Weekly update: Going to Carolina
The Earthquakes continue preseason training in San Jose this week, practicing at West Valley College before departing on their final trip of the preseason. The Quakes leave on Thursday for Charleston, South Carolina and three games in the Carolina Challenge Cup. The Quakes play D.C. United on Saturday at 5:15 p.m. PT at Blackbaud Stadium.
Ian Russell is currently the only Quakes player being held out of training due to injury. All other players listed below are participating in either full or modified training.
Chris Aloisi - (R - Hamstring Strain)
Tighe Dombrowski - (L- Quad Strain)
Wes Hart - (L - Quad Strain)
Alejandro Moreno - (L - Quad Contusion)
Eddie Robinson - (L - Calf Strain)
Ian Russell - (L- Calf Strain)
Quakes Announce Player 29 Winner
The San Jose Earthquakes announced that the club has signed lucky fan Joe Pate to become the Quakes "Player 29" on the roster for the 2005 season. Pate is the winner of an incredible sweepstakes that the Earthquakes conducted to find a fan to be the 29th player on the roster for the upcoming season. "I'm very excited to win this contest, it is hard to express my feelings in words," Pate said. "I would like to thank the Earthquakes for bringing me in and I hope that I can help contribute to the teams success in 2005." As part of the contest, Pate participated in a special signing ceremony with Earthquakes President & General Manager Alexi Lalas, and will receive his own official game jersey including name and number and will be introduced along with the rest of the team on the field at the Quakes season-opener on April 2 at Spartan Stadium. Pate will then watch the Quakes take on the New England Revolution from a special bench seating area and will receive an official Earthquakes warm-up suit. Pate will also be featured in the club's official 2005 team photo and media guide. Pate has been an Earthquakes season ticket holder since 1999, and first attended an MLS game at Spartan Stadium in 1998. The engineer is coming off a 24-year hiatus from his soccer career to become "Player 29". All Earthquakes season ticket holders as of February 28, 2005 were automatically entered into the contest, while fans could also enter to win online at the Quakes website or by picking up an official entry from the Earthquakes Front Office in downtown San Jose.
Quakes Preseason Continues
The Earthquakes have played 10 preseason matches so far, with six taking place at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. and four at The Home Depot Center. The team has posted a 5-2-3 record after defeating UCLA 7-2 in Los Angeles on March 8. The Earthquakes 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 5:15 p.m. PT. The Quakes next play Columbus March 22 at 3:00 p.m. PT and finish up preseason training with a game against the Battery on March 25 at 3:00 p.m. PT.
Preseason Schedule and Results (5-2-3)
Feb. 13 - 1-0 loss vs. Real Salt Lake
Feb. 14 - 1-1 tie vs. United States Under-20s (Ronér)
Feb. 16 - 2-0 win vs. Chicago Fire (Davis, Levesque)
Feb. 17 - 1-0 loss vs. MetroStars
Feb. 20 - 1-1 tie vs. Kansas City Wizards (Wondolowski)
Feb. 22 - 6-2 win vs. U.S. Under-17 team (Jallow (4), Barrett, Moreno)
Mar. 3 - 2-1 win vs. Los Angeles Galaxy (Moreno, Wondolowski)
Mar. 4 - 3-0 win vs. CD Chivas USA (Hart, Levesque, Nash)
Mar. 6 - 0-0 tie vs. U.S. National Team
Mar. 8 - 7-2 win vs. UCLA (Robinson, Cerritos, Ramirez, Nash (2), Levesque, Wondolowski)
Mar. 19 - Earthquakes vs. D.C. United at 5:15 p.m. PT
Mar. 22 - Earthquakes vs. Columbus Crew at 3:00 p.m. PT
Mar. 25 - Earthquakes vs. Charleston Battery at 3:00 p.m. PT
Mullan Earns First Start For National Team
Earthquakes midfielder Brian Mullan made the first start of his career for the U.S. National Team in a 3-0 exhibition win over Colombia on March 9 in Fullerton, Calif. Along with Quakes forward Brian Ching, Mullan has been training with the national team since February as they prepare for a World Cup Qualifying match against Mexico on March 27. They will not make the trip with the Quakes to Charleston. Mullan made his first appearance for the national team last year, but played the full 90 minutes against Colombia as a right defender.
"It's a great honor to start for your country," Mullan told ussoccer.com "I know it's something that everyone says, but you can't really describe it until you go through it. I was just trying to be focused on my responsibilities on the field and getting accustomed to the environment."
Mullan was pleased with his overall performance in his second ever game wearing the national team uniform, and told ussoccer.com that he will never forget the experience of starting his first match.
"I remember seeing the game tape against Poland [his first appearance, July 11, 2004]," Mullan said. "I looked like a deer in the headlights. I was so nervous I couldn't perform. Getting the first start under your belt and getting a victory, I proved to myself that I could play at the international level. When you're wearing the U.S. uniform and listening to the national anthem, it's special. It's something every kid looks forward to. Listening to the anthem, I was just thinking about what an honor it was to be there, and trying to put everything into perspective. Not many people get to do this."
Ching Takes On Colombia
San Jose forward Brian Ching is also with the U.S. National Team as it prepares for the next round of World Cup Qualifying. Ching came on as a substitute and played the final 19 minutes of the game against Colombia on March 27 at forward, replacing Eddie Johnson. Ching has now made a total of six appearances for the national team.
Individual Tickets Now on Sale
Individual tickets for 2005 San Jose Earthquakes games are now on sale. Individual ticket prices for the Earthquakes 2005 regular season are $45 (VIP), $30 (West Sideline), $16 (East Sideline and Corners) and $13 (Endzone). Tickets can be purchased by visiting the Earthquakes Ticket Office at 100 North Almaden Ave., by logging onto www.sjearthquakes.com, or by calling Ticketmaster at 408-998-TIXS, 415-421-TIXS, 510-625-TIXS, 925-685-TIXS, or by visiting any Ticketmaster outlet, including Tower Records, Rite Aid and Ritmo Latino. Discounted tickets for groups of 15 or more are available by calling 408-985-GOAL.
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.