Earthquakes

Quakes land Lenhart, Ampaipitakwong on draft day

Quakes land Lenhart, Ampaipitakwong on draft day

Jan. 13, 2011EARTHQUAKES PAGE

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

Gold Cup roundup: Five takeaways from USMNT's championship win

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USATSI

Gold Cup roundup: Five takeaways from USMNT's championship win

For the sixth time in Gold Cup tournament history, the United States hoisted the championship trophy – this time in front of 63,000 fans Wednesday night at Levi’s Stadium.
 
Jozy Altidore opened the scoring in the 45th minute with a beautiful free kick. However, Jamaica equalized only five minutes into the second half.
 
Stanford product Jordan Morris later scored the game-winner in the 88th minute to secure a U.S. title. 
 
Here are five things you should know about the U.S.’ latest tournament championship.
 
-- Aside from a little extra gold in the trophy case, the biggest thing the United States takes from winning the cup is confidence. They’ll have about a month worth of rest before the Hexagon resumes – and right out of the gate, it’s a date with Costa Rica, who the U.S. beat on their road to the tournament title.
 
Currently, Costa Rica sits three points clear of the U.S. in the CONCACAF’s 2018 World Cup qualifying table. A victory against Los Ticos on Sept. 1 would be the biggest win of this latest Bruce Arena era.
 
-- Speaking of Bruce Arena, it can’t be understated just how big of tournament win this is for the U.S. Soccer manager. Hired to jumpstart a team that to many pundits looked flat and lacked fire under Jurgen Klismann, Arena has now won a trophy, helped the USMNT get back into Hex contention and has not lost a match. In 15 matches, Arena has a 9-0-6 record. He now has 84 career wins as the USMNT front man.
 
-- We’re still on record breaker watch since Clint Dempsey did not start or play in Wednesday’s final. The Seattle Sounders, who recently took down the San Jose Earthquakes to move ahead of them in the standings and are Dempsey’s club of employment, play their next MLS fixture on Saturday. The risk of shot rest could explain Bruce Arena’s apprehension to not start Dempsey. He came in during the 57th minute. Captain America came really close to scoring twice. 
 
So, the record, shared by Dempsey and Landon Donovan at 57 international goals, will sit there for at least another match.
 
-- Quick look at the numbers and there isn’t a clear contender for the U.S. Player of the Gold Cup. So after stumbles against Panama and Martinique to start the tournament, what was most impressive is how the U.S. defense came together to close out the Gold Cup. In five games, they surrendered just one goal. So, hats off to Omar Gonzalez, Graham Zusi, Matt Besler and Jorge Villafaña who were instrumental during that stretch – but let us not forget Matt Hedges, Eric Lichaj and Justin Morrow who really got that impressive defensive stretch rolling.
 
-- Morris had been struggling to score all season but he may have now forced Arena’s hand with his Gold Cup performance. While he did get beat on defense on Jamaica’s goal, the search for a scoring defender by the USMNT as qualifiers creeps up is ongoing. Morris, who burst onto the MLS scene last season, is making a strong case for himself.

Former Stanford star scores winning goal for USA in Gold Cup victory

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USATSI

Former Stanford star scores winning goal for USA in Gold Cup victory

SANTA CLARA -- As the victorious American players bounced so hard the podium shook, medals round their necks, a beaming Bruce Arena in the back raised his arms to the air right along with them as gold confetti began to fall.

The U.S. resurgence is off to an impressive start since Arena returned late last year. Another CONCACAF Gold Cup crown, and now on to more important business: qualifying for next year's World Cup.

Former Stanford star Jordan Morris scored a tiebreaking goal in the 88th minute, and the United States beat Jamaica 2-1 on Wednesday night for its sixth Gold Cup title and first since 2013.

Jozy Altidore's goal on a 28-yard free kick in the 45th minute beat backup goalkeeper Dwayne Miller after Jamaica captain Andre Blake left early with a hand injury.

Je-Vaughn Watson tied the score when he got away from Morris for a 4-yard volley off Kemar Lawrence's 50th-minute corner kick.

Morris, who left nearby Stanford in his junior year, has won the 2015 NCAA title, the 2016 MLS championship with Seattle and now the 2017 Gold Cup. He got the breakthrough goal with a 14-yard right-footed shot after Gyasi Zardes crossed.

"I was nervous. It was my guy that scored on the goal, so I was trying to make up for it any way that I could," Morris said. "Obviously. I take responsibility for that. But luckily I could put one in the back of the net."

Jermaine Taylor tried to clear with a header and the ball was knocked by Clint Dempsey with a leg back to Morris. It was the fifth international goal for the 22-year-old Morris, who tied 16-year-old Canadian Alphonso Davies for the tournament lead with three goals.

"That was like a dagger in the heart," Jamaica coach Theodore Whitmore said.

The U.S. extended its unbeaten streak to 14 games (9-0-5) under Arena, who became the first coach to win three Gold Cup titles.

"Bruce brought in a new energy," goalkeeper Tim Howard said. "He just gave us a tremendous lift."

U.S. captain Michael Bradley earned the Golden Ball at the tournament's top player.

The Americans had a chance in the 19th minute when Altidore's swerving 30-yard shot was parried by Blake, who dived left and then beat Kellyn Acosta to the rebound at the 6-yard box. Acosta collided with Blake and appeared to kick the keeper's right hand before Jamaica's Damion Lowe cleared. Blake's hand was wrapped but he couldn't continue and was replaced by Miller four minutes later. As Blake left the field, he acknowledged the cheering fans with a wave of his left hand, then later emerged for the medal ceremony with his hand bandaged after receiving seven stitches. Nothing was broken.

"It was a very unfortunate situation. What to say? Very sad situation," Whitmore said.

Altidore put the U.S. ahead with a curling shot past Miller's outstretched right hand into the upper corner of the net just beneath the crossbar, his 39th goal in 108 appearances.

Lawrence, who scored in a 1-0 semifinal win Sunday against Mexico, took another corner kick in the 75th minute moments after Alvas Powell's shot from close range deflected off Graham Zusi - a sequence that had Howard yelling at the defense.

Using a lineup with about half its regular starters - the rest are in preseason with European clubs - the U.S. reached its record 10th final. The Reggae Boyz were a surprising final opponent after they stunned Mexico in a semifinal Sunday to reach the title match for a second straight time.

With 18 of 22 starters from Major League Soccer, this was a rematch of the 2015 Gold Cup semifinal won 2-1 by Jamaica at Atlanta. For the first time since replacing Jurgen Klinsmann in November, Arena kept his lineup unchanged. He inserted the 34-year-old Dempsey in the 55th minute.

Chunks of turf came loose yet again at Levi's Stadium, the $1.2 billion, 3-year-old home of the NFL San Francisco 49ers. The field has been an ongoing issue.

The Americans hope for momentum built during this run as they prepare to resume World Cup qualifying. The U.S faces Costa Rica in a rematch of the Gold Cup semifinal on Sept. 1 at Harrison, New Jersey, and play four days later at Honduras. The hex concludes against Panama on Oct. 6 in Orlando, Florida, and at Trinidad and Tobago four days after.

"We're not worried one bit about World Cup qualifying today. I can promise you that," Bradley said. "This was about a group of guys winning a trophy and that's been the only goal."

Arena already was looking ahead.

"We're a long way from qualifying for a World Cup, and that's the objective, for sure," he said.