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Washington, D.C. (January 27, 2011) - 31 year old Turkish Striker Sercan Güvenışık has put pen to paper and signed an MLS Contract where he will be joining the San Jose Earthquakes for the upcoming 2012 MLS season. Sercan will join a strike force that includes the league's leading goal scorer for the past two seasons Chris Wondolowski that will help push San Jose back into the playoff picture and an MLS Cup contender.  Sercan will provide a different dynamic with his speed and ability to get behind the defense.  He has a strike rate of a goal every four matches over his career playing in the top four levels of Germany as well as the Turkish Super League. 

MLS signed Sercan on a free transfer after he mutually agreed to terminate his contract with German Liga 3 club Preussen Munster where Sercan led the team in scoring since he joined the club in 2009 and also promotion. 

In Summer 2011, Sercan went on trial with the San Jose Earthquakes and scored two goals against the Los Angeles Galaxy reserves.  With one year left on his Munster contract, the timing was not right. Sercan stayed committed to his goal coming to Major League Soccer, and in the process, made history becoming the first ever Turkish player in the league.  He is very excited to join the club for preseason and awaits his P1 visa.  Here's Sercan with a few words to the Earthquakes fans.

Here's the Earthquakes' Official Announcement courtesy of mlssoccer.com:

Quakes sign Turkish F Sercan Guvenisik

Turkish forward Sercan Guvenisik joins San Jose from German club SC Preussen Muenster
Marissa Silver / San Jose Earthquakes

SAN JOSE, Calif. – The San Jose Earthquakes announced today that the club has signed Turkish forward Sercan Guvenisik pending receipt of his P-1 visa. Per league and team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Guvenisik comes to MLS from SC Preussen Muenster of the Bundesliga 3. He scored 14 goals in 56 league matches after returning for his second stint with the club in 2010. Guvenisik also played there in 2005-06, while previously competing for SC Paderborn 07, Rot-Weiss Essen, FC Carl Zeiss Jena, SC Feucht and MSV Duisburg in Germany.

“We had him on trial last year and followed him ever since,” said Earthquakes head coach Frank Yallop. “He’s an intelligent, experienced player who should help with the depth on our squad. We’re happy to have him in San Jose.”

He produced 17 goals and eight assists over 39 matches for Paderborn in 2008-09, winning the Bundesliga 3 Golden Boot award and helping the club earn promotion to the Bundesliga 2. Guvenisik drew six Bundesliga substitute appearances for Duisburg in 1999-2000. He played for Turkish Super Lig club Manisaspor from 2005-06 for and spent time with Turkish side Denizlispor as well.

Guvenisik is no stranger to the Earthquakes. He started and scored two goals in his MLS Reserve League debut during a week-long trial with the Quakes last June. The brace came during the first half of a 3-0 home win over the LA Galaxy at the Earthquakes Training Facility in San Jose on June 6.

“I am really happy to sign with the San Jose Earthquakes and Major League Soccer,” said Guvenisik. “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.”

Guvenisik, who represented Turkey at the U-21 level, holds dual citizenship in Turkey and Germany.

Transaction: San Jose Earthquakes (MLS) – Earthquakes sign F Sercan Guvenisik.

Sercan Guvenisik
Pronunciation SER-john gu-VEN-ah-shuck
Position: Forward
Height: 5-9
Weight: 157 lbs.
Born: March 1, 1980 in Donauworth, Germany
Last Club: SC Preussen Muenster (Germany)
Citizenship: Turkish and German
How Acquired: Signed by the San Jose Earthquakes on Jan. 26, 2012.

Click Read More for additional articles and highlights

Turkish forward Sercan Güvenışık signs with the San Jose Earthquakes

As May gave way to June last year, an unassuming Turkish forward found his way to San Jose in search of a chance to play in Major League Soccer. Hoping to be given the chance to ply his trade in the United States and subsequently live closer to his girlfriend, the veteran striker arranged a trial with the Earthquakes, paying for the week-long experience out of his own pocket. Scheduled to leave California after the week was through, he was asked to stick around one day longer so that he could play in a Reserve League match that weekend. Seizing the opportunity to make one last positive impression on the coaching staff, the forward struck for two goals in the Earthquakes 3-0 victory over the L.A. Galaxy reserves.

That player’s name was Sercan Güvenışık (pronounced “SER-john gu-VEN-ah-shuck”), and earlier this week he signed on as the newest member of the San Jose Earthquakes. The 32-year old German born striker holds dual citizenship with Germany and Turkey and once featured as a youth player for the Turkish U-21 national team. According to the player and representatives of the Earthquakes, Güvenışık becomes the first Turk to ever be signed by MLS.

“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 was well received during his trial last season, and coach Yallop said at the time that he welcomed him joining the Earthquakes, but negotiations to bring the Turkish forward to San Jose broke down because he was still under contract with German Bundesliga 3 squad SC Preußen Münster. While the details of his new contract with the Earthquakes were not disclosed, it was revealed that Güvenışık came to San Jose on a free transfer from his prior club in Germany and the deal fit comfortably into the team’s salary budget.

“We had him on trial last year, and we wanted to sign him over the summer,” said Yallop. “But now it is a free transfer and the process was much smoother this time around. The conditions of his contract were very reasonable so we thought it was a pretty good deal to do and felt good about it.”

Güvenışık came to trial in San Jose just as star forward Chris Wondolowski was joining the U.S. Men’s National Team for the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup and Tottenham loanee Simon Dawkins was recovering from calf surgery. That left the Earthquakes relying heavily on newcomer Steven Lenhart to lead the forwards, and it was clear the team needed to build depth at that position. Just as was almost the case last season, San Jose will look to Güvenışık to be a #4 or #5 striker for the team in 2012.

“He’s very active and finishes his chances well, that was a big part of what we liked about him,” said Yallop. “He adds a quality that we just haven’t had. We have a lot of young strikers on the roster, so Sercan will add a bit more experience to our forward corps.”

Güvenışık is expected to join the Earthquakes within the next week and will bring the number of forwards on the current roster to five. In a statement released by the Earthquakes, the forward sounded pleased at the chance to make his mark in MLS.

“I am really happy to sign with the San Jose Earthquakes and Major League Soccer,” said Guvenisik. “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.”

(Photo courtesy of Lyndsay Radnedge)

 2008/09 Paderborn (Goals and Assists)

                                                             Best of Part 1


Q&A: Getting to know Sercan Guvenisik

Sercan Guvenisik talks about being the first Turk in MLS, his time in camp and more
Marissa Silver / San Jose Earthquakes

Sercan Guvenisik was signed by the San Jose Earthquakes on Jan. 26. Born in Donauworth, Germany, the 31-year-old striker holds dual citizenship in Turkey and Germany, and thus the distinction of being the first Turkish national to sign with Major League Soccer.

His track record through years of competing up and down the professional tiers in Germany, including six Bundesliga appearances for MSV Duisburg, alongside a pair of stints in Turkey, helped land Guvenisik in San Jose on trial last June. That week-long showing, capped by a two-goal effort in a 3-0 victory over the LA Galaxy in his Reserve League debut, in turn garnered a closer follow and ultimately an Earthquakes contract offer last month.

Guvenisik, who speaks Turkish, German and English, arrived on Sunday evening from Germany directly into Ventura, Calif., where the Quakes continue their second of three out-of-town segments of preseason training camp this week. SJEarthquakes.com caught up with him there during some down-time, to introduce him to the Quakes faithful.

SJEarthquakes.com: It’s been just a few short days since you joined the squad. What’s the atmosphere been like? How are things going so far?
Sercan Guvenisik: I was greeted in a much better way and by a much better team than I could have hoped for. Everyone welcomed me with open arms. Through two days of training, including a game, my teammates have been very helpful in answering any questions I may have. I’m very happy in that regard.

SJEQ: You came in off the bench for the last 28 minutes of Tuesday’s preseason match with the Houston Dynamo (a 2-2 tie at Oxnard Community College). What were your thoughts on the game?
SG: It was a difficult match for me, because I am still nine hours behind at the moment (with the time difference between Germany and California). The time difference and the jet lag really affect you. There’s also about a 30-degree difference in the weather. It was freezing in Germany. In that respect, I had some trouble during the game, in terms of my breathing and strength. But (head coach Frank Yallop) knew that, and we had talked about how the important thing was just to take my first steps (toward adapting to the team), so I think we all came away satisfied. In the coming days, I hope to gradually put on better performances and make everybody happy.

SJEQ: Walk us through your transfer story to the Earthquakes, from your trial period in early June, to when you agreed to terms in late January.
SG: I had come here last summer with the hope of signing then, but unfortunately, that didn’t happen. For it to happen now over the winter was a surprise to me. I wasn’t expecting it. I was in camp with my team in Germany (SC Preussen Muenster), and the second half of the season had started. (Earthquakes General Manager of Soccer Operations) John Doyle called in mid-January and indicated that they were still interested in me. I then had to sort out the contract situation with my team, but within a week or so, we signed.

SJEQ: What were some of the main reasons for you wanting to come to America and join MLS and the San Jose Earthquakes?
SG: I’d already been spending my vacations in America over the past few years. I’ve always been interested in MLS and followed it closely. I wanted to both live and play soccer in this country. My girlfriend is American and she lives in Florida, so it’s better for both of us for me to be in America. My wanting to come here was due to a combination of all of these factors.

SJEQ: Where are some of the places in the States that you have visited? Any favorites?
SG: I’ve been to Chicago, Miami, Los Angeles, Key West and Las Vegas. I like Miami very much as a vacation spot, with its beaches. Every place had its own charm. Chicago is a great city. I like it there a lot. I’ve enjoyed every place I’ve been to in America.

SJEQ: What kind of a soccer player did the Earthquakes sign in you?
SG: They got a player who is fast, who likes to score goals, wants to score goals, will help his teammates, and works hard to play defense as well.

SJEQ: Tell us about yourself a little bit so the fans can begin to get to know you. What types of things do you enjoy doing when you are away from the game?
SG: One of the first things I need to do here is to get to know my surroundings. I’d like to go around and explore what’s out there (in the Bay Area). At the same time, I like to listen to music and go to the movies. Movies generally come to Germany weeks or months after they open in America, so it will be nice to be able to watch them right away in their original language. I enjoy watching sports, like the NBA, tennis and American football. One thing I’d like to do, actually, is to check out a baseball game as soon as possible. I’ve never been to one in my life, but I know it’s the No. 1 sport in America, so I’m anxiously awaiting my first chance to go.

SJEQ: What are some of your goals and expectations for the 2012 season?
SG: From what I’ve heard and what I can see so far, they have put together a good team, so our goal first and foremost needs to be to make the playoffs. I believe that we can succeed in this. Whatever may happen beyond that will play itself out, and we will see what more we can achieve. It is important for us to get off to a good start, and things should fall into place from there.

SJEQ: There is a sizeable contingent of Turkish expatriates in the U.S., who have shown up in force during rare opportunities to see their own in action in the States, like in 1997 and 2004 when club side Galatasaray SK Istanbul played at The Meadowlands, and 2010 when Turkey played the U.S. at Philadelphia’s Lincoln Financial Field in front of 55,407. As the first Turkish player in MLS, and yourself a Turk who has grown up and lived in another country, what would you like to say to the Turkish community in America?
SG: First off, I’m very, very proud to carry this title. I would like to show Americans what kind of people and soccer players Turks are. As for my fellow Turkish citizens, I would like to say hello to them. And to my Turkish friends in and around San Jose, I of course want to invite them to come out to our games.

SJEQ: Are there any teams and players in world soccer that you admire and follow?
SG: Certainly, with how closely soccer is followed in Europe, and being able to watch all of the leagues there (on television). One of the leagues that I enjoy is the Spanish (La Liga), and Barcelona as a team, in particular. Their games with Real Madrid are always great. At the same time, I watch teams in England like Arsenal and Manchester United with admiration. When you say players, of course there is (Lionel) Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, but for me, Messi is No. 1 in the world. There’s no player above him, in my opinion. Then there are also two players at Bayern Munich, (Franck) Ribery and (Arjen) Robben, who, for me, are also top-quality players.

SJEQ: What has been your most memorable moment in this sport?
SG: I’ve had a lot of fond memories. I had a very nice season at Paderborn (in 2008-09), when I won the league’s Golden Boot and we earned promotion. That year was great for me. In my career, I’ve experienced four or five championships. In soccer, these are always the top memories for everyone. I came to San Jose with the hope of achieving that success one day. We’ll see what happens.

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