San Jose Earthquakes Newcomer Sercan Guvenisik Making A Strong Impression

Image By Matt Schwab - San Jose Earthquakes newcomer Sercan Guvenisik has impressed coach Frank Yallop with his sharpness around the goal and infectious personality. "Terrific. He's a really lovely fellow," Yallop said. Guvenisik became the first Turkish national to play in an MLS match last week, entering in the 80th minute of a 1-0 loss to the Houston Dynamo at AT&T Park. As the Quakes embark on their first road trip of the season, beginning Saturday at Toronto FC, the cagey German league veteran is among a deep cast vying for playing time.
His scoring ability could come handy for a team that has one goal in two games. It's the Quakes' third consecutive matchup against the weaker Eastern Conference. Toronto may be weakened without captain Torsten Frings of Germany, who will be out at least a month after straining his right hamstring in last week's 3-1 loss to the Seattle Sounders.

Guvenisik has looked solid in training, including scoring a brilliant goal earlier this week in the blink of an eye by chipping the goalkeeper.

"I think we have an amazing team," said Guvenisik, 32, who holds both German and Turkish citizenship. "The communication is great. A lot of potential here. We're playing really good soccer, and I think we can do great things this season."

Guvenisik (gu-VEN-ah-shuck) came to MLS from SC Preussen Muenster of the Bundesliga 3, where he scored 14 goals in 56 league matches in 2010. He signed with the Quakes on Jan.
26 after an impressive trial last summer.

Guvenisik is now immersed in his American dream. He has a social security number, a bank account, a new apartment in Santa Clara and a girlfriend in Florida.

"I've always said it's a great country. I love this country," he said. "I feel very good here, and I'm very happy."

He wants to rally the soccer-passionate Turkish community to MLS. "It's known that they love soccer," he said of his countrymen. "But I also know that soccer is not that popular in the U.S. I hope to bring more Turkish people into the stadiums."

As for all those MLS doubters abroad, Guvenisik has got the straight scoop. The Quakes can be slick and quick, as Yallop will attest.

"It's more athletic here. It's quicker," Guvenisik said. "We have players here, like Tressor (Moreno), Victor (Bernardez), that can play in the first league in Germany. So we have a good team, and the quality here is higher than I thought, higher than most of the people think in Europe."

Guvenisik had 17 goals and eight assists for SC Paderborn in 2008-09, when he won the Bundesliga 3 Golden Boot and helped his team earn a promotion. He also played for Turkish Super Lig club Manisaspor and Turkish side Denizlispor.

"He's had a good career," Yallop said. "We had him on trial last year and he did very well, but we couldn't sign him because of our salary-cap stuff. ... He's a good character around the dressing room, but he's a good player, very sharp around the goal. We expect him to obviously help us out."

Guvenisik was one of three foreigners to come off the bench last week, along with midfielders Moreno (Colombia) and Marvin Chavez (Honduras). The infusion appeared to spark the team, which controlled much of the game.

"He didn't really have many chances," Yallop said of Guvenisik. "But he had one when Shea (Salinas) should have pulled the ball back to him. He was in a good spot."
Last modified onSaturday, 06 May 2017 10:07