Real Salt Lake vs. Earthquakes: What to watch for

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Real Salt Lake vs. Earthquakes: What to watch for

Programming note: The Earthquakes kick off against Real Salt Lake Saturday at 7:30 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet California.

The last two times these clubs met, the San Jose Earthquakes moved ahead of Real Salt Lake for the Western Conference lead.RSL will try to return the favor this time.San Jose goes for the season sweep of Real Salt Lake on Saturday night at Buck Shaw Stadium.After Simon Dawkins and Chris Wondolowski scored in second-half injury time to lift San Jose to a 3-1 home win over RSL on April 21 - moving the club atop the West for the first time since returning to MLS in 2008 - the Earthquakes (11-4-4) posted a 2-1 victory at Rio Tinto Stadium on June 23 to move a point ahead of Real Salt Lake.Now with that same edge over second-place RSL (11-6-3), San Jose will try to avoid a season high-tying three-match winless stretch following last Saturday's scoreless draw at conference-worst FC Dallas.Down a man in the 80th minute when captain Ramiro Corrales was sent off for picking up his second yellow card, the Earthquakes still had a number of opportunities to find the back of the net."Whether you're down a man or up a man, when you're one-on-one with the goalkeeper, you still need to finish it and we didn't do that," said Wondolowski, the league leader with 14 goals.The suspended Corrales now has to hope his team can finish the sweep of RSL without him."(It would be) a big, big confidence boost," he told the league's official website. "Obviously, they're one of the better teams in the league, that's why they're one point behind us. ... I'm very disappointed I won't be a part of that, but I think the guys can do the job."Wondolowski has one goal in each of the two matches with RSL in 2012 after going scoreless in his first five games against Real Salt Lake.RSL forward Alvaro Saborio is scoreless versus San Jose this season, but he's coming off the second hat trick in club history in last Saturday's 3-0 win over Portland. Saborio, third in MLS with 10 goals, snapped the club's 249-minute scoreless stretch in the 60th minute."The goal - it opens everything," he said. "We finally scored first and got a win."Forward Justin Braun could make his Real Salt Lake debut Saturday when the club goes for its first back-to-back victories since a 3-0 run May 12-June 16.Braun, a Salt Lake City native, was acquired from Montreal on Wednesday for a 2014 conditional draft pick."Really excited to add Justin," general manager Garth Lagerwey told RSL's official website. "Big, athletic player that I think can play either one of the forward spots for us."In six games against San Jose while with Chivas USA, Braun had four goals and an assist.The Earthquakes should have forward Steven Lenhart back after coach Frank Yallop gave him last Saturday off to rest.Alan Gordon, who replaced Lenhart in that match for his third start of 2012, scored and set up Wondolowski's goal last month in Sandy, Utah.San Jose has never won three in a row against Real Salt Lake.

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.