SAN JOSE, Calif. – The San Jose Earthquakes defeated the LA Galaxy 3-2 in the final preseason tune-up of the 2015 season and the first-ever game at Avaya Stadium.
The Earthquakes first scoring opportunity came in the 18th minute when midfielder Matias Perez Garcia’s set piece forced Galaxy keeper Brian Rowe off his line, but the ball narrowly missed the head of Quakes defender Shaun Francis.
In the 25th minute, the Earthquakes created another chance. Perez Garcia whipped in a cross, which found midfielder JJ Koval. Koval’s shot was deflected by Galaxy forward Alan Gordon out of play for a corner kick.
The Galaxy’s first scoring chance of the match came in the 34th minute. Gordon had a dangerous strike from near the top of the box, but his shot was blocked by Quakes defender Paulo Renato to keep the deadlock.
San Jose got on the scoreboard first in the 42nd minute. Midfielder Shea Salinas dribbled through traffic with some nifty footwork and whipped in a dangerous ball across the front of goal with his left foot. The ball caromed off of Galaxy defender Omar Gonzalez and into the back of the net to give the Earthquakes a 1-0 advantage heading into halftime.
Earthquakes midfielder JJ Koval doubled the team’s advantage in the 58th minute. After receiving a well-placed chip by Perez Garcia, Wondolowski headed the ball back to Koval at the top of the penalty area, who blasted it past Galaxy keeper Brian Rowe.
In the 65th minute, the Galaxy got a goal back. Defender Robbie Rogers sent a left-footed in-swinger into the box and forward Jose Villareal headed it towards goal. Quakes keeper David Bingham got a hand on the ball, but it caromed off the post and into the net.
San Jose responded immediately to extend their lead to 3-1 in the 67th minute. Second-half substitute Adam Jahn got his head on a Perez Garcia corner kick and directed the ball past the keeper. It marked his team-leading seventh goal of the preseason.
The Galaxy brought the game within one goal again in the 82nd minute. Midfielder Stefan Ishizaki chipped a ball onto the foot of Robbie Keane, who slotted his left-footed strike into the bottom-right corner of the net.
The final scoring chance of the night came off the left foot of Quakes midfielder Cordell Cato in stoppage time. Cato dribbled towards the box from the right flank and cut back onto his left foot, ripping a shot headed for the far post, but Galaxy keeper Brian Rowe dove to his right and punched the ball out of danger.
The Earthquakes open the 2015 regular season against FC Dallas on Saturday, March 7 at 5:30 p.m. PT at Toyota Stadium.
San Jose Earthquakes 3:2 LA Galaxy
February 28, 2015 – Avaya Stadium
Scoring Summary: SJ – Own goal (Omar Gonzalez) 42, JJ Koval (Chris Wondolowski) 58, Adam Jahn (Matias Perez Garcia) 67; LA – Jose Villareal (Robbie Rogers) 65, Robbie Keane (Stefan Ishizaki) 82.
Misconduct Summary: SJ – Fatai Alashe (caution) 53; LA – None.
San Jose Earthquakes: David Bingham, Marvell Wynne, Victor Bernardez, Paulo Renato (Ty Harden 73), Shaun Francis, Jean-Baptiste Pierazzi (Fatai Alashe 46), JJ Koval (Adam Jahn 64), Matias Perez Garcia (Khari Stephenson 81), Sanna Nyassi (Cordell Cato 76), Chris Wondolowski (Tommy Thompson 72), Shea Salinas (Leandro Barrera 71).
LA Galaxy: Brian Rowe, Omar Gonzalez, Robbie Rogers (Andre Auras 83), Leonardo (Todd Dunivant 46), Dan Gargan, Juninho, Stefan Ishizaki, Ken Walker (Rafael Garcia 71), Bradford Jamieson (Jose Villareal 63), Robbie Keane, Alan Gordon.
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES HEAD COACH DOMINIC KINNEAR
On how the Earthquakes kept their shape as a team:
“Yeah, I thought it was pretty good. I thought we were a little bit frazzled at the beginning of the game. Think guys got a little caught up in the moment a little bit and our possession was a little bit off. We were rushing our passes and obviously LA looked a composed team, especially the first 20 or so. So yeah, it’s a great way to end the preseason by playing a good opponent, we talked about that yesterday, and I just think a couple guys got real nervous and excited about the situation and you can understand that. But I thought the competitive nature of the group was really good throughout the whole 90 minutes and that’s kind of what I think kept us at zeros until we scored our goal.”
On the atmosphere at Avaya Stadium:
“Today was a preseason game, so you don’t want to get too carried away, but it’s a great occasion for a lot of reasons. Yesterday’s ribbon cutting I thought was perfect, and the words that were spoken by many people who were involved in the building of the stadium, I thought was very appropriate. And then today with the fans and the opponent, I thought overall it was just a real good day. Nice to see some goals, so the fans are somewhat happy about that. The home team wins, which is good, and like I said, the stadium’s beautiful.”
On Adam Jahn’s goal:
“Yeah, it was a great goal. Good run up. He’s had a good preseason, scored some goals, and like I said, he’d come on the field right away determined to do something good and obviously it was a great goal.”
EARTHQUAKES FORWARD CHRIS WONDOLOWSKI
On building from pre-season momentum:
“It’s great to end the preseason on a win. On Saturday, the real fun begins. We have to take the positives from this preseason, but we still need to continue to iron out the negatives. We need to continue to have good training sessions this week and we will be ready to go Saturday.”
On assisting J.J Koval’s goal:
“It was a great ball by Matias [Perez-Garcia] who saw my run. He placed it perfectly to me. Then I saw J.J. [Koval] making a late run from midfield. He was onto of the box quickly because of the amount of ground he covers – it’s amazing. He was able to take his time and really got a hold of that shot. It was a great finish by him. “
EARTHQUAKES DEFENDER MARVELL WYNNE
On finding his role on the club:
“It’s very easy to get acclimated to this team. Dominic [Kinnear] makes the culture in our locker room very comfortable for everyone. If you are comfortable off of the field, then you will be comfortable on the field. We all know our jobs and rely on the next man to do his job. Dom and his coaching staff make it clear that they want the forwards all the way back to defend. This makes it difficult for our opponents to build their momentum and work their way forward where they are getting pressure from so deep in their own half.”
On playing at Avaya Stadium:
“It’s a very fast pitch and a great surface. That might catch some guys off guard, but not us. We’re going to come out there, we are going to ping the ball around using one touch to pass the ball into space. This is going to be quite a fortress for us.”