After sliding into the World Cup break with two losses and a tie in the space of eight days, the San Jose Earthquakes are looking for a fresh start.
So it’s fitting, perhaps, that the Quakes just added midfielder Sam Cronin—a man in need of exactly the same thing.
Cronin, the 23-year-old No. 2 overall selection in the 2009 MLS SuperDraft, was officially shipped from Toronto FC to San Jose on Monday for an undisclosed amount of allocation money.
“He’s a young American player that’s made a national team camp,” Quakes head coach Frank Yallop said. “I think this is a good pickup for us, for the future as well as now.”
Cronin started 26 out of 30 matches for the Reds as a rookie under coaches John Carver and Chris Cummins, but with new boss Preki at the helm this season, he sat out more games (five) than he started (four).
“It was just a different set of eyes,” Cronin said. “Every coach sees something different. Last season, I was in the coach’s favor, and this season it didn’t seem like I was..
“That’s OK. Not everybody likes you.”
San Jose loved the idea of adding midfield help, and with veteran Andre Luiz still in injury limbo due to a damaged left knee, Cronin is expected to be pressed immediately into service as an attacking center midfielder.
That’s a change from Toronto, where Cronin generally played on the wings, and harkens back to his days at Wake Forest, where he was a two-time All-American.
“It gives us a guy that plays in the middle of the field,” Yallop said. “He’s a guy that’s done well in the league, but not yet played in his natural position.”
There’s one other thing that will bring Cronin back to his college days: The trade means he’ll have to get back into the mode of doing homework, at least for a while.
“I need to watch some film on these guys and get familiar with how these guys play,” Cronin said. “But I’m confident in my abilities [in terms of] helping the team in the midfield and improving the team.”
Geoff Lepper covers the Earthquakes for MLSsoccer.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter: @sjquakes.
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