Much has been made of the San Jose Earthquakes' need for a creative attacking midfielder in the offseason. Four days before opening day, they have their man. The club announced Wednesday the loan signing of 23-year-old attacking midfielder Simon Dawkins from the Premier League's Tottenham Hotspur, San Jose's partner club.
“Simon is an intelligent player and does a great job of finding the ball in the midfield and forward areas,” said Earthquakes head coach Frank Yallop. “He adds a different dimension to our midfield and we look forward to his contributions. He’s still young and has plenty of potential.”
Dawkins suited up for San Jose during the team's preseason trip to England. He started and played 90 minutes in San Jose's 4-0 win over a Birmingham City reserve side.
“We were very impressed with Simon’s play against Birmingham City and I thought he fit in perfectly with our lineup,” said Earthquakes General Manager John Doyle. “This signing further exemplifies the positive relationship we have with our club partner, Tottenham Hotspur.”
Dawkins joined the Spurs youth sides in 2004 and has been capped once for the England U-17 national team. After signing a professional contract, he split his time between Spurs' U-18 team and the reserves and was a regular for the reserves in 2006-2007.
Dawkins spent the 2008-2009 season on loan at League One side Leyton Orient, where he featured 11 times, but saw his time there punctuated by injuries. He was released by Spurs in 2009 but continued to train with the team on a non-contract basis. He signed a new contract with Spurs prior to his loan to San Jose.
“He is a man now and he wants to go away and play football and is obviously delighted to be getting the chance to go and play in MLS,” said Tottenham Hotspur Technical Coordinator Tim Sherwood. “Simon is gifted, he holds the ball up well, sees his teammates and has a good appreciation of the game. I think he will do well [in MLS].”
Despite the fact that the transfer comes just days before San Jose kicks off the season against Real Salt Lake, there is a chance he could feature should his paperwork go through.
You can follow Nick Rosano for more Earthquakes and MLS chatter at @nicholasrosano
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