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San Jose Earthquakes midfielder Simon Dawkins through the years

From his loan stint from Tottenham to his Designated Player contract, Simon Dawkins made an impression in his four years in San Jose

Back in 2011, coming off the announcement that the San Jose Earthquakes had struck a partnership with Tottenham Hotspur, the Quakes received on loan from the English Premier League club a promising young midfielder named Simon Dawkins. A product of the Spurs academy, the 23-year-old Dawkins had bounced around on loan for most of his career, but he made the most of his move to MLS and became an important player for San Jose.

He featured in 26 games his first season, scoring 6 goals, and was brought back for a second season on loan. The Earthquakes won the Supporters’ Shield in 2012, in no small part due to the excellence of Dawkins, as he tallied another 8 goals for the Black and Blue. Forward Alan Gordon, at the time, called him the best player on the team.

Dawkins enjoyed his time in San Jose, and he said that he welcomed a permanent move to MLS, but the lure of playing in the Premier League saw him return to England in 2013. Tottenham loaned the midfielder to Aston Villa, and in March of that year, he made his Premier League debut.

Two years of Championship division football came next, as Dawkins joined Derby in the fall of 2013 and featured in 50 games for the Rams. Before his contract was up, he was transferred to the Earthquakes ahead of the 2016 MLS season, saying at the time that he had some unfinished business to take care of in San Jose.

That first season, Dawkins was one of the best players on the field for a team that struggled to win games, and the Quakes finished out of the postseason race. He entered 2017 at less than optimum health, and he never regained that influence on the field. By midseason, he was an afterthought on the team sheet, and this week, he was released by San Jose when his contract was bought out.

“I want to start by thanking the fans that have always supported me through the good times and bad,” said Dawkins in a statement released by the club. “To be able to play in front of you over the years, whether at Buck Shaw or Avaya, was a truly a privilege and I’m so appreciative of the support you showed me.

“I also want to thank my teammates for the honor of competing beside them and the Earthquakes Front Office for giving me and my family this opportunity. San Jose will always have a special place in my heart.

“After spending two seasons with the Quakes on loan and winning a Supporters’ Shield in 2012, I felt I had unfinished business and made it a priority to find my way back. And even though it didn’t work out the way I hoped, I will never regret the decision I made to return. I’ve had some of the best years of my life here in San Jose and the special people that surround the club are the reason why. I will always be appreciative and want to say one final thank you to everyone I had the pleasure of meeting during my time with the team. Go Quakes.”

Photo Gallery of Simon Dawkins’ four seasons with the San Jose Earthquakes