German Andreas Gorlitz made the most of his much-anticipated debut at right back.
The Quakes’ newcomer stymied Colorado Rapids speedster Deshorn Brown in the team’s impressive 0-0 road draw at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
It was the Quakes’ first clean sheet of the season.
“I was pretty excited to play, but it was a long time (in coming),” said Gorlitz, who has been bothered by a hamstring injury. “There was some fitness missing still, but I tried to play hard and to play 90 minutes. It was OK. I knew I could play better, do more for the offense, too. It was a good fight, the whole team.”
Gorlitz, 32, a former Bayern Munich defender, went the entire 90 minutes, along with Ty Harden at left back and mainstays Clarence Goodson and Victor Bernardez in the middle.
The Quakes’ back four was so solid that it left goalkeeper Jon Busch with little to do except direct traffic – no small feat for a thrown-together group on the road.
“I thought he did well,” coach Mark Watson said of Gorlitz. “He’s been battling injuries for eight weeks now. That was his first 90 minutes and his first time with our first team. He’s an experienced pro, calm, a good passer of the ball. I thought he did well handling a tough Colorado team.”
Gorlitz, who signed with the Quakes in March after 12 years as a German professional, agreed the team is ready to take another step forward.
“Yeah, we have to,” he said. “When you watch practice, you see we have good guys who are good players. It takes awhile to get it together. It was a good first step as a team (against Colorado). Hopefully, we can do the next step on Saturday.”
He says he feels “pretty good” now, but it will take a couple weeks to get his complete sharpness back. He is known as an experienced two-way force.
The good-natured Gorlitz began his career with TSV 1860 Munchen in 2001 and made 37 Bundesliga appearances over three seasons.
He started five games his first year with Bayern, made two UEFA Champions League appearances and earned two national team caps. However, a torn anterior cruciate ligament injury in a Champions League match against Juventus sidelined him until 2006.
Gorlitz returned with Bayern Munich II, making 21 appearances before returning to first-team action in 2006-07.
He was on loan with Karlsruher SC from 2007-09, before a brief return to Bayern for the 2009-10 season. Gorlitz spent the next three seasons with FC Ingolstadt 04, making 63 appearances over two seasons, eventually making his way to the Earthquakes.
- Richter Media