The San Jose Earthquakes stars of the future are shining brightly today.
The Earthquakes' Youth Academy squads had a successful weekend, as the Under-17/18 and Under-15/16 teams rolled to victory over the Santa Cruz Breakers Academy on Saturday, Oct. 20 at the Earthquakes training facility.
The U17/18 squad was led by a combination of strong goalkeeping from Austen Black and two goals from Jesus “Jesse” Garcia, a senior at Livermore High School, in a 3-1 victory. Garcia scored in the 11th and 59th minutes, the latter being the go-ahead goal. Black turned away one Santa Cruz shot after another with help from fellow future California Golden Bears defender Trevor Long. Elisama Padilla scored in the 89th minute with the help of some nifty play from sub Brian Randall to seal the deal for the Quakes, who lead the Northwest Division with a 4-0 record.
With the win against Santa Cruz, the U18 Quakes have outscored opponents 14-3 thus far this season. Jesse Garcia’s first goal came on a gorgeous centering ball from Armando Leon that found Garcia all alone after beating his man. He promptly tucked the ball into the corner to get San Jose on the board early. Garcia scored again on a penalty kick after Jesse Morales was taken down in the box. The Quakes dominated a majority of the action, outshooting Santa Cruz 10-4 and possessing the ball for much of the contest. Conor Corboy scored the loan Santa Cruz goal on a PK in the 30th minute.
The U18's will next play Sacramento-based San Juan Soccer Club on Saturday, Nov. 3.
The U15/16s found similar success against their Highway 17 neighbors' Santa Cruz. Nicholas Perez scored the lone goal for the Earthquakes in the 56th minute to give San Jose the victory. Goalkeeper JT Marcinkowski thwarted many of the Breakers' attacks, registering five saves on the day.
In the back-and-forth match both teams had an equal number of scoring chances in the first half. The Quakes' best first-half opportunity came from a Jon Partida pass that found Phillip Hausen, who was unmarked on the back post. Hausen’s header hit off the post as the first half came to a close.
San Jose picked up right where they left off; dominating play in the second half via set pieces and clever ball movement. A set piece led to the Quakes only goal. Hausen played a cross to Josh Morton, who headed the ball back across the goal mouth to a sliding Perez at the edge of the 6-yard box. Perez buried the shot and gave Marcinkowski and the Quakes a lead they wouldn’t relinquish. San Jose kept the pressure on, nearly scoring again late in the match on a Josh Totte shot that also found the post.
The U15/16s are 3-1 and in contention for the Northwest Division. The team's next match will also be Saturday, Nov. 3 against the San Juan Soccer Club.