By VINCE MADURI
Few supplemental draft picks have been able to have the kind of instant success San Jose Earthquakes forward Adam Jahn has enjoyed just two games into his young career.
Jahn, a Stanford graduate who also grew up in El Macero, California near Sacramento, was selected by his hometown club in the first round of the MLS Supplemental Draft in January (15th overall), and has wasted little time announcing himself to the league with a stellar substitute appearance against the Red Bulls Sunday, and helping San Jose overcome a 1-0 deficit very late in the match.
The rookie entered the game in the 67th minute, then promptly got on the end of a Sam Cronin cross for the tying goal in the 83rd minute.
Ten minutes later, the rookie drew a game-winning penalty when Jahn headed a ball into Roy Miller’s hand off a corner kick. After Miller was then called for encroachment on the first attempt, reigning MVP Chris Wondolowski converted the second attempt to clinch a Quakes victory.
“Before I had gone into the game, the coaches told me, ‘Just get into the box and fight for balls,'” Jahn told SBI. “Sam [Cronin] played a great ball and the goalie didn’t get it, so I just had to lunge for it. And I’m pretty tall, so my height helped me on that one.”
“[Jahn] had a good preseason,” head coach Frank Yallop said. “We always had faith that he could [play well]. I think it’s more of a mental thing. How is he going to handle the situation? It’s easier to play players that have been there before, but when he got his chance, he took it with both hands. It wasn’t a surprise that he played well. He has that in him. We just need to make sure that he becomes consistent.”
Normally, Adam Jahn would have been allowed to sit and bide his time in a team as deep in the forward position as San Jose is, but injuries to Alan Gordon and Steven Lenhart has forced the 22-year-old into early action.
It’s safe to say Jahn has responded to his coach’s challenge better than anyone could have expected, and his play has Frank Yallop handing out high praise.
“We’ve had a ton of injuries. A lot of times we try to bring guys along slowly but as we sit right now, we have a lot of strikers out,” Yallop said. “We wouldn’t put him on the field if we didn’t think he could do it. That’s for sure. We always thought he was good enough to contribute. That’s the reason we put him on and it’s worked out great.”
Once Gordon and Lenhart come back, the “bash brothers” will surely have some added competition as Adam Jahn cements his name into the minds of his coaches.
“[Jahn is] another good young player that’s coming through, learning our system, the way we play and he shoots [the ball],” Yallop said, praising the young player. “I think he’s a really hard working kid that wants to do well. So, I don’t expect anything different from him for the rest of the season and moving forward.”
“All the forwards understand that we just go out there and give 100% and then the coach will select who he thinks will give the best option for the game. So, it doesn’t matter which one of us goes into the game. As long as we’re giving effort and our team wins, we’re all happy.”
I think there’s a misconception about certain things. Just because you like a big man up front, it doesn’t make you a long ball side. If anything, it creates a platform which can bring other players into the game. Some teams move up the field incrementally and can have a smaller forward who gets much fewer touches but for long periods you are essentially carrying that player. If you try and move the ball down the channels, you need somebody who can do the job of holding it up so players can make up the ground, which is how San Jose do it. After last year, you can hardly call them a long ball side, some of the play was beautiful. Unfortunately, I don’t think these people who say these things have seen the grind of a real long-ball side.
Considering no one is calling Freddy Adu…It speacks volumes about his work ethic
the thing that impressed me the most about that goal was how agile he had to be to adjust his giant frame and get his foot around enough on that to hit it into the roof of the net and not row Z
Great to see him come alive. Honestly, in the preseason he looked a little stiff and off the pace of the game, maybe a little intimidated by the level. Yallop, Lenny and Gordo must have really lit a fire in him, he was throwing himself around without fear. Couldn’t come at a better time, hopefully he starts in place of Fucito.
The best story out of the Quakes preseason was a match against AIK I think in Portland. He challenged for a ball, took a hard knock and went to ground. While laying there Wondo is standing over him asking “you okay?” and Jahn says “Are you kidding? I’m just happy to be here!”
This kid has Goonie written all over him.
Good now cut cronin and fucito and get Freddy Adu
yallop likes hardworking grinders and cronin is a great fit…..adu, not so much
I don’t think the ‘Quakes will go for Adu. They didn’t want to dish out big cash, for example, to midfielder John Bostock. Additionally, I think you’re overlooking Cronin’s value to the team as well as his skill as a holding midfielder. If you want to discuss a SJ midfielder that’s in pretty bad form at the moment, start with Rafael Baca. He showed some quality during the 2012 season, but he could very soon find himself on the bench if he doesn’t improve on his holdup and long-ball delivery.
Bostock didn’t advance our cause and definitely wasn’t worth the money, I’m glad we passed on him. Totally agree about Rafa, he’s had a slow start.
Baca’s going nowhere, he’s on $44,000. If anything, last year he was performing way about his cap hit.
Dude, Adu, that’s just straight sabotage.