BIRMINGHAM, England – Frank Yallop could not have asked for a better performance from his Earthquakes in the first match of their England trip as San Jose bossed proceedings for 90 minutes and came away with a 4-0 victory over the Birmingham City reserves on Tuesday.
A host of players showed well for the Quakes, who got goals from newcomers Steven Lenhart (above) and Joey Gjertsen, as well as last year’s Golden Boot winner, Chris Wondolowski. Sam Cronin also produced a commanding display in midfield.
“We dominated all aspects of the game against good opposition, and there were some good performances all round,” Yallop told MLSsoccer.com.
Wondolowski opened the scoring for the visitors with an expert headed finish in the 38th minute after a Gjertsen corner was not cleared by the Birmingham defense.
Lenhart also impressed, grabbing two well-taken goals. The first was a composed, low strike into the bottom right corner in the 43rd minute, courtesy of a great through-ball from Wondolowski.
The second, however, was even better. Left back Ramiro Corrales played a neat one-two with Ryan Johnson crossing for Lenhart to score with a thumping header into the top left corner in the 85th minute.
Sandwiched between Lenhart’s brace was a strike from Gjertsen who, after receiving the ball from Tim Ward, found himself in enough space to turn on the edge of the area and fire an unstoppable shot into the top left corner.
“Joey had a good game,” Yallop said of Gjersten's performance, hoping to see more from the midfielder. “He played well last preseason and started the season well and he has picked up from there. Hopefully he can stay injury-free.”
San Jose’s defense was solid and the back four of Corrales, Ward, Ike Opara and Brandon McDonald looked confident and unflustered.
US international Alejandro Bedoya was among the players fielded by Birmingham City. The attacker is training with the Blues until Friday as he prepares for his next move after two seasons with Swedish club Örebro.
The Quakes returned Tuesday night to Spurs Lodge, the home facility of club partners Tottenham Hostpur. On Wednesday, the reserves will face third-division Colchester United, while the full team travels on Thursday to face Leicester City.