Quakes defender Jason Hernandez was back training with the team today after some time away with a calf strain and looked comfortable as ever moving the ball on the back line during short field scrimmages.
“It’s good to have Jason back,” said Quakes head coach Frank Yallop. “He’s still catching up with the other guys, but we’ll work to get him back up to speed over the next ten days.”
With less than two weeks to First Kick 2011, the Quakes are in full gear preparing for their season opener against Real Salt Lake on March 19. Hernandez will continue to work back to match fitness and could see time in a friendly against the Portland Timbers on Saturday.
During Hernandez's absence, Ike Opara and Brandon McDonald have spent most of the minutes at center back for San Jose. Bobby Burling and Justin Morrow have also been in the mix.
McDonald had a strong showing during today's scrimmages. He scored twice, including a powerful blast from 15 yards out.
Joey Gjertsen continued his impressive play this preseason. One of his two goals on Tuesday was particularly well taken. Gjertsen scored via a deft flick with his heel after running onto a pass from Ramiro Corrales. The wide mid allowed the ball to glance off his heel and into the net.
“Joey’s had a good preseason and has done well in the wide right position, which is where we’ve had him for all of our preseason games,” Yallop said.
Chris Leitch and Tim Ward trained on their own today, working extensively with fitness coach Greg Tella. Scott Sealy also participated in individual workouts on the side as he continues to rehab for San Jose’s opener.