) had its winless streak extended to four games and San Jose (8-11-14) has only won once in its last 10 games.

Tornaghi came out of his area to block Simon Dawkins' shot from the corner of the 6-yard box in the seventh minute. Cordell Cato tried to curl a shot inside the far post in the ninth minute but Tornaghi dove to deflect it wide.

Vancouver forward Masato Kudo won a loose ball in the penalty area in the 54th minute but David Bingham deflected the open shot. Bingham blocked Kudo's shot in the 56th and Kudo's rebound attempt hit the crossbar.

It was the sixth straight draw in the series at San Jose - with the last win coming on April 6, 2012.