TUCSON, Ariz. – The San Jose Earthquakes opened their preseason slate with a 1-1 draw against FC Tucson at the Kino Sports Complex on Wednesday in a three-period, 110-minute affair.
Rafael Baca tapped in the Earthquakes’ goal in the 38th minute. Marvin Chavez hit a cross that went untouched across the box and appeared destined to cross the end line for a goal kick, but San Jose midfielder Shea Salinas hustled and kept the ball in play. Salinas took a touch and then looped a pass toward the far post that Baca volleyed in from close range.
The starting XI stayed on throughout the first 40 minutes. The next-best chance came from Salinas who slipped into space after Tressor Moreno played a through ball on the left side. The speedy winger had a go with his left foot, putting the shot just wide of the target.
San Jose made a line change to start the second 40-minute period. Milos Dragic scored the equalizer for FC Tucson in the 75th minute after getting loose in the box and blasting a perfectly placed shot high past Quakes goalkeeper Chris Blais.
The Earthquakes weren’t without opportunity in the middle stanza. Lyle Martin sent a pass behind the FC Tucson defense in the 71st minute that Cesar Diaz Pizarro ran on to. Pizarro had a look from wide right, but instead snuck a centering pass to Anthony Ampaipitakwong in the area, but the ensuing shot was blocked by a sliding FC Tucson defender.
Later, Pizarro had a chance of his own after holding off his defender to strike a bouncing pass from inside the box on the volley in the 80th minute. The shot was struck well, but glanced off the crossbar.
The last period saw a pair of opportunities for San Jose as Sam Garza had a shot blocked by the keeper from inside the box and James Kiffe booted one barely wide on the left.
Wednesday’s match was the first of San Jose’s preseason. Over the weekend, FC Tucson lost 2-1 against the New England Revolution.
The Earthquakes played without a number of their veterans, including goalkeeper Jon Busch, defender Jason Hernandez and forwards Chris Wondolowski and Steven Lenhart. Busch, Hernandez and Lenhart were given the day off by the technical staff and could see action against Sporting KC on Saturday while Wondolowski was given a few days vacation following his return from U.S. national team camp.
San Jose will be back in action on Saturday against Sporting Kansas City at the Kino Sports Complex with kickoff set for 11 a.m. MT.
FC TUCSON VS SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES
February 1, 2012 – Kino Sports Complex
Format: Two periods of 40 minutes, One of 30 minutes
Scoring Summary: SJ – Rafael Baca (Shea Salinas) 38; FCT – Milos Dragic (unassisted) 75.
FC Tucson – Cody Suppe, Nick Sykes, Conor Spence, Kareem Smith, Michael Krauss, Jorge Reza, Matt Armstrong, Charles Blasé, Felipe Garre, Reid Schmidt, Milos Dragic.
San Jose Earthquakes (1) – Evan Newton, Steven Beitashour, Ike Opara, Victor Bernardez, Ramiro Corrales, Marvin Chavez, Rafael Baca, Sam Cronin, Shea Salinas, Tressor Moreno, Khari Stephenson.
San Jose Earthquakes (2) – Evan Newton (Chris Blais 60), Lyle Martin, Cristian Arrieta, Kyle Davies, Justin Morrow, Sam Garza, Jean Alexandre, Brad Ring, Anthony Ampaipitakwong, Ellis McLoughlin, Khari Stephenson (Cesar Diaz Pizarro 60).
San Jose Earthquakes (3) – Chris Blais, Tyler Krumpe, David Tiemstra, Logan Emory, Josh Suggs, Sam Garza, Brad Ring, Anthony Ampaipitakwong, James Kiffe, Ellis McLoughlin, Cesar Diaz Pizarro.
Photo and story: SJEarthquakes.com