Five Earthquakes to watch in 2012

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Five Earthquakes to watch in 2012

Approaching the season opener Saturday against New England, the Earthquakes are optimistic. Key in on these five players, looking to inject the 'Quakes with energy in 2012.

Forward- Chris Wondolowski
Originally drafted out of Chico State by San Jose in 2005, the former De La Salle High School star returned to the team in 2009. Wondolowski had a breakout 2010 season, leading Major League Soccer in scoring with 18 goals in 28 matches en route to winning the MLS Golden Boot. In 2011, Wondolowski recorded nine game-winning goals, setting an MLS record. San Jose recently resigned Wondolowski to a new contract this February 2012.

Midfielder- Tressor Moreno
The veteran talent made his professional debut in 1999 when he emigrated to Peru and played for the Peruvian Alianza Lima team. During his year with Lima, Moreno played in 40 matches and scored 16 goals. In 2000 Moreno played for Colombia. During the 2005 season he was named one of the best players of the CONCACAF Gold Cup. During this time, Moreno was thought to be one the best foreign players to ever represent Peru. Moreno became a member of the Earthquakes in February 2012.

Winger - Marvin Chavez
Chavez broke out in 2011, starting 30 of 31 games and registering six goals and four assists for FC Dallas. He boosted the Texas club to a fourth-place finish and a place in the playoffs for the second season in a row. Chavez scored a game-winner in CONCACAF Champions League play on Aug. 17 against the Pumas UNAM. His MLS career includes eight goals and six assists, highlighted by a a goal and two assists in the MLS Cup final. Chavez is known as "El Hijo del Viento, (The Son of the Wind) because of speed.

Center defender- Ike Opara
Opara was drafted by San Jose Earthquakes in the first round (third overall) in the 2010 MLS Superdraft after playing five years for San Diego State University. In 19 games, Opara has scored three goals. Opara has a 38.5 SOG accuracy. The San Jose defender was selected by the U.S. to join its under-23 men's National Team Olympic Camp.

Full back- Steven Beitashour
Beitashour was picked 30 overall in the second round of the MLS Superdraft by the San Jose Earthquakes. He scored his first goal in the MLS against Chivas USA on April 24, 2010. Beitashour has played for the MLS for two years, scoring one goal and registering seven assists.

Source: Kings, Pelicans have discussed possible Cousins trade

Source: Kings, Pelicans have discussed possible Cousins trade

Nothing is ever a sure thing when it comes to the Sacramento Kings. After digging deep into negotiations with DeMarcus Cousins on a new five-year, $219 million contract extension, a source has confirmed to CSN California that Sacramento has had discussions with the New Orleans Pelicans on a possible trade for the All-Star big man.

No deal is imminent, but according to a person with knowledge of the situation, talks between the Kings and the Pelicans took place over the weekend and there is a 50/50 chance that something will materialize before Thursday’s NBA trade deadline.

The Kings went to great lengths a few weeks back to ensure Cousins that rumors of a potential trade were false, even meeting with the 26-year-old big and his agents in Sacramento to crush published reports.

Sacramento's GM Vlade Divac even went as far as to tell ESPN’s Marc Stein, “We’re not trading DeMarcus.”

Cousins spoke glowingly of Sacramento in his media sessions at All-Star weekend in New Orleans, reiterating to reporters that he would love to finish his career in a Kings uniform.

The Pelicans are a strange trade partner. Anthony Davis is the only blue chip player on the roster, but there is no way New Orleans is giving up their superstar in a deal. There are other assets that Sacramento might be interested in.

According to sources, the Kings attempted to move up in the 2016 NBA Draft to select shooting guard Buddy Hield, and point guard Jrue Holiday has admirers in the organization. The Pelicans also own all of their first-round draft picks moving forward.

Any team trading for Cousins would likely want assurances from the center/forward that he intends to sign an extension during the summer. But they would be limited to a four-year deal, not the “designated player” five-year extension Cousins has been looking to sign in Sacramento.

Cousins is having his best season in Sacramento, averaging 27.8 points, 10.7 rebounds and 4.9 assists under Dave Joerger.

Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical was first to report the potential deal.

A's spring training update Day 6: Davis savors winter in Oakland

A's spring training update Day 6: Davis savors winter in Oakland

MESA, Ariz. — Khris Davis enjoyed quite an offseason travel itinerary, checking out Toronto, taking in the beaches of Hawaii and dining on lobster in Belize.

However, it was the time spent in his adopted hometown of Oakland that most struck a chord with the A’s left fielder. After finishing his first season with the A’s, Davis followed through on his plan to make his offseason home in Oakland, and he was glad he did.

“I got to just feel the heart of the city,” he said upon arriving at camp Sunday. “That was basically the purpose of why I was there. … I wanted to feel Oakland. I love it, honestly. I love the city.”

He trained at Dogtown Athletic, a gym in West Oakland. He took part in the A’s holiday party for kids at the Oakland Zoo, joined by A’s Hall of Famer Rickey Henderson, who grew up in the city.

“Just to feel these kids’ happiness,” Davis said. “They didn’t look at me as a baseball player. They just looked at me as a role model kind of.”

It should be music to the ears of A’s fans that the team’s most dangerous hitter has a love affair with the city he plays in. If the A’s ever entertained the idea of trying to sign Davis to a multi-year extension, and that’s purely hypothetical here, it would help that Davis feels comfortable in his surroundings.

Even when he described Oakland in edgy terms, such as when he said it “has its dark side,” he seemed to find it endearing.

In return, Davis felt the love from the fan base in 2016, hitting a career-high 42 homers with a team-best 102 RBI. That was despite the awful start he got off to, hitting .143 and mustering just one RBI over his first 12 games.

Obviously, any chances the A’s have of improving last year’s American League-worst offense rely on the 29-year-old Davis having another big year. But over-analysis is one thing he tries to avoid.

“I don’t want to get caught up in last year — the slow start and the strong finish, whatever,” he said. “However it was, I’m just ready to do this year.”

Davis decided to back out of his plan to play for Mexico in the World Baseball Classic, saying his main priority was preparing for his A’s season.

“My main focus is to perform for the organization,” he said. “I feel like I want to get off on the right foot this year.”

NOTEWORTHY: Heavy showers continued to pelt Mesa on Sunday, spoiling the A’s first full-squad workout. The hitters were relegated to swinging in the cages and playing catch, while pitchers were scheduled for a day off from throwing on the mound anyway.

“If ever there was a day, at least for the pitchers, that you don’t need to (work out), it’s today,” manager Bob Melvin said. “But when you have everybody there on the first day, you wanna get out on the field and do everything. Hopefully we can incorporate everything tomorrow.”

The A’s have a whopping 70 players in camp, more than in any other spring Melvin can remember as a big league manager. He addressed the full team in a meeting Sunday morning.

His message?

“We’re gonna have to outwork, out-hustle everybody like we have in the past,” he said, “and get back to playing the game with the same tenacity that we did a couple years ago.”

FAMILIAR FACE: Longtime A’s second baseman Mark Ellis is back for the second year in a row as a spring infield instructor. The plan is for Ellis to spend a week with the team now, then another week later in camp.

“I’ll take Mark Ellis as many days as I can have him,” Melvin said.

LIGHTER SIDE: Nursing his broken right foot, starting pitcher Daniel Mengden has been making his way through the clubhouse on a knee scooter in order to keep pressure off his foot.

Apparently, it looks more fun than it really is.

“I contribute to society Friday, when I can start walking again,” Mengden quipped.