Weekly update: Back in action
After a busy off-season, the San Jose Earthquakes kick off their preseason training camp with a training session on Tuesday, Feb. 1 at West Valley College in Saratoga at 10:30 a.m. PT. The Earthquakes will train throughout this week and next week before heading to Bradenton, Fla. for the second leg of their preseason.
Quakes full preseason plans
The Earthquakes have a busy preseason planned, as the team will spend time in San Jose, Florida, Los Angeles and South Carolina in February and March, leading up to the season-opening game on Saturday, April 2 at Spartan Stadium. Dominic Kinnear's squad will spend almost two weeks in San Jose from Feb. 1 - 10 training at West Valley College, before departing Friday, Feb. 11 for Bradenton, Fla., where the team will conduct preseason at the IMG Academy from Feb. 12 - 24. During their time in Bradenton, the Quakes have five matches scheduled: Feb. 13 vs. Real Salt Lake, Feb. 14 vs. the U.S. Under-20 National Team, Feb. 16 vs. the Chicago Fire, Feb. 17 vs. the MetroStars and Feb. 20 vs. the Kansas City Wizards. All five matches will take place at the IMG Academy. The team returns to the Bay Area on Feb. 24 for several more days of training, before heading down to Southern California from March 2 - 9 for training and exhibition games at The Home Depot Center. The Quakes will make their final trek of the preseason to Charleston, South Carolina to play in the Carolina Challenge Cup against the Charleston Battery (USL First Division), D.C. United and the Columbus Crew. The games for the tournament will be played at Blackbaud Stadium, home of the Battery. The team will be in Charleston from March 17 - 26 and kicks off the tournament with a match against D.C. United March 19 at 8:15 p.m. The Quakes next play Columbus March 22 at 6:00 p.m. and finish up preseason training with a game against the Battery on March 25 at 6:00 p.m.
Ching, Mullan train with national team
San Jose Earthquakes forward Brian Ching and midfielder Brian Mullan are currently training with the United States national team at The Home Depot Center in Carson as the U.S. prepares for its Feb. 9 World Cup Qualifying match against Trinidad & Tobago. U.S. head coach Bruce Arena named 28 players to participate in the initial training camp, which began Monday, Jan. 24. The final U.S. team, which will feature some European-based players, will depart for Trinidad & Tobago on Feb. 7 from South Florida. The match on Wednesday, Feb. 9 will be broadcast live on ESPN2 at 11:30 a.m. PT. Fans can also follow the game live on ussoccer.com's MatchTracker.
Kinnear, Doyle on Hall of Fame ballot
The National Soccer Hall of Fame announced last Friday that San Jose Earthquakes head coach Dominic Kinnear and Earthquakes assistant coach John Doyle are among the 53 players on the 2005 ballot for induction into the National Soccer Hall of Fame in Oneonta, New York. Kinnear and Doyle are joined on the ballot by five other players who performed for San Jose in the past, midfielder Paul Bravo (1996), defender Zak Ibsen (2001-02), defender Mike Burns (2000), Adam Frye (1999) and forward Raul Diaz Arce (1999). Up to three eligible players will be elected to the Hall of Fame by a panel of voters made up of current and past U.S. National Team coaches, MLS coaches with at least four years tenure, the Secretary General of U.S. Soccer, the commissioner of MLS and selected media members. Two players will be elected to the Hall of Fame from the 2005 ballot as long as each receives a minimum of 50 percent of the vote, while a third player may be elected if that individual receives a minimum of 80 percent of the vote.
Cerritos returns to where it all began
The San Jose Earthquakes announced Jan. 27 that the club acquired forward Ronald Cerritos from D.C. United as the player to be named later in a trade completed on Friday, Jan. 14. The Earthquakes received Cerritos in exchange for a fourth round draft pick (48th overall) in the 2005 MLS SuperDraft. The three-time MLS All-Star returns to San Jose where he spent five seasons from 1997-2001, scoring a club record 55 goals and registering 38 assists. Cerritos, 30, appeared in ten games with D.C. United in 2004, scoring two goals and tallying an assist before leaving the club on June 21, 2004 to join Alianza FC in El Salvador. Following Cerritos' departure from the league, D.C. United retained the forward's MLS rights. The native of San Salvador, El Salvador was originally allocated to San Jose on March 1, 1997 and immediately made an impact in MLS, as he scored a point in 11 consecutive games in 1997. He also led San Jose in scoring in four of his first five seasons while helping the club win the 2001 MLS Cup. Cerritos began his distinguished MLS career by being named to the MLS Best XI squad in 1997 and earning three San Jose Honda Most Valuable Player awards (1997, 1998, 1999), while making the MLS All-Star team in 1997, 1999 and 2001. Cerritos remains the Earthquakes all-time leader in several statistical categories, including goals (55), points (148), game-winning goals (12), shots (277) and points per game (1.25).
The Earthquakes signed defender Craig Waibel to a new contract last Friday. In keeping with club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed. Entering his third season in San Jose, Waibel has proven to be one of the Quakes most consistent defenders, showing his versatility and appearing in 23 games in 2004 while scoring his first MLS goal and registering one assist. Waibel, 29, appeared in a career high 24 games for the Quakes in 2003, helping San Jose win the MLS Cup as he made his third consecutive trip to the MLS Cup Final. The six-year MLS veteran has appeared in all six of the Quakes playoff matches over the last two seasons, and recorded his first playoff goal in the 2004 Western Conference Semifinals vs. Kansas City on Oct. 24.
The San Jose Earthquakes will kick off the 2005 MLS season with a home match against the New England Revolution on Saturday, April 2 at 7:00 p.m. PT at Spartan Stadium. The Quakes are unbeaten in their last 10 matches against the Revs, posting an 8-0-2 record in those matches. The remainder of the team's 2005 schedule will be announced at a later date.
Season tickets on sale now
San Jose Earthquakes season ticket packages for the 2005 season at Spartan Stadium are now on sale. The Earthquakes 2005 season ticket package features 18 games, including all MLS regular season games and special bonus games. The Quakes season ticket pricing once again consists of a Youth (14 and younger) and a Senior (60 and over) discount in three price levels. Prices for the 2005 season ticket packages are $198 adult ($162 youth/senior) for Endzone, $252 adult ($198 youth/senior) for East Sideline, $450 ($396 youth/senior) for West Sideline and $720 for VIP seats. Tickets can be purchased by visiting the Earthquakes Ticket Office at 100 North Almaden Ave., by logging onto www.sjearthquakes.com or by contacting the Earthquakes Ticket Office at (408) 985-GOAL.