For a player who has experienced a rather stuttering start with the San Jose Earthquakes, Danny Hoesen’s strike tonight was quite emphatic. The Dutch forward rifled a shot into the upper ninety to put the San Jose Earthquakes up in their eventual 2-1 victory over Real Salt Lake, snapping the club’s mounting goalless streak at 246 minutes.
Coach Dominic Kinnear “spoke about stepping forward with aggression to try and create some chances” to kickstart their first home victory in five consecutive league matches, and Hoesen’s goal – his second in eighteen appearances since joining the Quakes over the offseason – helped the club get back to winning ways.
“We were a bit frustrated with the last couple games, but we stick together every time and [the early goal] obviously helped us a lot,” Hoesen said.
The twenty-six-year-old scored his first goal for the Quakes against the LA Galaxy late last month appears to be finally finding his stride. “I’m feeling good,” he said. “The team is making it easy for me. At the moment, I’m feeling confident.”
He also tallied an assist from Marco Ureña’s second half strike, launching the Costa Rican forward on a quick break with an incisive through ball. Although the adjustment to a wide midfield role has been challenging, Hoesen is enjoying life in San Jose. “I used to play as a striker and here I’m playing more on the left and right. It’s new for me, but I like it and will do it if I can help the team,” he said.
“That was the biggest challenge. It’s a different league than what I’m used to, more up and down, more running and more physical. At the beginning, I was struggling a little bit but I enjoy it and it’s going better and better.”
His performance earned a glowing review from teammate Chris Wondolowsi, who said: “He does really well out there. We have an open style where we transition into each others’ positions. We see a lot of the ball in different areas and he does a great job picking it up in dangerous areas. He’s got a great shot, he’s a special player.”
Coach Dominic Kinnear concurred: “We were hoping for more goals and I think he’s got more goals in him. Sometimes he’s looking really aggressive going forward and sometimes he’s a little bit unselfish, that may be a confidence thing on his part, but it was a great finish. He has good ability and we’re trying to get him in positions in which he faces the goal. He was a threat tonight, which is nice to see.”
Hoesen will be presented with a prime opportunity to make his mark up top in the coming weeks due to Ureña’s impending Gold Cup absence, which he plans to grab with both hands. “If I’m going to play [as a striker], I’ll score some more goals there as well,” he said.