Quakes host open tryouts
A pristine Saturday morning at Danville's Mustang Soccer Complex saw more than 200 participants demonstrate their soccer abilities in front of the Quakes' coaching staff.
Local and international trialists, ranging from New York to India, played in full 11 aside matches with the aspiration of donning the Quakes' uniform. After having monitored the trialists, the coaching staff will announce a select group of 22 players to participate in a tryout the following weekend.
"I saw the open tryouts online and wanted to see how it is. I wanted to get the experience," said Michael Czyrnek, a collegiate midfielder from New Jersey. "I expected a high-quality, fast-paced game and I think that's what I got. It was a great experience and I think I did pretty well."
Quakes Assistant Coach Mark Watson and former player Kelly Gray were on hand to evaluate the hopefuls. "The tryout has been good. It's tough bringing a bunch of guys who haven't played together to develop the teamwork side of it. It's been really good. We've been pleasantly surprised," said Watson.
"You're just hoping to find a player or two. There are some good players out here who have played at a good level," continued Watson. "To be able to play for us, they have to have a little bit more. The guys looked good here today and we will evaluate what we got. We will condense it down to 22 players and then take another look at them next weekend."
Some trialists traveled from far and wide to pursue their dream of playing for the 2012 Supporters' Shield winners. Haabib Zaylaa, a goalkeeper from Lebanon, flew across the globe to participate. The tenured 21 year professional has playing experience in Qatar, Dubai, and Lebanon.
"I don't feel nervous. For me, going to a tryout is like going to your job," said Zaylaa. "I played with Raul Gonzalez and Gabriel Batistuta before. I thought I played good. I hope that they share this and that they will invite me to the next tryout."
The Quakes look to defend their franchise-best record of 19-6-9 with preseason camp opening on Monday, Jan. 21. San Jose will welcome their two draft picks, No. 15 Tommy Muller from Georgetown and No. 33 Dan Delgado from the University of San Diego.