The story of the building rivalry between the San Jose Earthquakes and the Sacramento Republic FC added another chapter Saturday night as the Quakes visited the state capital and emerged with a physical 1-0 victory.
A second-half goal from Matias Perez Garcia, set-up by fellow Designated Player Chris Wondolowski, was the difference for the visitors in the preseason match held at sold-out Bonney Field. Four yellow card cautions were awarded in the game as a result of the direct style of play employed by both clubs.
The Earthquakes starting eleven featured the return of defender Clarence Goodson, who made his on-field debut a week ago against the Colorado Rapids after recovery from a foot injury suffered last summer. The former U.S. international was partnered at center back by Victor Bernardez -- a pairing that head coach Dominic Kinnear is expected to employ when the MLS season begins on March 7.
A notable exclusion from the starting line-up was the team's newly minted Designated Player, forward Innocent Emeghara. The Swiss international was slated to start a week ago against Colorado, but was replaced in the line-up prior to kick-off by Jean-Baptiste Pierazzi. A team spokesperson said that Emeghara was held out of the game against the Rapids for precautionary reasons related to "a slight upper body injury."
The match against Sacramento, the third such meeting between the two teams and the first since they faced off in the fourth round of the 2014 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, provided Republic head coach Preki a chance to see some players that may make their way from San Jose on loan to his club this season as a part of their affiliate agreement with the Quakes. It also gave Preki and the Sacramento supporters on hand a chance to welcome back Adam Jahn and Tommy Thompson, who both spent time with the Republic last year, when the Quakes duo entered the game as second half substitutes.
A footnote to the game came very early on, when within minutes of the opening kick-off, members of the 1906 Ultras that had traveled to the match were escorted from Bonney Field by stadium security. Davis Enterprise reporter Evan Ream learned that the Ultras voluntarily left the stadium because they refused to adhere to policies regarding supporter behavior. Republic officials confirmed this account to Ream. The Ultras, via Twitter, expressed their disappointment at what were perceived to be conflicting policies on foul language use for them as a visiting supporters group and the home side Tower Bridge Battalion.
The Earthquakes return home to San Jose for a week of training ahead of the soft-opening of Avaya Stadium on Saturday for a preseason match against the LA Galaxy. The defending MLS Cup champions will prove a good measuring stick for Kinnear's side as it rounds into form with the start of the season less than two weeks away. Midweek, the Quakes will also play a friendly against the San Francisco Stompers FC as the penultimate MLS season tune-up. San Jose opens its season on the road at FC Dallas on March 7.
San Jose Earthquakes 1 -- Sacramento Republic FC 0
February 21, 2015 -- Bonney Field (attendance 9794)
Scoring Summary: SJ -- Matias Perez Garcia (Chris Wondolowski) 51; SRFC - None.
Misconduct Summary: SJ -- Shea Salinas (caution) 25; SRFC -- Bilal Duckett (caution) 28, Ivan Mirkovic (caution) 59, Emrah Klimenta (caution) 76.
San Jose Earthquakes: David Bingham, Jordan Stewart (Shaun Francis 64), Victor Bernardez (Mike Fucito 72), Clarence Goodson (Paulo Renato 64), Marvell Wynne (Brandon Barklage 72), JJ Koval, Jean-Baptiste Pierazzi, Matias Perez Garcia (Tommy Thompson 64), Shea Salinas (Leandro Barrera 64), Sanna Nyassi (Cordell Cato 69), Chris Wondolowski (Adam Jahn 72).
Sacramento Republic FC: Patrick McLain, James Kiffe, Bilal Duckett, Mickey Daly, Emrah Klimenta, Rodrigo Lopez (Gabe Gissie 71), Ivan Mirkovic, Octavio Guzman (Agustin Cazarez 72), Justin Braun (Joaquin Rivas 71), Thomas Stewart (Gabe Gonzalez 71), Adnan Gabeljic (Richie Cardozo 76).