Rosano: Lenhart, Dawkins guiding Earthquakes


Rosano: Lenhart, Dawkins guiding Earthquakes

June 12, 2001


Nicholas Rosano

The unsung hero of so many of the San Jose Earthquakes games over the past month and a half stepped into the spotlight on Saturday evening in the nations capital. Steven Lenhart buried a hat trick to lead the Earthquakes to a convincing 4-2 win over D.C. United and underscored the depth of attacking players head coach Frank Yallop has at his disposal. The barrage of goals is a particularly uplifting moment for Lenhart considering his struggles off the field at the beginning of the season. In addition to missing the first five games of the season through injury, Lenhart also had to deal with the death of his father. Since his return, however, Lenhart has been an important part of the Earthquakes attack, and with his three goals and assist has now tallied four goals and three assists in his last five games. Theres a lot thats been going on in my life. I think more than anything, its just a good release for me to play, Lenhart explained. Yallop was also full of praised for the burly striker, commenting, (Im) very, very happy for Steve. Hes been though a lot this year with his family and moving from Columbus. He looked really good tonight, for sure.
RECAP: Earthquakes, Lenhart topple D.C. United, 4-2
However, Lenhart indicated that soccer-wise, not much had changed in his game since he moved from the Columbus Crew to San Jose, or even since he was playing college soccer at Azusa Pacific, a small NAIA program. Ive been doing the same things ever since I began playing soccer, he explained. Sometimes you get more goals than not. Tonight was just one of those nights. Im feeling confident and ready to help the team more. San Joses English midfielder Simon Dawkins is another player who has had to deal with his own set of struggles. In addition to the challenges presented by adapting to life in a new country, Dawkins also missed eight weeks of play after a bilateral fasciotomy. He first returned to score off the bench last weekend against Houston before netting his second goal in as many games minutes after entering the game in Washington. It feels great to score, Dawkins said. Any goal you score is great. It was an important one as well to put us 3-2 up, so it really got us going and then the fourth goal we scored really topped the game off. The flood of goals will come as a great relief to those fans who worried about the Earthquakes offensive output without 2010 MLS scoring champion Chris Wondolowski, who is on duty with the U.S. national team. In fact, in 2010, no other player besides Wondolowski scored three goals, but tonights goals gave both Dawkins and Lenhart a total of four goals so far this season, with Wondolowski sitting on six. People tend to panic in their quotes, and writing about us and all those things. And things are going to change, Yallop explained. Were going to have some games where were not going to score. But theres ups and downs in our league. I never felt we werent going to score goals. I wouldnt go out and get rid of Lenhart and get some other striker in, because I felt and I knew that we can score goals in our league. And its proved tonight. While its likely the Earthquakes wont score four goals again for a while the team hasnt scored four goals in multiple MLS games since 2004 those around the team will want the Earthquakes to continue achieving a consistent offensive output. What they have been finding out in the last two weeks is that consistency wont always have the name Wondolowski attached to it.For more Earthquakes and MLS, you can follow Nick Rosano on Twitter: @nicholasrosano

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from Quakes' lopsided loss to Red Bulls


Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from Quakes' lopsided loss to Red Bulls


The San Jose Earthquakes had one big thing going for them when they took on the New York Red Bulls Wednesday evening — they were on 10 days rest having last played a truly competitive match on July 10 in U.S. Open Cup action.

Unfortunately for the Quakes, they failed to take advantage of that in losing to the Red Bulls 5-1 — definitely not the return to the pitch they were hoping for.  

Here are five takeaways from a Wednesday evening, lopsided loss to NYR. 

— The Quakes had no answer for Sacha Kljestan. The Red Bulls midfielder, who frequented the U.S. Men’s National Team roster at one point, was not called to international duty for the ongoing FIFA Gold Cup and San Jose paid the price for that — the man finessed the Quakes to death on Wednesday evening, factoring in three New York goals with his use of spacing in the Red Bulls midfield. 

— There were a couple of big debuts for San Jose. First, newly signed designated player Valeri Qazaishvili — who the MLS world is calling Vako — made his league debut when in he came as a substitute for Danny Hoesen at halftime. The Georgian native showed flashes with his early touch, but never really factored in the game until the 88th minute when he scored the Quakes’ lone goal on a volley tap courtesy of a nifty Jahmir Hyka cross. It’s a nice debut on the scoresheet, but San Jose is expecting DP-esque things from the Georgian. 

— And second, welcome back, Quincy Amarikwa. The forward has been sidelined since September of 2016 when he suffered ACL and LCL damage that required surgery. Amarikwa has been documenting his recovery on social media and surprised Quakes fans when he make his on-pitch return last week in a friendly against Germany’s Eintracht Frankfurt. On Wednesday, he made his official return in the 76th minute. Amarikwa has nine goals and seven assists in 41 career appearances with the Quakes. 

— It definitely wasn’t the homecoming head coach Chris Leitch was hoping for. Leitch played for five seasons over with the New York club. He made 101 appearances for the Metrostars/Red Bulls, assisting on five goals during his career. 

He’s now 0-1-0 as an opposing head coach. 

— It’s unfair to nitpick on a single defensive effort, given that soccer is a team sport, but the Red Bulls attacked center back Andres Imperiale often Wednesday afternoon — and more often than not, they were rewarded with a scoring opportunity. It’s the second straight poor showing on the road for the Quakes defense as a whole after surrendering a four-spot to Atlanta United FC on Independence Day.

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from Quakes' historic US Open Cup win over Galaxy

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from Quakes' historic US Open Cup win over Galaxy

It was a historic night over at Avaya Stadium. 

For the first time in U.S. Open Cup history, the San Jose Earthquakes have beaten their bitter rivals, the Los Angeles Galaxy -- 3-2. 

The win also propels the Quakes to just their second appearance in the tournament's semifinals. 

Chris Wondolowski scored a brace to lead the way while Danny Hoesen added the insurance. 

Here are a handful of things to know about Monday's win over the Galaxy. 

-- The sixth time was the charm as the Quakes had lost five previous meetings against their rivals. But the night began with some doubts when Jelle Van Damme scored in just the third minute. His header was goal No. 2 in the last two games against the Quakes.

But Wondolowski equalized courtesy of Tommy Thompson in the 16th minute and then put the San Jose up for good six minutes in the second half -- once again, thanks to Thompson. 

Hoesen scored a breakaway goal about ten minutes later.  

-- If you tried to find Wondolowski on the pitch using his regular number, you were unsuccessful. 

Wondolowski was sporting No. 38 Monday night in honor of Matheus Silva, the Quakes midfielder playing for Reno 1868 on loan who suffered swimming accident July 4 in Lake Tahoe. 

Silva was in a coma until July 6. 

Fittingly, the forward scored twice. Wondolowski's goal is the sixth of his U.S. Open Cup career. He's now tied for the all-time lead in Earthquakes history.  

-- Pregame, the Quakes introduced their latest acquisition, Designated Player Valeri ‘Vako’ Qazaishvili, to the press. 

Qazaishvili began his career in his native Georgia with FC Saburtalo in 2010, spending time on loan with Metalurgi Rustavi and Sioni Bulnisi. 

He then moved on to Vitesse in August of 2011 at just 18 years old, tallying one goal in four appearances for the first team in his debut season.

-- Speaking of Georgia, the Bay Area now boasts two of the nation's very best athletes. Zaza Pachulia, the starting center of the NBA Champion Golden State Warriors, was in attendance MOnday night. 

The center kicked the ceremonial first goal. 

He also swapped jerseys with Vako -- as per usual in soccer circles. No word on Pachulia's footy game. 

-- The Quakes have already equaled their best ever finish in Cup history. They'll now try to surpass that when they face either Sporting Kansas City of FC Dallas -- who play Tuesday night.