Zuras departure creates quandary for Earthquakes


Zuras departure creates quandary for Earthquakes

Nick Rosano

SAN JOSE The man who the Earthquakes hoped would be their late season lift has left the club with barely more than a sputter. After only 20 ineffective minutes on the field in the teams 2-0 loss to the Los Angeles Galaxy, Zura left the club to return to his native Ecuador. The San Jose Earthquakes announced today that the club has terminated the loan deal with Ecuadorian outfit El Nacional for forward Edmundo Zura, a statement issued by the team said. The action is a result of findings in his full medical examination. Both head coach Frank Yallop and general manager John Doyle made it clear that Zura was not able to perform at the level the Earthquakes had expected him to. With just ten games left in the season when Zura arrived, both had highlighted the need for a player that could make an impact right away. NEWS: Quakes huanted by wastefulness in 1-1 draw
For me, he wasnt able to compete at the level that we need him to compete at physically. Thats the key component of it all, Doyle said. You would think that he would be able to compete at that level. I think theres two things I think his fitness and somethings wrong with him. In particular, Doyle pointed to Zuras cameo as a substitute against the Galaxy. After entering the game in the 71st minute, Zura looked unable to cope with the pace of play, a fact the player himself noted later as a possible hurdle for him, but one he felt he could overcome.As soon as we saw him run around in the game, the ten minutes, I said to Frank ,Hes not running right, Doyle explained. Its for me very easy, and it wasnt fatigue, its not a thing where you go, Oh, hes had a long flight. The failure of the teams attempt to bring in an impact player will likely bring the Earthquakes management under more scrutiny, especially with the team riding a 13 game winless streak and looking increasingly likely to miss out on the playoffs for the third time in four years since returning to the league as an expansion team in 2008. Quite honestly, we made a mistake, Earthquakes president David Kaval wrote on the teams official website, though he acknowledged that the team would do more in the future to prevent a similar situation. Going forward, we have plans to allocate more resources to improve the process of international player acquisitions to make sure a situation like this doesnt happen again. Zuras departure leaves the Earthquakes in a bit of a quandary in regards to who will partner Chris Wondolowski up top. Yallop has always been a fan of using a big target forward in his lineups, and Zura was thought to be the replacement in that role with Alan Gordon (surgery) and Steven Lenhart (family leave) out for the foreseeable future. While the international transfer window closed on Aug. 15, there is still a possibility the Earthquakes could make a move before the Sept. 15 roster freeze deadline for MLS teams, though Doyle admitted it was unlikely the team would make any moves. I thinksome of the guys that are here are going to get more opportunities, Doyle said. He also referenced the improving health of Simon Dawkins and Scott Sealy, who were injured when the club brought in Zura. Wondolowski also acknowledged that rather than bringing in a new player to have an impact, the team could find a solution to its woes among the players already on the roster. Its not like we had him Zura and now we dont, so we just gotta keep doing what weve been doing, he said. Simons healthy now, so that makes a huge difference, and I think were starting to get more guys healthy and starting to play a lot better. REWIND: Quakes shift focus to 2012, Ecuadorian striker Zura
Against Toronto, Dawkins got the start up top alongside Wondolowski, his intelligent and technical link-up play intended to help create chances, as opposed to the tougher, more physically based play a forward like Lenhart, Gordon or Zura would offer. Another option on the table for Frank Yallop and his staff is Matt Luzunaris, the young striker who has seen limited playing time thus far this season, but featured as an 83rd minute substitute in San Joses most recent game, a 1-1 draw at Toronto FC. He brings a lot of energy, hes got good movement, hes a powerful, strong runner, good in the air, so it was a good thing to have him, Wondolowski said, of Luzunaris cameo against Toronto. With the Earthquakes still mathematically in the playoff race, Yallop indicated that he would likely go with a more known quantity in his team as a second forward likely Dawkins or Khari Stephenson but he expected Luzunaris and fellow young attacker Ellis McLoughlin to be ready to contribute if called upon. Its never easy because usually you go with what you kind of know, Yallop said. I think that Ellis had a few opportunities to play well in limited minutes that I agreed, but I think when youre still fighting for a playoff spot and trying to win you tend to pick what you think is your strongest team. Yallop and the Earthquakes do have some time to sort out the situation at forward, as the team has a bye this coming weekend. It will return to action when the Chicago Fire pay a visit to Buck Shaw Stadium on Sept. 10.For more Earthquakes, MLS and world soccer musings, you can follow Nick Rosano on Twitter: @nicholasrosano

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


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.