From the opening whistle of Saturday night’s match at CenturyLink Field, the San Jose Earthquakes pressed the Seattle Sounders mercilessly, looking to create turnovers and disrupt a home side that had the vocal talents of nearly 39,000 fans cheering them on. With hardly a minute gone, the pressure paid off, and the Earthquakes quickly silenced all but the tiny pocket of 1906 Ultras inside the stadium.
A quick pass from Rafael Baca into the heart of the Seattle midfield found forward Alan Gordon with plenty of space to maneuver. He quickly switched the ball to the other side of the field for winger Simon Dawkins advancing into the attacking third. With Gordon and Chris Wondolowski crashing the penalty box, Dawkins turned the ball toward the top of the area, side stepping two defenders that couldn’t close the Englishman down fast enough.
A touch to steady the ball, and Dawkins unleashed a right-footed rocket that exploded into the upper corner of the goal mouth. The Quakes midfielder rightfully celebrated his triumph, for his eighth goal of the season was a sight to behold. Meanwhile, goalkeeper Michael Gspurning and the rest of the Sounders defenders could only shake their heads. Down a goal inside two minutes of the match, Seattle wouldn’t recover and would drop a 2-1 decision to the Western Conference leading San Jose.
For his sublime effort, Dawkins was earlier today nominated for the MLS Goal of the Week. Voting for the award is now open, and Dawkins’ strike is up against some impressive efforts including goals from Juninho in Los Angeles and Javier Morales in Real Salt Lake. The Earthquakes are also on the other side of a worthy goal, as Danny Mwanga’s second strike last Wednesday against San Jose was also nominated.
Dawkins has been spectacular for the Earthquakes in 2012, and follows up a 2011 season in which he totaled 6 goals and 2 assists, with 8 and 1 this year. Rating the Tottenham Hotspur loanee via the statistically based MLS Castrol Index, he finished last year at #21 in the league and has improved his position to #18 so far this season. Securing Dawkins for next season and beyond must be high on the Earthquakes off-season to-do list.
Keep reading for video of Simon Dawkins golazo:Simon Dawkins scores for San Jose Earthquakes in 2nd minute against Seattle Sounders: