In a move that was seven months in the making, the San Jose Earthquakes announced Thursday the signing of veteran Turkish forward Sercan Güvenışık. Joining MLS on a free transfer after finishing out his contact with Bundesliga 3 team SC Preußen Münster, the 32-year old striker originally came on a week long trial with the Earthquakes in May of last season. While negotiations failed to bring Güvenışık to San Jose during last summer's transfer window, the opportunity to bring the veteran stateside succeeded during the MLS offseason.
"I am really happy to sign with the San Jose Earthquakes and Major League Soccer," said Guvenisik in a prepared statement released by the Earthquakes. "It has always been my dream to play in the United States, and MLS is growing each and every year. It makes me proud, too, to be the first Turkish player to sign with MLS, and I hope to represent the Turkish community well here and put more Turkish eyes on the league. I am looking forward to joining my teammates soon and working with (head coach) Frank (Yallop) and his staff."
Coach Yallop had plenty of plaudits to share about the newest Earthquakes signing, and he expressed how happy he was to finally have Güvenışık as a part of the team.
"He’s pretty good at playing the last line of defense and dipping behind defenders," shared head coach Frank Yallop following the announcement of the signing. "That’s something we didn’t have a lot of in years gone by and something we are trying to address. He’s sharp, but he is not blazingly quick, but he makes good runs."
Güvenışık made a name for himself while on trial last spring after scoring a brace against the L.A. Galaxyy in a Reserve League match at the Earthquakes training facility. Cleanly converting his scoring chances against the club's biggest rivals in a way that no other Earthquakes reserve forward was able to do, Güvenışık immediately made it clear with his play that he could be a valuable addition to the team's depth at forward. That it took over half a year to finally bring him into the fold speaks more about the limitations of the roster presented by the MLS salary cap than it does about the impression Güvenışık made following his trial. Entering the 2012 season, the Turkish forward will likely be #4 or #5 on the depth chart on the front line — Chris Wondolowski and Steven Lenhart will be the favorites to start on opening day — but has a chance to make an impact from the substitutes' bench.Watch video highlights of the latest Earthquakes signing: