'Quakes ride 2nd half surge to end winless streak


'Quakes ride 2nd half surge to end winless streak

Nick Rosano

Its been a long time coming, but the Earthquakes havefinally snapped their 13 game winless streak. On the back of a strong secondhalf showing and goals from Chris Wondolowski and Ramiro Corrales, theEarthquakes were able to overcome the Chicago Fire 2-0 to keep their slimplayoff chances alive for another week. It wasnt always easy, though.After Wondolowskis 10th minute opener andhalf-chance for Khari Stepehenson minutes later, the Earthquakes found thegoing tough as Chicago dominated the run of play, creating a number of chancesagainst a beleaguered San Jose back line. We weathered the storm in the first half; they should havescored, but we got through that and our response in the second half was great,said head coach Frank Yallop, adding, Their chances in the first half came offour mistakes. In particular, the team was bailed out by Jon Busch twice inthe dying minutes of the first half. First, he did well to deny the FiresDominic Oduro on a one-on-one chance after a giveaway in the midfield. Secondslater, he was on hand to deny a volley from Sebastian Grazzini after theEarthquakes failed to fully clear their lines from a corner. However, the second half yielded much more positive play asthe team connected its passes better and put pressure on Chicago right from the restart. Simon Dawkinsand Rafael Baca were active in the center of midfield, while Wondolowskicontinued to test Sean Johsnon in the Chicagogoal, albeit without much luck. It took a little bit of concentration and execution on ourpart. I thought the movement was there in the first half, we just couldntconnect on some passes, Wondolowski said of the teams second half improvement.While Wondolowski was unable to convert a 53rdminute penalty kick, he spared himself some blushes when he set up Corralessecond goal in the 69th minute after a nicely-worked passingmove.In the second half, we connected our passes and executed onour chances. I am a little disappointed I couldnt get that second goal, but Iam thankful for our defense and Ramiro (Corrales) to clean up and get us the2-0 win, he added. Baca in particular impressed Yallop with his active play inthe midfield, earning commendation from his coach, who said, Im very happyfor Rafa; good player, good kid. Hell continue to see time if he keeps playinglike that. Alongside Baca, who is just now enjoying a run in theEarthquakes first team after signing for the team in July, Yallop reservedpraise for a player on the opposite end of the spectrum. Corrales, playing inhis 209th Earthquakes game, was dangerous on the left flank and dida reasonable job of containing Chicagospace on the other end of the field. Ramiro was very good tonight, and of course he scored thesecond goal, Yallop said. His general play is fantastic right now. Hes ourcaptain and I think his play is indicative of what hes done all year.Despite the impressive contributions across the Earthquakesattacking front, the teams defensive ability told as they managed to get aclean sheet, the teams first since a 0-0 draw at the Columbus Crew on July 16.(Jon) Busch was the man of the match and our defense playedgreat, Wondolowski said. To get a shutout against that team, it makes thiswin that much more special. In addition to Buschs five saves, the defense did well tocontain a Fire offense that has scored two goals in each of its last threecompetitive matches. In particular, Oduro, one of MLS hottest strikers, wasnot able to use his pace to great effect against a well-drilled Quakesbackline. After a win that Yallop was quick to characterize as arelief, the Earthquakes will travel to face the Houston Dynamo to kick off athree game road trip. A win in Houstoncould see the Earthquakes reassert themselves in the playoff race, while a losscould all but kill the teams already slim chances.Hopefully we can go to Houston with a fresh attitude, and if we canwin there, well be right back in it, Yallop said.For more Earthquakes, MLS and world soccer musings,you can follow Nick Rosano on Twitter: @nicholasrosano

Quakes complete MLS Superdraft with local talent; announce two signings


Quakes complete MLS Superdraft with local talent; announce two signings

The San Jose Earthquakes completed their participation in the 2017 MLS Superdraft with a nod to local soccer talent.

A couple of days after selecting a pair of midfielders in rounds one and two, the Quakes chose winger Christian Thierjung from the University of California with their third-round selection.

Thierjung joins Nick Lima, San Jose’s second-ever homegrown signing, as offseason moves that involve Golden Bears.

Thierjung, 22, goes to the Quakes after four seasons at Cal, where he appeared in 73 games, tallying 27 goals and seven assists.

As a senior, Thierjung was named First-Team All-Pac-12, Third Team All-Far West Region and Second-Team Academic All-Pac-12. He was selected First-Team All-Pac-12 and Second-Team All-Far West Region in 2015.

Thierjung also played for the Quakes' PDL affiliate Burlingame Dragons FC during the 2016 season, tallying two goals in five total appearances.

With their fourth-round selection, the Quakes took Auden Schilder, the 22-year-old goalkeeper from the University of Washington.

Schilder was selected Second Team All-Pac-12 Conference and Second Team All-Far West Region in 2016 after surrendering just 18 goals in 20 appearances and posting five shutouts.

During rounds one and two, the Quakes selected Generation Adidas midfielder Jackson Yueill with the No. 6 overall selection and University of South Florida midfielder Lindo Mfeka.

Also making local soccer news, Thierjung’s teammate on Burlingame Dragons FC, three-year captain Joshua Smith, was selected in the fourth round by the New England Revolution. Smith also captained the University of San Francisco.

On Tuesday, San Jose announced the signings of Marvell Wynne and Tommy Thompson. Per league rules, terms of the deals were not disclosed.

Thompson, 21, became the Earthquakes' first-ever homegrown player signing in 2014, following one season at Indiana University where he was named the Big Ten Conference Freshman of the Year. He’s yet to score a point in an MLS match.

Wynne has appeared in 301 games during his 11-year MLS career, recording two goals and 21 assists. He was an invaluable member of a Quakes team that was hit hard by injuries in 2016.

Wynne helped the Colorado Rapids win MLS Cup in 2010. He has also represented the United States National Team and was a starter during the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.

Day 1 of MLS 2017 Superdraft: Quakes take pair of midfielders

Day 1 of MLS 2017 Superdraft: Quakes take pair of midfielders

The San Jose Earthquakes began their 2017 draft by taking a UCLA Bruin. And if he pans out to play anything like the player he emulates his game around, the Quakes might have themselves a true superstar. 

Jackson Yueill, a midfielder, was selected by the Quakes with the sixth pick in the 2017 Superdraft. Yueill, who models his game around FC Barcelona and Spanish National Team legend Andres Iniesta, is a Generation Adidas Signing for the Earthquakes.

"I'm super excited," Yueill said. "I love the west coast. I'm excited to move to San Jose. It's a really good environment with the team and the fans. I've heard great things. I'm excited to try and bring another cup to San Jose." 

The UCLA product played in 40 games during his college career, scoring nine goals and notching 17 assists during those contests. His 11 assists in 2016 led the Pac-12. 

Considered a high-upside player, Yueill joins the Quakes in what already is a pretyt stacked midfield. "I see myself as an 8," Yueill said of his fit in the MLS game. "A box-to-box midfielder who can get into the attacking zone and create goal scoring opportunities." 

Yueill was named to back-to-back NSCAA First Team All-Far West Region and First Team All-Pacific 12 Conference teams. He has represented the United States on the U-20 team.

As a member of Generation Adidas, Yueill's salary will not count against salary cap. 

"I'm a player that loves to learn," Yueill said. "It's always great to come to a team where the coach believes in you."

With the 28th pick of the draft, the Earthquakes selected another midfielder -- Lindo Mfeka of the University of South Florida. 

A four-year player with the Bulls, Mfeka scored 16 goals and notched 18 assists in his college career. 

Mfeka is a two-time First Team member of the All-American Athletic Conference. He was born in Durban, South Africa.

Day 2 of the MLS Superdraft will happen via conference call next Tuesday. The Quakes have two picks remaining -- the 50th and 72nd overall selections. 

Rounding out local Superdraft News: Two members of the Quakes' Premier Development League affiliate, Burlingame Dragons FC, were selected in Day 1. Brian Nana-Sinkam (Stanford) was selected by the MLS-champion Seattle Sounders and Brian Wright (Vermont) went to the New England Revolution.