On a hot day in San Jose, Earthquakes head coach Dominic Kinnear put the team through a hard practice that included seven vs. seven scrimmage with Kinnear filling in to even out the teams. Practice ended with a several long sprints as the team continued to work on maintaining their high fitness level.
Landon Donovan, Dwayne De Rosario and Pat Onstad all continued to be absent from practice as they are training with their respective national team's in preparation for World Cup Qualifying. De Rosario and Onstad will play for Canada on Wednesday in a qualifying match against Belize and then are expected to meet the Quakes in Chicago for the June 19 match against the Fire and could see action.
"Both of those guys were playing really well before they left for the national team," Kinnear said. "Dwayne was dangerous up top for us, and if he is fit after playing on Wednesday [for Canada], then he will probably see time."
Arturo Alvarez also missed practice to be with the United States Under-20 National Team. The Under-20's play Brazil June 16 at Lockhart Stadium in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. Alvarez will also re-join the Quakes in Chicago.
"Right now, we need him," Kinnear said about Alvarez. "I thought he played well on Saturday, and I don't know if he is going to start this week, but with the amount of guys that are missing right now, he is someone that we need."
Troy Dayak (upper back strain) and Jamil Walker (right ankle sprain) also sat out practice on Tuesday, while Ronnie Ekelund, Todd Dunivant and Chris Brown all continued to train as they fight back from injuries. All three players will be available to play on Saturday against the Fire.
"You can tell by watching Ronnie, Todd and Chris at practice that they are doing everything and getting back into it," Kinnear said. "They will be able to play against Chicago, but the only concern is making sure that they are 100 percent fit."
Getting the hang of it
Earthquakes rookie defender Ryan Cochrane played in his fourth straight MLS game on June 12 against the MetroStars. It was also the fourth consecutive start for the Quakes 2004 first round draft pick, and once again he was forced to team up with an ever-changing cast of defenders on the backline, with one constant - nine-year veteran Jeff Agoos.
"Since the first game, I am really just starting to feel more confident out there," Cochrane said. "Of course, playing alongside a guy like Jeff Agoos makes it much easier for me. He is constantly talking to me and telling me what I need to do. I learn a lot from him, and I just keep trying to get better."
Cochrane admitted to being a littler nervous when he made his first MLS appearance on May 15 in Dallas as a late addition to the line-up due to a Craig Waibel injury. Since then, however, the Santa Clara product has blended in seamlessly with San Jose's stingy backline.
"I think that so far, I've felt the best about the game against Columbus [May 29]," Cochrane said. "My confidence just keeps on improving with each game that I am out there."
Dunivant pleased with silent auction
Earthquakes defender Todd Dunivant was extremely pleased with the turnout for the silent auction he and the Quakes hosted on June 12 during the MetroStars game. The auction raised nearly $3,500 in support of Dunivant's Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) Man of the Year Campaign, which he has undertaken in honor of his brother Luke, a Leukemia survivor.
"I'm really excited about the amount of money that we raised," Dunivant said. "The money is going toward a great cause, and it was exciting to see the fans really support the auction."
Auctioned items included Earthquakes paraphernalia, soccer kits, and jerseys signed by MLS stars such as Freddy Adu, Joe Cannon, DaMarcus Beasley, and the entire MetroStars team.
Dunivant and the Earthquakes would like to thank the following people for their contributions: Todd Dunivant Kit - Eric Cullen; Landon Donovan Kit - Andrew Bertola; Colorado Rapids Joe Cannon Jersey - Dave McAllister; Mini Puma Ball Autographed by Freddy Adu - Martin Koren; Autographed US Men's National Team Photos - Geoff Rubio; NASL Earthquakes Jersey & MISL San Diego Sockers Jersey - Alex Arteaga; Autographed Taylor Twellman Jersey - Rosemary Alvarez; Official Match Ball Autographed by the Earthquakes - Tony Fernandez; Clash Gear - Dave McAllister & John Giza; MetroStars Autographed Jersey & Earthquakes Autographed Jersey - Christy Johnson; Autographed DaMarcus Beasley Jersey - Doug Griffith; Autographed Freddy Adu Jersey - Erik Ahrens; Autographed Soccer Balls featuring the US Men & Women's National Team - Ciovanni Musso.