Training Report: Focused Quakes turn sights on Seattle
San Jose Earthquakes players had an extra bounce in their step on Thursday, their second practice since clinching a spot in the MLS Cup Playoffs last weekend.
The Quakes took Monday and Wednesday off this week, but put together a quality session at Buck Shaw Stadium two days prior to a home date with the Houston Dynamo. Despite the light-hearted atmosphere, players were quick to point out that there's plenty left to play for.
"It's nice to know that you have a spot guaranteed, but there's still a lot to play for with match ups and just trying to get as many points as we can," said Quakes midfielder Sam Cronin.
Three games to play and San Jose is gunning to wrest the No. 6 spot from Seattle Sounders FC. The Quakes trail Seattle by two points and have a game in hand. If the Quakes leapfrogged the Sounders, it would set up a post-season rematch of the California Clásico vs. the LA Galaxy.
Four different players scored goals during the scrimmage. First up was Cornell Glen off a beautiful chip over the back line from Geovanni. Glen made a perfectly timed run, beat Jon Busch to the ball and finished well.
Chris Wondolowski was next in line, finishing an absolute cracker from a tight angle with his left foot. Justin Morrow played a cross in from the left that Glen headed to the back post. Busch got a touch on the ball, but Wondo cleaned up the garbage with his alternate foot near the touchline.
Arturo Alvarez and Scott Sealy got on the board as well. Alvarez used his right foot to beat back-up goalkeeper Brian Edwards while Sealy crushed one from close-range to level the sides at two apiece.
Andre Luiz dropped by practice to watch his teammates from the sideline. The Brazilian midfielder is out for the season after undergoing knee surgery midway through the season.
Ramiro Corrales is looking healthier by the day and may be available to play over the Quakes final three games.
Joey Gjertsen did not train with the team.