The Quakes had several new faces at practice for the first day of preseason camp, including an NASL midfielder most recently tied to the Montreal Impact.
Tony Donatelli, a 19-goal scorer over five seasons as an attacking mid at the NASL level, was a full participant in Thursday's practice. The 26-year-old Temple University graduate played with current Quakes winger Joey Gjertsen at both the Impact and the Vancouver Whitecaps.
Quakes staff confirmed that the team is interested in bringing Donatelli in and is close to signing a deal with the Pennsylvania native. With the Quakes attacking midfield spot in flux, Donatelli could fight for playing time early in the season.
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“I’ve liked Tony in the last three or four years while playing in the USL where he has done very well," said Quakes head coach Frank Yallop. "Now it’s time to see how he does at our level. I think he will perform well for us here in San Jose.”
Sam Cronin trained without a hitch on Thursday. The Quakes starting defensive midfielder from a year ago suffered a quad strain while practicing with the US Men's National Team earlier in the month. Both the coaching staff and Cronin were confident the injury is behind him.
Gjertsen appears fully recovered after undergoing season-ending arthroscopic surgery on his right knee late last season. Now in his second year with the Quakes, Gjertsen hopes to regain the starting right midfield spot he earned early in the 2010 campaign.
Ike Opara and Ramiro Corrales also confirmed that they are fully fit and ready for preseason camp.
Andre Luiz will continue to rehab and said he is still several weeks away from touching a ball. The 36-year-old Brazilian midfielder missed most of 2010 after having surgery to reconstruct the PCL and repair the MCL on his left knee.
FIRST DAY ODDS AND ENDS
Players began the day with 5v2 keep away games on the side before strength and conditioning coach Greg Tella put the squad through a series of running drills.
Twenty-five players reported to the morning session, including five goalkeepers - Jon Busch, David Bingham, Andrew Weber, Brian Edwards and Philip Tuttle.
Jason Hernandez was not in camp due to personal reasons, but will rejoin the squad next week.