Who's the best team in Major League Soccer since mid-June? Fact: It's the San Jose Earthquakes.
Mark Watson is 10-5-2 since taking over as the club's interim head coach on June 7. That translates to a 1.88 points per-game average, well ahead of the current Supporters' Shield leaders.
Here's a glance at what the standings look like since Watson's arrival.
|San Jose Earthquakes||32||10-5-2||1.88|
|Seattle Sounders FC||30||9-7-3||1.58|
|Vancouver Whitecaps FC||29||8-6-5||1.53|
|Real Salt Lake||25||7-5-4||1.56|
|Sporting Kansas City||30||9-5-3||1.76|
|New York Red Bulls||28||8-4-4||1.75|
|New England Revolution||25||7-7-4||1.39|
*Editor's note: Standings reflect matches starting on June 15, Watson's first gameday as interim head coach
Saturday was another memorable day at the office for the Earthquakes what with another Goonie moment courtesy of Sam Cronin(ja) & Co. However, the most touching storyline goes to Marcus Tracy making his MLS debut after more than three years away from first team competition.
The former Hermann Trophy winner at Wake Forest took his game to Aalborg BK out of college, but knee injuries forced his career to take a detour. In fact, his last first team appearance came on Dec. 5, 2009 in a 2-0 Aalborg loss against Sonderjyske (he did make a handful of reserve appearances in 2010).
Count it up and Tracy's 76th-minute substitution for Marvin Chavez was his first senior team appearance in 1,246 days or 3 years, 4 months and 29 days. In other words, the last time he suited up, President Barack Obama was wrapping up Year 1 in his new house, iPads had yet to hit the market and, fortunately, Bieber Fever wasn't quite a thing yet.
Tweet at this guy and welcome him back: @MarcusGTracy.
The accolades (?) keep coming for Earthquakes mascot Q and UFC fighter Luke Rockhold. This morning, the duo received co-No. 1 honors in ESPN SportsCenters' Not Top 10 for their "Mascot Hit in the Groin by Soccer Ball" affair from last weekend's ceremonial first goal.
The video is up against New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez and his infamous "Butt Fumble" for Worst of the Worst. To vote, follow this link and click "SportsCenter: Worst of the Worst" on the left column.
UFC fighter Luke Rockhold might not have scored the ceremonial "First Goal" on Saturday, but the judges gave him a unanimous decision after drilling Earthquakes mascot 'Q' in the groin with his shot.
Rumor has it 'Q' was demanding a re-match in the Octogon after the incident to exact his revenge.
Earthquakes forward Chris Wondolowski is back to baffling opposing defenses. His nifty trap-and-fire from Saturday won the Earthquakes three points and is nominated for AT&T Goal of the week.
Fans can click here to vote and/or text G4 to 22442. Voting is open until 11:59:59 p.m. PT on Thursday.
Earthquakes defender Justin Morrow scored his second career MLS goal on Saturday, equalizing in the 73rd minute of a 1-1 draw in Columbus. Even better, MLSsoccer.com's Greg Lalas breaks gave the strike some love in this week's Anatomy of a Goal.
Take a look below to see the build up to @jmo_row_15's impressive finish:
The Stanford product came off the bench to equalize for San Jose in the 83rd minute and earned a game-winning penalty in the Earthquakes' 2-1 result against New York on Sunday. Now he's up against Daigo Kobayashi (VAN), Hassoun Camara (MTL), Jamie Smith (COL) and Juan Agudelo (CHV) for weekly honors.
Fans can click here to vote or text G5 to 22442.
Voting runs until 11:59 pm PT on Thursdays. For complete coverage of the Goal of the Week - including an archive of Week's 1 winner - click here.
Chris Wondolowski does more than score goals and sign Designate Player contracts. He's also one of the faces of Nike's N7, a foundation dedicated to improving the lives of Native Americans.
Grab a copy of Thursday's edition of the USA Today or click the image or this link to find out more.
Penalties and flying karate kicks - that's what you'll get out of this entertaining set of videos with Paul Pabst (Dan Patrick Show), Steven Lenhart, Michael Farfan (Philadelphia Union) and Drew Moor (Colorado Rapids).
Steven Lenhart, Chris Wondolowski and a group of other MLS stars were in New York last week for a preseason media tour. Take a look below for clips from Lenhart's visit to The Dan Patrick Show with Paul Pabst.
Strike a pose.
That's Steven Lenhart on the left with Paul Pabst (unfortunately donning a Timbers FC kit - we won't hold it against him) of The Dan Patrick Show, Michael Farfan and Drew Moor doing their best to look like heroes.
Lenhart was in New York for a media tour earlier this week along with Chris Wondolowski and a host of other MLS stars. One of the stops included this shoot with Pabst, an avid soccer fan and producer for The Dan Patrick Show.
Keep an eye out for a video with Lenny & Co. One hint to what it entails:
@sjearthquakes Wait until you see the video of Steven Lenhart going cleats up into my shoulder. Just days away.
— Paul Pabst (@PaulPabst) February 14, 2013
By the way, what do fans think of Lenhart's new 'do?