Lenhart, Dawkins lift Earthquakes past Dynamo


Lenhart, Dawkins lift Earthquakes past Dynamo

SANTA CLARA (AP) Steven Lenhart and Simon Dawkins scored second-half goals to power the San Jose Earthquakes to their third consecutive home victory, 2-0 over the Houston Dynamo on Saturday night.Lenhart split two defenders to reach a 40-yard cross from Steven Beitashour and sent a powerful header past goalkeeper Tally Hall in the 69th minute. Dawkins scored in injury time off an assist by Sam Cronin.San Jose (4-4-4), unbeaten in its last five matches, is back to .500 for the first time since April 2.The loss extended Houston's winless streak to seven matches. The Dynamo dropped to 3-5-6.San Jose goalkeeper Jon Busch made a couple of critical stops on headers from forward Cam Weaver in the final minutes to preserve the lead. Lenhart also helped out on defense, blocking midfielder Colin Clark's 90th-minute shot from inside the penalty box while Busch scrambled to get back on his line.For Lenhart, a draft-day acquisition by San Jose, it was his first goal as a member of the Earthquakes. He appeared to score in San Jose's 3-0 victory against Columbus on May 14, but the goal was later ruled to have been deflected in by teammate Brandon McDonald.There was no question about this goal, which became Beitashour's first career MLS assist.Dawkins, playing his first match since undergoing surgery May 5 to relieve compartment syndrome in both calves, got free behind the Houston defense as the Dynamo were desperately pushing for a tying goal. The Tottenham Hotspur loanee slotted his shot from 14 yards past the helpless Hall.

NASL-champion San Francisco Deltas fold after one season


NASL-champion San Francisco Deltas fold after one season

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 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. 

Quakes crushed in Vancouver, eliminated from MLS Cup Playoffs


Quakes crushed in Vancouver, eliminated from MLS Cup Playoffs


The San Jose Earthquakes' season is over, after the Vancouver Whitecaps beat San Jose 5-0 in the knockout round of the MLS Cup Playoffs on Tuesday night. 

Fredy Montero opened the scoring for the Whitecaps in the 33rd minute. In the second half, Cristian Tecera and Kendall Watson scored seven minutes apart and all but sealed the hosts' first-ever playoff win. Second half substitute Nicolas Mezquida scored a brace for good measure, with two goals in 78th and 80th minute. 

Earthquakes captain Chris Wondolowski was held off of the scoresheet for his fourth consecutive playoff game. The 34-year-old scored one goal in six career postseason appearances. 

Tuesday marked San Jose's first postseason appearance since 2012. The Earthquakes have not advanced past the quarterfinals of the MLS Cup Playoffs since 2010.