Academy players shine in Generation adidas Cup
The Generation adidas Cup was the official 2013 coming out party for Academy veterans Amir Bashti, Philip Hausen and Jonathan Partida. At least one of them was directly involved in four of the five goals scored by San Jose on the campus of UC Irvine.
The Generation adidas Cup focuses on player development and showcases the best teams in the country and the future stars of MLS. After a 2-0 trip, the Quakes emerge from the weekend on top in the West and on the inside track to this year's international draw.
The teams are comprised of Academy players from both the U18 and U16 teams, and the younger players also took part in a pair of friendlies while they were down south. Chivas USA's club team played host to the first of two preliminary weekends of play. San Jose, Seattle, Portland, Los Angeles and Chivas make up the West bracket, the only bracket with 5 teams in it (the others have 6). San Jose came home with 6 points, the most they could've gotten from their two matches.
The Quakes got the weekend started on the right note when they squared off with their Northwest Division foe, the Seattle Sounders. Lalo Solarzano got the start in net and, as in the regular season, played beautifully in the 2-1 victory. Hausen got San Jose on the board when the ball deflected off the Sounders wall on a free kick and fell to his feet. The defense was slow to react off the set piece, and Hausen buried the first goal of the weekend for the Quakes. After Seattle tied it, Partida and Bashti eventually broke through to get Solarzano a lead he wouldn't relinquish.
The Quakes' second match of the weekend pitted them against host Chivas USA, and this time it was Remi Prieur's chance in net. Prieur, like Solarzano, has been phenomenal in net this early season and did not disappoint at the Generation Cup, either, leading San Jose to a 3-2 victory. After an early goal snuck by Prieur, the Quakes got to work on the counter-attack and got the equalizer shortly thereafter. Theo Huxham scored his first career goal for the Academy to bring San Jose even. Chivas pushed back ahead on a penalty kick, sending the match into the half at 2-1. This advantage was short-lived, though, as San Jose pushed forward after the half and tied the score just two minutes after the break. Michael Anderson ripped a shot on frame that awkwardly struck Partida in the midsection and fell right back to Anderson. Without hesitation, he reloaded and blasted another shot that found the back of the net, an assist that Partida won't soon forget. Partida continued his generous ways, assisting Bashti on the game-winner a short time later.
Hausen, Partida and Bashti have been together for a few seasons now, and the proof was in their play. All weekend they were creating chances for themselves and others and were a huge part of the success San Jose had in Irvine.
The Generation Cup will continue President's Day weekend, Feb. 11-14, and San Jose will play host to the next round of matches. With their 6-point haul from Irvine, the Quakes are nearly guaranteed a spot in the international draw coming up in April. The top three seeds from each region will move to the international pool, and the remaining teams will play each other in the consolation pool.
- Richter Media