The San Jose Earthquakes had themselves a disappointing 2011 campaign, finishing seventh in the Western Conference with a 8-14-12 record which included an eight week losing streak. But the team is refocused for 2012 with a litany of new additions via trade and the recent MLs draft, hoping to make a return to the playoffs.
The Quakes' preseason camp kicked off at their San Jose training facilities on Monday, which they'll practice at until the end of the month. Then they take their show on the road, making stops in Tucson and Ventura for training before their trip to Portland for some preseason matches at the end of February and beginning of March.
San Jose was busy this offseason, making a number of moves including acquiring M Jean Alexandre (Trade from Real Salt Lake), D Victor Bernardez (Signed from Anderlecht), M Marvin Chavez (Trade from FC Dallas), and M/D Shea Salinas (Trade from Vancouver Whitecaps FC); certainly an injection of talented players to saw the least. Hopefully the Quakes have gotten some more depth to help Chris Wondolowski and Co. win some more contests in 2012.
They also will be welcoming three rookies to camp after taking M/F Sam Garza (SuperDraft, No. 6 Overall), M Jacob Hustedt (SuperDraft, No. 25 Overall), and GK Chris Blais (SuperDraft, No. 33 Overall) in last week's SuperDraft. Garza, a UC Santa Barbara product, coincidentally shares his hometown with current Quakes midfielder Anthony Ampaipitakwong, both hailing from Carrollton, Texas.
Blais, one of only two goalkeepers taken in this year's draft is listed at 6'4" tall, which will make him the tallest member on the team. Current keeper and Quakes veteran Jon Busch comes in around 5'10". As for Hustedt, the University of Washington alum, he is one of only two Pac-12 players taken in this year's draft.
You can (if you're up to it) take the Earthquakes 2012 preseason quiz, testing your adeptness of your favorite squad as well.
Jan. 16-29 - San Jose, Calif. at Nutrilite Training Facility
Jan. 30-Feb. 4 - Tucson, Ariz. at Kino Sports Complex
Feb. 5-14 - San Jose, Calif. at Nutrilite Training Facility
Feb. 15-23 - Ventura, Calif. at Oxnard Community College
Feb. 24-26 - San Jose, Calif. at Nutrilite Training Facility
Feb. 26-March 5 - Training in Portland, Ore. (Matches on Feb 27, March 1, March 4)
March 10 - MLS First Kick vs. New England at Buck Shaw Stadium
Training Camp Roster:
Goalkeepers (3): David Bingham, Chris Blais, Jon Busch
Defenders (7): Steven Beitashour, Victor Bernardez, Ramiro Corrales, Jason Hernandez, Justin Morrow, Ike Opara, Tim Ward
Midfielders (11): Jean Alexandre, Anthony Ampaipitakwong, Rafael Baca, Marvin Chavez, Sam Cronin, Joey Gjertsen, Jacob Hustedt, Ellis McLoughlin, Brad Ring, Shea Salinas, Khari Stephenson
Forwards (4): Sam Garza, Alan Gordon, Steven Lenhart, Chris Wondolowski
Trialists / Invitees: Lyle Martin, Rodrigo Lopez, Josh Suggs, Evan Newton, Kyle Davies
By The Numbers:
- 18 - Returning players from 2011
- 33 - Games started by goalkeeper Jon Busch in 2011
- 37 - Goals scored by Chris Wondolowski in 74 games with the club
- 80 - Percentage of goals from 2011 season accounted for by returning players
- 198 - Career starts with San Jose for veteran Ramiro Corrales
For more on the Earthquakes, head over to Quake, Rattle, and Goal.