FRESNO, Calif. – The San Jose Earthquakes’ late comeback bid fell just short, as they lost 2-1 to the LA Galaxy in the Central California Cup at Chukchansi Park Saturday night. The Galaxy grabbed a 2-0 lead early in the second half, but the Quakes made a push to nearly pull out a result at the end. Josh Morton, a U18 Earthquakes Academy player, scored in the 67th minute and the Quakes created a number of quality chances late in the match, but they could not find the equalizer.
After an even first 15 minutes, Jon Busch came up with a big save on a blast from Marcelo Sarvas. A cross was deflected out by the Quakes defense and Sarvas hammered a shot from 25 yards out that Busch punched away.
The Quakes came back with a good combination that nearly broke the deadlock just minutes later. Atiba Harris ran onto a loose ball 30 yards from goal and set up Shea Salinas for a clear look at goal, but the play was called back for a foul.
Sarvas scored the opener with a well-placed shot from 20 yards out in the 31st minute. A clearance fell to the Brazilian, who curled a shot into the far post for a 1-0 lead.
Busch kept the deficit at one goal with a diving save on Gyasi Zardes in the opening moments of the second half. After Zardes got free behind the Quakes defense, Busch came off his line to dive and tip the ball off Zardes’ foot. The follow-up shot by the Galaxy was then blocked by Sam Cronin.
Zardes doubled the Galaxy’s advantage with a long run and finish in the 54th minute. He took a pass from Landon Donovan and charged at the Quakes’ goal before depositing a shot into the upper corner.
San Jose responded in the 67th minute with a goal from Morton. After entering as a sub in the 63rd minute, he redirected a corner kick from Sam Garza to slice the Galaxy lead to 2-1.
JJ Koval almost equalized for San Jose on another set piece with 15 minutes remaining. Walter Martinez swerved in a free kick from the right edge of the box, but Koval’s header flew just over the bar.
Mike Fucito and Sam Garza combined for a great chance in the dying moments of the match. Fucito received the ball in midfield and took a touch, before sending a perfectly weighted pass to Garza as he streaked behind the defense. Garza controlled the ball and fired a low shot, but Galaxy goalkeeper Brian Perk made the save to clinch the victory for the Galaxy.
-The Earthquakes have played at Chukchansi Park on two prior occasions, both times in the preseason against the Fresno Fuego. On Feb. 20, 2009, the Quakes defeated the Fuego 6-0 and then beat the Fuego 3-2 on Feb. 27, 2010.
-The Quakes reserves took on the Fresno Fuego in the first match of tonight’s doubleheader with eight Earthquakes Academy players seeing action in the game. The Fuego earned a 2-1 come-from-behind win with Juan Baena scoring San Jose’s lone goal.
LA Galaxy 2:1 San Jose Earthquakes
February 15, 2014 – Chukchansi Park
Scoring Summary: LA – Marcelo Sarvas (unassisted) 31; LA – Gyasi Zardes (Landon Donovan) 54; SJ – Josh Morton (Sam Garza) 67.
Misconduct Summary: LA – Leonardo (caution) 39.
San Jose Earthquakes – Jon Busch, Andreas Gorlitz (Cordell Cato 63), Ty Harden (Josh Morton 63), Jason Hernandez (Joe Sofia 63), Jordan Stewart (Shaun Francis 63), Shea Salinas (Walter Martinez 63), Jean-Baptiste Pierazzi (Juan Baena 63), Sam Cronin (JJ Koval 63), Atiba Harris (Sam Garza 63), Billy Schuler (Mike Fucito 63), Steven Lenhart (Adam Jahn 63).
LA Galaxy – Brian Perk, AJ DeLagarza (Matt Hall 63), Omar Gonzalez (Kyle Venter 63), Leonardo (Kofi Opare 61), James Riley (Greg Cochran 61), Stefan Ishizaki (Baggio Husidic 46), Juninho (Rafael Garcia 61), Marcelo Sarvas (Bradford Jamieson IV 63), Landon Donovan (Bryan Gaul 63) Samuel (Chandler Hoffman 61), Gyasi Zardes (Jack McBean 63).