SAN JOSE, Calif. – The San Jose Earthquakes reserves got a long-range strike from Jean-Marc Alexandre early in the second half and a shutout in goal from David Bingham in defeating the Portland Timbers, 1-0, in the 2012 MLS Reserve League opener for both sides at the Earthquakes Training Facility on March 27.
On a windy and cool afternoon in the South Bay, the Quakes broke through with the game’s only goal in the 53rd minute. Anthony Ampaipitakwong cut through the opposing penalty box before feeding Alan Gordon, who laid the ball back toward Alexandre outside the left edge of the area. Alexandre, in his first season in San Jose after three years at Real Salt Lake, took a touch before powering a left-footed shot from 25 yards out, low and inside the far post.
With the help of his defense in front of him, second-year Quakes goalkeeper Bingham made the result stand up. The last of his four saves came in the 81st minute, on a close-range shot from Ryan Kawulok following a nice lead-up by the Timbers. San Jose also dodged a bullet in stoppage time. Sal Zizzo’s right-footed free kick from just outside the penalty area looked like it was heading toward the far corner, only for Quakes center back Jason Hernandez to make a lunging effort to kick it out for a corner kick.
San Jose fielded a starting lineup consisting of Brad Ring, Hernandez, trialist Kyle Kaveny and Josh Suggs from right to left across the back in front of Bingham. Hernandez captained the side on the day. The midfield, from right to left, featured top draft pick Sam Garza, Ampaipitakwong, Alexandre and Simon Dawkins, with Gordon and Sercan Guvenisik up top. Among the second-half substitutes for the home side were Earthquakes Youth Academy players Julio Cervantes, who leads the U-18 squad with six goals in 15 games this season, and Christian De Luna of the U-16s.
The Timbers outshot the Quakes on the day, 19-12. They produced an early chance through Sebastián Rincón, but the trialist’s shot was saved as Bingham dove low to his right, with Bright Dike’s effort on the rebound blocked away by a defender.
San Jose’s first shot came from Guvenisik in the eighth minute, as he took a pass from Suggs down the left flank and ultimately produced a strong right-footed shot from 20 yards that Portland goalie Joe Bendik parried away. In the 24th, Portland’s Brent Richards saw his shot saved for a corner kick by Bingham.
The Earthquakes upped their pressure late in the first half. A nice combination between Ampaipitakwong and Cesar Diaz Pizarro down the left resulted in a left-footed shot by Gordon that went wide of the goal in the 40th. Four minutes later, a dangerous through ball by Garza left fellow rookie Diaz Pizarro one-on-one with Bendik, who managed to save the right-footed shot. Just before the halftime whistle, it was Garza again with a clever flick for Gordon to shoot high.
Bendik totaled four saves in the Portland goal. The Timbers featured Steve Purdy as a center back. Purdy, from San Jose, played at nearby Archbishop Mitty High School before moving on to Cal, and earned his first cap for the El Salvador national team in 2011.
The Earthquakes reserves return to action on Sunday, April 8, hosting Vancouver Whitecaps FC. Kickoff at the Earthquakes Training Facility in San Jose is 11 a.m.
Reserves: San Jose Earthquakes 1, Portland Timbers 0
March 27, 2012 – Earthquakes Training Facility, San Jose, Calif.
SJ – Jean-Marc Alexandre (Alan Gordon, Anthony Ampaipitakwong) 53
SJ – Brad Ring (caution) 35
SJ – Kyle Kaveny (caution) 64
SJ – Jean-Marc Alexandre (caution) 77
POR – Mike Chabala (caution) 85
San Jose Earthquakes Reserves – David Bingham, Brad Ring (Jacob Hustedt 90), Jason Hernandez (C), ^Kyle Kaveny, Josh Suggs (*Christian De Luna 81), Sam Garza, Jean-Marc Alexandre, Anthony Ampaipitakwong (*Julio Cervantes 74), Simon Dawkins, Alan Gordon (Ellis McLoughlin 61), Sercan Guvenisik (Cesar Diaz Pizarro 24).
Sub not used: Evan Newton.
Statistics: Shots: 12; Shots on Goal: 5; Saves: 4; Fouls: 17; Corner Kicks: 7; Offside: 3.
Portland Timbers Reserves – Joe Bendik, Ryan Kawulok, Steve Purdy, Chris Taylor, ^Kasali Casal, Charles Renken, Mike Chabala (C), Freddie Braun, Brent Richards, Bright Dike, ^Sebastián Rincón (Sal Zizzo 67).
Subs not used: ^Doug Herrick, ^Dylan Leslie.
Statistics: Shots: 19; Shots on Goal: 4; Saves: 4; Fouls: 7; Corner Kicks: 4; Offside: 5.
*San Jose Earthquakes Academy player