Photo credit: (Godofredo Vasquez/SFBay)
By Pearl Allison Lo
The San Jose Earthquakes finally broke through in the end, persisting for a 2-0 win over the Republic FC in Tucson Wednesday, ending their preseason with their best match score.
It was Sacramento’s first loss in four practice matches, who were almost able to hold on until the end. Fans supported all the way from pre-game warmups to after the 2-0 score.
The Republic were playing with two members from a Portland Timbers loan, which included goalie Jake Gleeson.
The Quakes had a number of chances, about five excluding the ones that the referee counted. Adam Jahn was involved in two of them.
San Jose made all their substitutions except goalie in the 71st minute.
Jon Busch did leave though, after Sacramento had a chance that hit the crossbar in the 79th minute. Busch departed due to a cut above his eye, while defending the net.
The Earthquakes broke through in the 86th minute. Alan Gordon played for the first time in the preseason and after receiving a cross from Walter Martinez, headed the ball to rookie JJ Koval, who headed the ball into an empty net.
Both Billy Schuler and Sam Garza experienced redemption with San Jose’s doubling goal. Schuler scored a minute into stoppage on an assist from Garza. Earlier, Schuler had a goal taken away due to a foul and Garza just moments before his post-regulation assist, had almost scored.
Game notes: Koval and Schuler were both credited with their first goal of the preseason. The former signed with the team February 19, after being selected in the year’s SuperDraft. Schuler joined the team Jan 14 via lottery. Earlier in the day, the Quakes added German Andreas Gorlitz to their roster, pending administrative receipts. There were over 1,100 attendees of the Republic’s first match in front of a home crowd. March 11 at 7p, San Jose will face an even stiffer challenge as 8th seed in the quarterfinal of the CONCACAF Champions League, as they host first-seed Deportivo Toluca FC.