A pair of free kick goals from Ramiro Corrales paced the SanJose Earthquakes to a convincing 4-0 win over visiting Chivas USA at a soldout Buck Shaw Stadium. Victor Bernardez and Simon Dawkins also scored for theEarthquakes in the victory that extended their home unbeaten streak to 15games.It was a good night for defenders, said head coach FrankYallop after the match. The goal scoring was a bonus, but the clean sheet iswhat I am more happy about.Even without a goal from Chris Wondolowski, who almostnetted in the first half when his header glanced off the crossbar, theEarthquakes romped over their Southern Californiaopponent in fine fashion. The three goals directly from free kicks, all fromEarthquakes defenders, were the teams first in 2012. The club also set a newfranchise record for goals in a season as they pushed their total to 56. Theprevious season best was 55 goals in the 1997 season.The stats say it all, said Yallop. We are scoring a tonof goals from everywhere. If you had asked me that before the start of theseason, I would have said I am not sure we could do that.Corrales, the Earthquakes team captain and MLS original, hadan especially memorable night. Twice in the second half he lined up over freekicks in Chivas USAterritory and twice he sent the ball into the back of the net.It was the great team performance and I am happy I scoredtwo goals to contribute, said Corrales. I cant remember the last time Iscored two goals in a match. I couldnt be more proud to captain this team.Goalkeeper Jon Busch made a series of spectacular saves inthe first half to preserve an early 1-0 Earthquakes lead, and he remainedstrong through the second half to earn his sixth shutout of the season.Thats my job, said Busch. Some days you are called onmore than others and tonight I was glad I could help the team. It was nice toget the clean sheet.The Earthquakes extended their lead atop the MLS WesternConference over Real Salt Lakeand they separated themselves from Sporting Kansas City in the race for theSupporters Shield. However, with seven games remaining on the regular seasonschedule Busch knows the team still has work left to do.Especially at this time of year, other teams are startingto come on, said Busch, and we have to keep picking up three points everytime we play. Thats our focus right now, winning games. We know we are playingwell, but we have a long way to go.San Jose has a week off beforereturning to action on Saturday, September 15, away to the same opponent ChivasUSA.Sunday night at Buck Shaw Stadium, the Earthquakes made onechange in a line-up that beat the Colorado Rapids 4-1 a week earlier, with ironman Justin Morrow getting the night off in favor of center back Bernardez. Themove paid dividends almost immediately, as the Honduran opened the scoring onthe nght.Following a hard foul on Sam Cronin in the 11thminute by Chivas USAdesignated player Oswaldo Minda, Bernardez lined up a free kick from 30 yardsout. His shot stayed low and curled around the defensive wall and into net forthe opening score. For Bernardez, who will join up with the Honduran nationalteam ahead of a pair of CONCACAF World Cup qualifiers on Monday, the goal washis second of the season for San Jose.Earthquakes goalkeeper Busch was soon called into action ona couple of Chivas breakaways. In the 14th minute following a poorback pass from Ramiro Corrales, forward Juan Agudelo pounced on the loose balland carried it toward the San Josegoal. Making himself big at the top of the area, Busch sacrificed his body tosave Agudelos blast and keep his team up a goal.Twenty minutes later, it was Busch again stopping Agudelo,as a turnover in midfield led to another Chivas counterattack. BeatingBernardez to a through ball, Agudelo got a shot off before Busch could convergeon the play, but the keeper deftly deflected the 19-year old strikers shotattempt away.The Earthquakes doubled their lead in the 39thminute after a good hustle play from Alan Gordon forced a turnover in theChivas half. After tracking down a weak goalkick, Gordon passed the ball off toMarvin Chavez. The speedy winger dribbled the ball toward the area beforecutting the ball back to Wondolowski. The MLS leading scoring elected to threada pass to Dawkins inside the 18, and the English midfielder slotted home thegoal, his seventh of the season.A confrontation between Gordon and Minda in the waningminutes of the first half led to both being awarded yellow cards. Rafael Bacahad earlier been shown yellow for a delay of game infraction.San Josekept their foot on the gas in the second half and scored their third goal ofthe evening in the 72nd minute. After having had a goal called offminutes earlier, the Earthquakes continued their high pressure on Chivas andearned a free kick 25 yards from goal. Team captain Corrales sent a shotbetween two members of the defensive wall and just inside the near post toextend San Joseslead to 3-0.In the 81st minute, on another free kickopportunity deep in the Chivas USA half, Corrales again found the back of thenet for San Jose.With the defense still setting up a wall, Corrales took a quick restart andcaught goalkeeper Dan Kennedy sleeping. The shot bounced just beyond his reachand into the net for the 4-0 Earthquakes lead. The two free kick goals byCorrales were his first two goals of the 2012 season.With the game safely in hand, all that was left for theEarthquakes was to run out the clock on the 4-0 victory. The win restored San Jose to the top ofthe Supporters Shield standings and extended their lead in the MLS WesternConference to 7 points over second place RSL.
SAN JOSE - The San Jose Earthquakes announced Friday that the club has hired Mikael Stahre (Michael STAR-eh) as head coach. Stahre brings 11 years of head coaching experience in top European leagues to San Jose. Chris Leitch and Alex Covelo, who spent the final four months of the 2017 season as head coach and assistant coach, respectively, will return to their roles as technical director and director of methodology.
"After a thorough evaluation process, we are excited that Mikael will be joining our club," said Earthquakes general manager Jesse Fioranelli. "What stood out with Mikael are not only the cups his teams won and his consistency over the past 10+ seasons, but also his ability to identify with our players, our coaching staff and most importantly our goals."
"I would like to take this occasion to thank Chris [Leitch] for his dedication to the club," continued Fioranelli. "We would not be where we are today without the contributions of Chris and Alex [Covelo] on the coaching staff. I look forward to working with him as he resumes his role as technical director. We are a special club with special people."
Stahre, 42, comes to San Jose after one year as the head coach of BK Hacken in the Swedish top-flight Allsvenskan. During his lone season with the club, Stahre led the team to a 14-6-10 record, a +14 goal-differential, the third-fewest goals allowed in the league (28) and a fourth-place finish. Stahre elevated Hacken from 10th place in 2016 with an 11-12-7 record to a top-four finish for the first time since 2012.
"We are very excited to bring Mikael in to lead us forward and build on the momentum of this past season," said Earthquakes President Tom Fox. "We are an ambitious club and believe his extensive experience and track record will bring a strong presence to our locker room and will put us firmly on the path to success."
Stahre, from Stockholm, Sweden, began his coaching career in 2007 with FC Vasby United of the Swedish third-tier. Under his guidance, FC Vasby finished in second place with a 15-5-6 record and the third-best offense in the league, earning promotion to the second-tier Superettan. He remained with the club for one more year, finishing mid-table despite possessing the youngest team in the league, before moving to AIK in 2009.
"I am very proud to be the new head coach of the San Jose Earthquakes and for the opportunity to work with Jesse Fioranelli and the other members of the organization," said Stahre. "I'm going to give everything I have to the Quakes and I am very excited about being a part of the future of the club."
Inheriting a team that had finished in fifth place the year before, Stahre led AIK to a league championship in his first season. The club went 18-5-7 with a league-low 20 goals allowed in 30 games, marking their first Swedish title since 1998. That same year, AIK won the Swedish Cup, comparable to the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, with a perfect 5-0 record in single-elimination play.
After winning the double, Stahre had a stint with Panionios in Greece before moving back to Sweden to take charge of IFK Goteborg ahead of the 2012 Allsvenskan season. Stahre again quickly led his side to silverware, with IFK winning the 2012-13 Swedish Cup. In 2013, IFK rose from a mid-table club to third place (16-8-6), ranking among the league-leaders in goals for (49, t-4th) and goals against (31, 3rd). IFK made another jump the following year, finishing second with a 15-4-11 record and a +24 goal-differential. He also gave increased opportunity to youth players such as 18-year-old forward Gustav Engvall and 20-year-old fullback Ludwig Augustinsson. The duo finished No. 1 and No. 2 in Newcomer of the Year voting and have both gone on to represent the Swedish National Team, who are bound for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
After his three successful seasons with IFK, Stahre's next challenge was to take over Dalian Aerbin (Yifang), who had just been relegated from the Chinese Super League to League One. In his first season in China in 2015, Stahre led Dalian Aerbin to a third-place finish with a 17-6-7 record and the league's second-best goal-differential (+24), narrowly missing out on promotion. He remained with the team for half of the 2016 season, exiting after a 10-6-2 start to the campaign, and returning to Sweden to take over Hacken in January of 2017.
In addition to his many years of coaching First Team football, Stahre also has experience at the youth level. He served as head coach of the Hammarby U-19s from 1994-97 and the AIK U-19s from 1998-2005, leading AIK to the junior national championship in 2004.
The assistants on Stahre's coaching staff will be announced at a later date.
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The dream is no more.
San Francisco Deltas' CEO Brian Andres Helmick ended speculation on Friday when he released a statement announcing the end of the team after one season in the North American Soccer League -- a DII professional league in the USSF pyramid.
The Deltas are fresh off claming the NASL's championship in front of a sold-out crowd at Kezar Stadium, But even that wasn't enough to save a franchise who admittedly was struggling to stay afloat.
"We are closing down the San Francisco Deltas," Helmick wrote. "As many of you have said, this journey that started in 2015 has the makings of a movie with character-defining struggles, heroic moments, painful defeats, and overcoming seemingly impossible hurdles all culminating in a dream come true on Sunday, November 12th when the SF Deltas were crowned the national champions after defeating the New York Cosmos — arguably the most storied brand in U.S. Soccer history. I’ll never forget the scene of thousands of fans storming the field. Now that the celebration has come to an end, players and coaches have been released from their contracts. We will not leave any loose ends and everybody will be paid what they’re owed for 2017 — including players, coaches, staff, partners and vendors."
In 32 league games, the Deltas amassed a 14-12-6 record and advanced to the fourth round of the U.S. Open Cup tournament where they lost to the San Jose Earthquakes.
"In hindsight we have not been perfect," Helmick said. "Far from it. We have learned so much from this adventure and we will begin organizing our thoughts and learnings that led to us to make this decision. Our hope is to share them for the benefit of others who are interested in developing the sport here in San Francisco or in other cities. I firmly believe that via transparency and collaboration we can improve the sport we all love."
In response to the Deltas news, the NASL released the following statement: 'In San Francisco, it’s unfortunate that the Deltas’ business plans did not materialize in the way they had hoped. We remain a big believer in the market, as evidenced by the atmosphere and crowd at The Championship Final earlier this month, and we still believe that the city deserves a professional soccer team. We are in active discussions with potential ownership groups and we aim to keep professional soccer in San Francisco in the future."
The Deltas experiment is the latest to test the viability of professional soccer in San Francisco. Last Fall, another group fronted by Zappos.com founder NIck Swimurn -- San Francisco Football Club -- attempted to start a team using AT&T Park as its home stadium as part of the United Soccer League. The project and application was pulled.