Quakes re-sign Lenhart, add Salinas

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Quakes re-sign Lenhart, add Salinas

The Earthquakes have begun the process of re-shaping their roster for 2012. They announced today that they have re-signed forward Steven Lenhart to a contract extension and acquired midfielder Shea Salinas from Vancouver Whitecaps FC in exchange for allocation money.

Lenhart, 25, originally joined the Earthquakes in Jan. 2011 as part of a trade that saw the Earthquakes give up their first-round pick in the 2011 MLS SuperDraft and allocation money to the Columbus Crew.

The big-target forward got off to a strong start as an Earthquake, scoring five goals and tallying three assists, but missed the last half of the season after being granted a leave of absence to attend to family matters his father had passed away at the beginning of the 2011 season.

Obviously a very, very tough year for Steven as a young man losing his father, said Earthquakes head coach Frank Yallop, adding that he believed Lenhart was ready to focus on soccer again. I think he feels ready to go. Nobody forced him to re-sign, he did it on his own terms.

The undoubted highlight of Lenharts time with the Earthquakes was his hat trick against D.C. United in June that earned him the North American Soccer Repoters MLS Player of the Week award. Before leaving the team, he was on pace for his most productive season yet, having collected his five goals and three assists in just 1,163 minutes. He was already just one goal away from matching his personal best over a season, the six goals he scored with Columbus in 2010, which he amassed over a period of 1,640 minutes.

I thought Steven was great for us in the games he was available. He was a big part of that six-game unbeaten streak we had and were looking forward to having him paired up with Chris Wondolowski at the top of our attack in 2012, said Earthquakes general manager of soccer operations John Doyle.

Salinas, also 25, was the only played selected by the Earthquakes in the 2008 MLS SuperDraft, going 15th overall. He made 46 appearances over two years with San Jose, tallying two goals and five assists. Salinas was subsequently picked in consecutive MLS Expansion Drafts, playing in 2010 for the Philadelphia Union and 2011 for the Whitecaps, where he registered a goal and three assists over 26 appearances (18 starts) for the last-placed team.

Were excited to bring Shea back to San Jose, Doyle said. Hes a versatile guy who can play in the midfield, up top or even as an outside defender. His high work rate and pace should be a big help to us next season.

In addition to his versatility, Salinas brings plenty of speed to the field and could help fill the creative gap left by the departing Bobby Convey, as well as other players such as midfielder Simon Dawkins whose futures with the team remain uncertain.

Shea is an option to play wide left, wide right, Yallop said, adding that the player is most comfortable on the right. We know Shea, I've had a good chat with him and he's excited to be coming back and wants to be here.

When asked if the Earthquakes had lacked a quick player like Salinas in the 2011 season, Yallop responded affirmatively.

If you look, yeah, we did miss a player like Salinas, he said. Weve been trying to get that kind of player for a long time, but its difficult.

Yallop further explained that Salinas will proved useful in breaking down teams that tend to press more, with the players speed providing a big boost in being able to get behind teams back lines.

The Earthquakes also declined to pick up contract options on several players, including Convey. Joining Convey in their availability for selection in Dec. 5s Re-Entry Draft are defender Chris Leitch midfielder Andre Luiz Moreira, midfielder Jacob Peterson, forward Scott Sealy and goalkeeper Andrew Weber. The Earthquakes could still bring some of these players back at a lower deal.

Yallop highlighted Leitch and Peterson as two players who stood out among the list of players who had their options declined, saying that there could be a chance we get them on a decent salary.

For more Earthquakes, MLS and world soccer chatter, you can follow Nick Rosano on Twitter: @nicholasrosano.

Torres scores MLS-leading seventh goal, Dynamo shut out Earthquakes

Torres scores MLS-leading seventh goal, Dynamo shut out Earthquakes

BOX SCORE

HOUSTON — Erick Torres scored his MLS-leading seventh goal of the season and the Houston Dynamo beat the San Jose Earthquakes 2-0 on Saturday.

Torres opened the scoring in the ninth minute, converting from the penalty spot after Fatai Alashe conceded a penalty against Alex Lima. Alberth Elis tapped in a corner kick — Houston's first of the match — by Eric Alexander in the 72nd. Elis, a 21-year old designated player, has three goals in seven career MLS games.

It was the third game in eight days for San Jose (2-3-3), which is winless in its last six after opening the season with back-to-back victories.

Joe Willis had two saves for his first shutout this season. It was his second consecutive start after Tyler Deric started the first five matches for the Dynamo (4-2-1).

Houston is unbeaten, and all of its four wins have come, at home.

Earthquakes begin three-game road trip with draw vs Revolution

Earthquakes begin three-game road trip with draw vs Revolution

BOX SCORE

FOXBOROUGH, Mass.  — Cody Cropper had his second shutout of the season and the New England Revolution tied the San Jose Earthquakes 0-0 on a rainy Wednesday night.

New England (2-3-2) had its six-game home winning streak snapped. San Jose (2-2-3) ended a five-game road losing streak.

Cropper had a great reaction save of Fatai Alashe's redirection in the 66th minute. Cropper was moving to his right but extended his left leg to deny a near-post shot. Cropper also punched away Darwin Ceren's blast in the 88th minute.

San Jose goalkeeper David Bingham also had his second clean sheet of the season. He came out of his area to deny Diego Fagundez in the 26th minute. Fagundez had a nice give-and-go with Juan Agudelo in the 74th minute, but Fagundez's rolling shot was knocked wide by Bingham.

 

GAME SUMMARY

San Jose 0 0—0
New England 0 0—0

First half_None.

Second half_None.

Goalies_San Jose, David Bingham, Andrew Tarbell; New England, Cody Cropper, Brad Knighton.

Yellow Cards_Godoy, San Jose, 27th; Bingham, San Jose, 85th.

Referee_Hilario Grajeda.

___

Lineups

San Jose_David Bingham; Victor Bernardez, Shaun Francis, Nick Lima; Fatai Alashe, Anibal Godoy, Jahmir Hyka, Florian Jungwirth; Cordell Cato (Tommy Thompson, 69th), Danny Hoesen (Marcos Urena, 69th), Chris Wondolowski (Darwin Ceren, 83rd).

New England_Cody Cropper; Benjamin Angoua, Antonio Delamea Mlinar, Andrew Farrell, Chris Tierney; Scott Caldwell, Diego Fagundez, Daigo Kobayashi (Kei Kamara, 52nd), Lee Nguyen, Kelyn Rowe; Juan Agudelo (Xavier Kouassi, 78th).