The San Jose Earthquakes handed the New York Cosmos their first taste of defeat this preseason during a 1-0 victory at Avaya Stadium on Saturday night. Defender Clarence Goodson tallied the lone goal early in the second half in the win over the North American Soccer League’s top club. The match was the final tune-up chance before the Earthquakes kick of their 2016 regular season campaign against the Colorado Rapids next Sunday.
Struggling with lack of goal scoring this preseason, the Earthquakes came out early looking to reverse the trend — in the 13th minute Marvell Wynne’s attack on goal ended with a pass to midfielder Simon Dawkins whose shot went just wide of the near post. It would be the first of two chances where Dawkins would just miss scoring a goal. Team star Chris Wondolowski gave his best efforts to score, but was denied by Cosmos goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer.
Wondolowski described a very optimistic outlook for the squad the Earthquakes will field this year.
“I have a special feeling about this locker room,” Wondolowski said, adding, “I love the desire, the work ethic.”
New additions, such as Alberto Quintero, who joined the club just two days ago on loan from Mexico, leave San Jose with a bit of shuffling to do, but could transform the team into a legitimate playoff contender. Wondolowski recognized during the postgame that his team is built to win a championship, but there is still work to be done. The rustiness could be seen on the field during the first half, even by him.
“I felt like it’s a bit of a work in progress,” Wondolowski said. “The first 30 minutes we missed a lot of easy passes. We need to be a little sharper.”
Head coach Dominic Kinnear agreed, citing a want to see more of his remolded offense during the scoring chances they had during the first half. “It was an OK game,” Kinnear said. “The game was not really intense.” Kinnear too acknowledged that his team has grown stronger, but so has the rest of the league, he said.
Midfielder Matias Perez-Garcia was not on the field, and will not play during Sunday’s season-opener because of a red-card suspension he received during last season’s final game — Shea Salinas started in his place on Saturday.