Davis, Levesque lift Quakes over Fire
BRADENTON, Fla. - The San Jose Earthquakes won their first game of the preseason on Wednesday afternoon 2-0 over the Chicago Fire at the IMG Academy. Brad Davis scored in the first half and Roger Levesque netted the clinching goal for San Jose in the second half to lead the team to the win. Jon Conway and Pat Onstad each played a half for the Quakes to earn the shutout in the 80-minute match.
The Quakes started off the game with strong possession as Alejandro Moreno and Ronald Cerritos combined well with the midfielders to create a couple of early chances for the Quakes. Davis nearly broke through the Fire defense in the fifth minute, but had the ball tackled away before he could get a shot off.
Davis would not be denied eight minutes later as he picked up a pass from Moreno and slotted it past Fire goalkeeper Zach Thornton. Cerritos started the play by intercepting a pass and feeding Moreno, who then slipped a pass between two defenders to Davis. Davis calmly finished to the far post just past Thornton's outstretched hand.The Quakes defense held firm in the first half, holding the Fire without a shot, with Eddie Robinson, who wore the captain's armband, and Ryan Cochrane shutting down the center of the field. Wade Barrett and Wes Hart were able to shut down the wings and jump forward into the attack.
At halftime, both teams made wholesale changes and the Fire created two good chances in the early stages of the second half. Fire forward Chad Barrett just missed the far post after getting behind the defense in the opening minutes of the half. 10 minutes later, Hollis Donaldson had the best chance of the game for the Fire as he picked up a bouncing ball inside the box. The Fire midfielder fired a shot, but Onstad was there to make the save and keep San Jose in front.
Quakes rookie Victor "Boomer" Arbelaez nearly put San Jose up two with a long-range blast with 11 minutes left in the match. He received a pass 25 yards from goal and took a touch, before driving a low shot that was parried wide by Fire goalkeeper Matt Pickens.
San Jose put the game away in the 72nd minute as Levesque netted a goal off a nice feed from Brian Mullan. Chris Wondolowski started the play with a long pass from the left wing over to Mullan in the right corner. Mullan then whipped a ball into the box that Levesque finished past Pickens for a 2-0 advantage.
The Quakes now possess a 1-1-1 record in the preseason and they take on the MetroStars on Wednesday morning at the IMG Academy.
SJ - GK Jon Conway (Pat Onstad, 41st), D Wes Hart (Craig Waibel, 41st), D Eddie Robinson (Brett Rodriguez, 56th), D Ryan Cochrane (Chris Aloisi, 41st), D Wade Barrett (Victor Arbelaez, 60th), M Ian Russell (Brian Mullan, 41st), M Danny O'Rourke (Chris Wondolowski, 56th), M Tighe Dombrowski (Ricardo Clark, 41st), M Brad Davis (Kevin Goldthwaite, 41st), F Alejandro Moreno (Brian Ching, 41st), F Ronald Cerritos (Roger Levesque, 41st).
CHI - GK Zach Thornton (Matt Pickens, 41st), D Kelly Gray, D C.J. Brown (Denny Clanton, 41st), D Jim Curtin (Jack Stewart, 41st), D Leonard Griffin (Gonzalo Segares, 41st), M John Thorrington (Hollis Donaldson, 41st), M Thiago (Will John, 41st), M Scott Buete (Chris Rolfe, 41st), M Justin Mapp (Chris Karcz, 52nd), F Nate Jaqua (Chad Barrett, 41st), F Damani Ralph (Boyzzz Khumalo, 52nd).
Dominic Kinnear, on game: "I thought that we came out well in both halves and put pressure on Chicago. Our passing was pretty crisp and the team knew what they were doing with the ball, so I was happy with that. Overall, the effort was great and we defended very well, so I think that it was a positive result."
Brad Davis, on game: "Today was definitely a good performance by our team. Everyone was on the same page and we pressured the ball well. I think that everybody was ready to play today and we went out and got a good win."
Wade Barrett, on games in Florida: "For me it has been nice to be in Florida because all we do here is focus on playing. Dominic and John do a good job managing the players and getting us ready to play games and I think that you have seen that in the games here. The energy has been great, especially today."
Brian Mullan, on Levesque's goal: "Chris (Wondolowski) gave me a great ball and I was able to get on the end of it. I looked up and saw our guys in the box and I just tried to send in a good ball. Roger had a great finish."
Danny O'Rourke, on team: "Since we have been in Florida, we have felt comfortable playing together. I feel like the team has good chemistry and a good attitude. We knocked the ball around well today and we scored some good goals. It was nice to put some balls in the back of the net."
O'Rourke, on defense: "Our defense has played well down here. Today we pressured well and I thought it was good team defense from the forwards all the way back. We caused them problems in the back and forced a lot of turnovers. I think we are happy with how we played today and if we continue to play that way, we should have some more good results."