The San Jose Earthquakes U-18 and U-16 Academy teams travelled to San Diego for a pair of cross-conference games to begin their seasons over the weekend.
The Quakes U-18s finished the weekend 1-0-1 while the U-16s played to two close losses.
Prior to the games, the Academy’s Director of Administration and Travel, Fred Wilson, believed that the tournament would provide a chance to see how much the teams have developed since the program started in July of this year.
“I’ll be looking to get a good look at where we are from where we started a few months ago,” Wilson said. “It will be a real competitive situation which is different because we’ve played only friendlies so far. It will be a good chance to see where we are progress-wise in terms of development, and it will give our players an understanding of what they signed up for and the expectations the game brings.”
Based upon the results of this weekend, the players earned a wealth of experience. The U-18 team earned a win and a draw in the two games they played this weekend.
The team played Nomads SC in the first game on Saturday, October 16 and came away with a 2-1 victory after a shaky beginning. Nomads scored in the sixth minute on a goal by Oswald Geovanny DeLeon for an early 1-0 lead. However, the Earthquakes were able to weather the storm and drew even on a goal from Juan Paez in the 75th minute, assisted by Nick Lima. Just two minutes later, Nomads had an excellent chance to take the lead again when they were awarded a penalty-kick for a handball, but goalkeeper Jesus Guzman came up with a huge save. Energized from the big save, Silva began a run on the left side and eventually found Nick Lima, who scored the game-winner in the 85th minute.
In the second game on Sunday, October 17 the Earthquakes earned a 1-1 draw against San Diego Surf. San Diego took the lead late in the game on a goal from Luis Reynoso in the 85th minute. Yet the Earthquakes proved to be resilient again, getting a goal from Lima in the 90th minute to salvage a draw and end the weekend undefeated.
On the U-16 side, the Earthquakes suffered two close defeats in their two games. Against Nomads SC on Saturday, October 16, the Earthquakes had a number of quality scoring chances yet were denied each time by the Nomads goalkeeper. While the Earthquakes were unable to find the back of the net, Manuel Carrillo of Nomads SC scored the lone goal of the game in 52nd minute for a 1-0 victory.
The Earthquakes found better success scoring goals in their second game against San Diego Surf on Sunday, October 17 but still suffered the same disappointing overall result. After Leon Prikhodovskiy gave San Diego a 1-0 lead in the 26th minute, Jesus Garcia drew the Earthquakes even with a goal in the 31st minute. However, it was short-lived as Ryan Kretz scored in the 35th minute to put San Diego back on top with a penalty. In the second half, the Earthquakes tied the game again with a goal from Elisama Padilla in the 59th minute, yet suffered a heartbreaking loss courtesy of a Jared Marr goal in the 80th minute to give San Diego a thrilling 3-2 win.
This weekend, the academy teams will face the Los Angeles Galaxy teams on Saturday, October 30 at the Nutrilite Training Facility. The U-18 squad will play at 12 p.m. PT, and the U-16 squad will play at 2 p.m. PT. On Sunday, the squads will face Chivas USA at the Mustang Soccer Complex in Danville, with the U-18 team at 10 a.m. PT and the U-16 team at 12:30 p.m. PT.