Tucson preseason preview

SAN JOSE, Calif - The Quakes will open their first of three preseason tours this week when the team travels to Tucson, Ariz.

San Jose will play two matches during their stay; against the New England Revolution on Tuesday, Jan. 29 and the Houston Dynamo on Saturday, Feb. 2, both at Kino Sports Complex.

This will mark the second consecutive year that the Quakes opened their preseason at Tucson after San Jose played both FC Tucson and Sporting Kansas City last year.

Once again, the preseason tour will provide the coaching staff an opportunity to assess the current preseason squad members while many of the expected starters are either away for various national team commitments or are still rehabbing injuries.

Although the roster will be far from finalized coming into the friendlies, younger players, including recent draft picks, will be given the opportunity to showcase their talents.

Sophomore striker and No. 6 overall 2012 SuperDraft pick Sam Garza anticipates a tough test for his Goonies squad.

“Tucson will be dry and hot. The training sessions will be a lot tougher because of that. We play the New England Revolution on Tuesday and the Houston Dynamo on Saturday, so it’ll be tough,” said Garza. “Houston will be determined to show what they did in the league. We got a lot of new faces in camp so it’ll be a great opportunity to gel.”

Shea Salinas, entering his sixth season in the MLS and third season with the Quakes, views the tour not just as preparation for the season ahead but as the first match test prior to the Quakes’ regular season opener against Real Salt Lake on March 3.

“Tucson will be a great trip to get some games in. We haven’t played too much soccer yet. We’ve been running a bunch,” said Salinas. “Tucson will be nice to touch a soccer ball and play. We’ll see some new faces and some young guys. It’ll be a good opportunity to get to know each other a little better on the road.”

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