Earthquakes Acquire Forward Steven Lenhart from Columbus Crew in Draft Day Trade
SAN JOSE, Calif. - The San Jose Earthquakes announced today that they acquired forward Steven Lenhart from the Columbus Crew in a trade at the 2011 Major League Soccer Draft in Baltimore. The Quakes sent their first round pick (15th overall) and allocation money to the Crew in exchange for Lenhart, who grew up in Yorba Linda, Calif. With their second round pick (33rd overall), the Quakes selected midfielder Anthony Ampaipitakwong from the University of Akron.
"Steven is a young player at only 24 years old, but he has three years of experience in MLS," said General Manager John Doyle. "He is a big forward who is difficult for defenders to handle. We think he can come in and help bolster our attack."
Originally drafted in the fourth round of the 2008 MLS SuperDraft, Lenhart was an important part of the Crew for the past three years, helping them win the club's first MLS Cup in 2008 and two Supporters' Shields (2008 and 2009). The 6-1 striker has netted 13 goals in league play in his career and also contributed two goals in Champions League matches. His lone playoff goal was the game-tying goal in the first leg of the Crew's 2008 MLS Cup Playoff series against Sporting Kansas City. The Crew defeated Kansas City in the home leg before going on to win the MLS Cup Championship.
"I have always liked Steven and the way he plays," said head coach Frank Yallop. "He's a big, strong, fast forward who is excellent in the air. We are excited to start working with him."
Last season, Lenhart set career highs with six goals and 27 games played, helping the Crew to the playoffs for the third straight season. He also helped Columbus reach the quarterfinals of the CONCACAF Champions League and the final of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup in 2010. He appeared in four Champions League games in 2010 and netted one goal, while scoring two goals in four Open Cup games.
As a collegian, Lenhart, 24, led Azusa Pacific to the 2007 NAIA national title and was named an All-American. He scored 38 goals and notched 12 assists in 61 career games in college. His father, Gary, was a defensive lineman in football at Azusa Pacific.
Ampaipitakwong helped the Zips to their first ever national championship in 2010 with an overtime win in the College Cup Final against Louisville. He was on the Hermann Trophy Watch List and was a College Soccer News Preseason All-American. He was a co-captain on a team that lost just two games over the past two years. He was a National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) First Team All-American and a Soccer America MVP First Team selection in 2009. His coach at Akron was Caleb Porter, who played four games for San Jose in 1999.
The Texas native started all 93 games he appeared in over his four-year career at Akron, scoring 17 goals and notching 30 assists. He scored three goals and had a career high 11 assists in his senior season. From 2003-05, Ampaipitakwong was a part of the United States U17 national team Residency program in Bradenton, Fla.
Transaction: San Jose Earthquakes (MLS) - Earthquakes acquire F Steven Lenhart from the Columbus Crew in exchange for allocation money and a first round draft pick in 2011 MLS SuperDraft and select M Anthony Ampaipitakwong in the second round (33rd overall) in the 2011 MLS SuperDraft.
Born: August 28, 1986 in Jacksonville, Fla.
Hometown: Yorba Linda, Calif.
Last Club: Columbus Crew
Anthony Ampaipitakwong (am-PIE-pitak-won)
Born: June 14, 1988 in Carrollton, Texas
Hometown: Carrollton, Texas
Last Club: Akron
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