Training Report: Ward fit for practice
Although his San Jose Earthquakes career is only three-games deep, recently signed designated player Geovanni appears to have made a seamless transition to MLS.
Geovanni scored a goal and had an assist in Sunday’s 2-1 win over the Houston Dynamo. He also played a full 90 minutes, a sign that the Brazilian playmaker is fully fit.
“I want Geovanni to be a focal point for our team,” head coach Frank Yallop said. “I don’t care if he gets goals or assists. I just want him to play well.”
Goals and assists can’t hurt, but Yallop hopes Geovanni becomes a field general for what has become a potent Quakes attack. With Bobby Convey a possibility to return to the midfield, Khari Stephenson providing quality service – and a goal of his own on Sunday – and Eduardo poised to find minutes, San Jose has the components of a playoff-caliber offense.
The Quakes had positive news from a pair of defenders on Thursday. Tim Ward played through a full training session without any setbacks to his sprained right ankle and Ramiro Corrales went through agility drills under the supervision of head trainer Bruce Morgan.
Ward played a full 90 on Sunday, but only because the Quakes were out of substitutions. After injuring his ankle late in the match, Ward moved to the top of San Jose’s 10-man formation as a defensive striker. The Quakes were already a man down due to Sam Cronin’s red card and couldn’t afford the loss of one more.
Ward will be available to play on Saturday.
Corrales is recovering from a sprained MCL that he suffered in a 2-0 loss against the Colorado Rapids on August 7. The veteran left back went through cutting, shuffling and running drills in soccer cleats for the first time during his rehab.
“Maybe next week I might start doing more with the ball, maybe join in a scrimmage as a neutral. We’ll see how it goes,” Corrales said.
Khari Stephenson, Brandon McDonald and Scott Sealy did not train due to minor injuries. None have been ruled out of Saturday’s match.
Eduardo continued to impress with some nifty footwork while playing striker during a pair of short-field scrimmages. Playing with his back to the goal from the edge of the keeper’s box, the bulky Brazilian turned and left-footed a shot past Jon Busch at one point during the second half.
Bobby Convey continued his fine form after sitting out Sunday’s match due to a 1-game card accumulation suspension. Convey put the finishing touches on a weighted pass into the box from Geovanni, slamming home a shot from 15-yards away.
After practice, Yallop said Convey could line up at either left back or left mid this weekend.
Ryan Johnson got back to training on Thursday and played through a full session after appearing in two matches for Jamaica. Johnson scored the winning goal in a 1-0 result over Costa Rica on Sunday and was a second-half substitute in a 2-1 loss to Peru on Tuesday.
Arturo Alvarez didn’t train after a lengthy day of travel back from Washington D.C. following a second-half appearance for his native El Salvador in a 2-0 loss to Guatemala. Alvarez experienced several flight delays and was given a day off from Yallop.
Brad Ring to Start?
Brad Ring appears poised to make his second career start. The center mid trained with the first team on Thursday and received words of support from Yallop after practice. Sam Cronin will sit out Saturday's match after receiving a red card against Houston, leaving a temporary opening in the midfield.