The San Jose Earthquakes and Portland Timbers played to a scoreless draw Tuesday morning as three 30 minute periods were not enough to separate the MLS Western Conference foes in the concluding match of the 2015 MLS preseason Desert Friendlies at the Kino Sports Complex in Tucson, Arizona. It was the fifth time in as many years that the two sides had met in the preseason.
Both teams had chances to score, but it was the goalkeepers that collected man-of-the-match honors for each side. For the Quakes, it was David Bingham and Bryan Meredith that combined on the clean sheet, while for the Timbers, the combo of Jake Gleeson and Andrew Weber secured a shutout. Weber was a member of the Earthquakes for three seasons from 2009 through 2011.
The match marked the preseason debut of center back Clarence Goodson, who entered as a substitute midway through the third period. Goodson has been sidelined with a toe injury since last summer, when he was shut down for the season following a 2-1 loss to D.C. United on July 11. The 32-year-old defender was limited to 10 appearances during the 2014 MLS season, but he announced himself fit to play at the start of preseason. Goodson is expected to partner with Victor Bernardez in the center of the Quakes back four when the season opens on March 7.
The Earthquakes appeared to take the lead in the 7th minute when forward Mike Fucito beat Gleeson with a shot following a perfectly weighted pass from midfielder Matias Perez Garcia. Unfortunately for the Harvard alum, he was adjudged to be in an offside position when MPG released his pass.
Bernardez had a strong opportunity to break the deadlock in the 40th minute when he rocketed a free kick from inside the penalty area that broke through the Timbers defensive wall and was parried away by Gleeson. Leandro Barrera latched onto the rebound, but his follow-up was deflected away by a defender.
Neither side was able to muster up any quality scoring chances in the final 30 minute period, as a Pablo Pintos cross that was punched away by Weber was the closest the Earthquakes came to breaking the tie. Following the match, both the Quakes and the Timbers were scheduled to return home to continue their preseason training camps.
Next up for San Jose is a preseason friendly against the Colorado Rapids at Cashman Stadium in Las Vegas on Sunday, February 15. The Nevada city is one of many nationally that is hoping to secure a MLS franchise in the league's current round of expansion, but it is considered a long shot behind strong bids from Minnesota and Sacramento.
San Jose Earthquakes (0) vs. Portland Timbers (0)
February 10, Kino Sports Complex, Tucson, Arizona
First period line-up: David Bingham, Brandon Barklage, Victor Bernardez, Ty Harden, Shaun Francis, Jean-Baptiste Pierazzi, JJ Koval, Matias Perez Garcia, Cordell Cato, Leandro Barrera, Mike Fucito.
Second period line-up: David Bingham, Brandon Barklage (Pablo Pintos 46), Victor Bernardez, Ty Harden, Shaun Francis, Jean-Baptiste Pierazzi (Tommy Thompson 46), JJ Koval, Matias Perez Garcia (Trialist #3 46), Cordell Cato (Shea Salinas 46), Leandro Barrera, Mike Fucito (Adam Jahn 46).
Third period line-up: Bryan Meredith, Pablo Pintos, Trialist #1, Ty Harden, Jordan Stewart, Tommy Thompson, JJ Koval (Clarence Goodson 76), Trialist #3, Shea Salinas, Kris Tyrpak, Adam Jahn.