Alan Gordon has become a key player for both the U.S. Men's National Team and the San Jose Earthquakes. Photo Credit: Noah Salzman/Creative Commons License
Soccer News: Alan Gordon – The Real Deal Finally Gets Recognized
U.S. fans need to salute Gordon for his accomplishments - Editorial Opinion Column by Yan Skwara
I'll never forget being at one of my few LA Galaxy matches at the Home Depot Center back in 2007 and looking down on the field and noticing a tall forward for the MLS Galaxy. I did not know who it was but I was intrigued immediately.
I watched the match for a bit and came to a quick conclusion that the LA Galaxy had a solid forward on the pitch, so I had to track who it was. Alan Gordon was his name, and yes if you’re a Galaxian Supporter you’re quite familiar with Gordon. To outsiders, however, Gordon was not quite on the radar. Also, with all the Beckham hysteria, Gordon was on the back burner.
Fast forward a few years, Gordon was traded from the LA Galaxy to Chivas USA in 2010, just short of his 100th appearance. What happened with Gordon at Chivas was a mirror image of his time at the Galaxy. Not a whole lot happened in other words.
So over the span of less than a year, Gordon was traded away from both of LA's MLS squads, did a quick stint with Toronto FC and then got a one-way ticket to the San Jose Earthquakes. The rest is history.
Today Gordon and San Jose are potentially on their way to this year’s MLS Cup, and the U.S. National Team has a new power forward in Alan Gordon.
It’s really one of the most underrated Cinderella stories in MLS this year, but the cat is out of the bag and Gordon is on a roll. You can’t deny his success. This is a man who plays with grit and fight. He is tall and tough. He is a scorer and can assist. He can start and he can play a major role off the bench. He is a great point forward and knows how to win balls in the air.
He is a forward that knows how to assist, as he showed in the 89th minute in the U.S. win on the road against Antigua and Barbuda. Gordon lofted a perfect cross from just outside the top of the box from the right side, finding a wide open Eddie Johnson who headed in the cross to give the U.S. National Team one of their most pivotal wins to keep their 2014 FIFA World Cup hopes alive.
If Gordon is out of this match, it’s highly possible the U.S. would have missed the World Cup in Brazil, which would be a national soccer catastrophe. But that did not happen and Gordon walked off the field that night knowing what he did was big. Very big. For Gordon it was another day at the office in the world of futbol where he has survived and succeeded at all levels. Now the sky is the limit for Gordon with Klinsmann buying into his talent and promoting him to national team duty.
Where did Gordon come from and what is causing this late rise in his stock? Well, to be candid, Gordon was a great forward years ago, but apparently a lot of coaches did not feel that way. I wonder how Bruce Arena feels today not having Gordon in his lineup.
I have to believe he's kicking himself on that one.
As for Robin Fraser, well only he knows the truth and the truth is that Fraser has had a handful with his entire squad not able to put together any cohesive consistent winning play all year. It seems Fraser did not know what to do with Gordon when he had his services or who to play with him.
San Jose, on the other hand, has known exactly what to do with this kid. Frankie Yallop has to be given major credit for seeing something in Gordon when both Arena and Fraser basically passed on the talented forward. Yallop right away recognized the power and strengths of Gordon and quickly went to work on finding some smart, tough and talented forwards to complement what Gordon brought to the table.
It did not hurt that Chris Wondolowski, the 2010 Golden Boot winner, was already in the San Jose mix, but trading for Steven Lenhart was a massive acquisition for San Jose. With the tandem of Wondo, Lenhart and Gordon, San Jose has become one of the league’s most dangerous offensive attacks. Gordon has played his role contributing in helping pace San Jose to win the Supporters Shield in 2012.
My guess is you will see a lot more of Gordon because he is an asset to any team he plays for, and that's what the U.S. National Team needs to keep pace with the world. Go Gordon.
Yan Skwara is the owner of San Diego Boca FC, an NPSL soccer team in San Diego, California. Skwara writes for SoccerNationNews covering professional men's soccer in America and Mexico.