Hoe­sen de­liv­ers lone goal in vi­tal vic­tory

The Mercury News - - College Football Replay - By Martin Gal­le­gos Cor­re­spon­dent

SAN JOSE >> It was a must­win game for the Earth­quakes. The play­ers knew it. The coaches knew it. The fans knew it.

Danny Hoe­sen de­cided to do some­thing about it.

The Quakes came out hunt­ing for an early goal against the Hous­ton Dynamo. Af­ter a cou­ple of close calls by Vako and Marco Urena that just missed the tar­get, Hoe­sen brought the crowd at Avaya Sta­dium to its feet with a beauty of a goal in the 33rd minute that ended up be­ing the dif­fer­ence-maker in Satur­day’s 1-0 MLS vic­tory.

Hoe­sen’s goal ma­te­ri­al­ized af­ter Kofi Sarkodie pro­vided him with a perfect cross from the right side of the field. The Dutch striker stopped the pass with his right foot, then seam­lessly trans­ferred the ball to his left foot for a boom­ing strike that flew past Hous­ton goal­keeper Tyler Deric and found the left side of the net.

Hoe­sen has ad­mit­tedly been frus­trated with his lack of starts this year. Af­ter his much-hyped ar­rival to the club in the off­sea­son, Hoe­sen has had to come off the bench for nearly half of the year. He cracked the start­ing lineup against Hous­ton and seized his chance.

“Ob­vi­ously I was not happy to be on the bench. No­body is,” Hoe­sen said. “When you get a chance to play you have to try and take ad­van­tage of the op­por­tu­nity. Make it hard for the coaches to put you on the bench again.”

It was only his third goal of the sea­son, but none have been big­ger from the first-year Quake as this one sealed the vic­tory and leapfrogged San Jose over Hous­ton, FC Dal­las, and Real Salt Lake into a play­off spot at fifth place in the West­ern Con­fer­ence with five games re­main­ing.

“He’s prob­a­bly been on the wrong de­ci­sion, on my part, of pick­ing a guy over him. Credit to him he’s trained and been ex­tremely pro­fes­sional through all of this,” Earth­quakes coach Chris Leitch said. “His touch was first-class. You like to see big play­ers show up in big games and Danny made a huge im­pact tonight.”

Given the cir­cum­stances sur­round­ing the two clubs in the stand­ings head­ing into the matchup, for­ward Marco Urena felt any­thing less than vic­tory over Hous­ton would have been a fail­ure. Two of his near-goals that sailed just over the top of the post late in Satur­day’s win high­lighted the ag­gres­sive­ness dis­played by the Quakes as they bat­tle to end a four-year play­off drought.

• Chris Won­dolowski made his 251st ca­reer ap­pear­ance, pass­ing Ramiro Cor­rales for most ap­pear­ances in Quakes his­tory. “This one re­ally sneaks up on you,” Won­dolowski said. “I saw my first ap­pear­ance when I came on and I re­mem­ber that like it was yes­ter­day. I re­mem­ber each one pretty vividly. You tell me the game, I’ll tell you what hap­pened. It’s pretty crazy to think about that.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.