We're a spoiled bunch in the Bay Area.
The World Cup is less than one month away and the United States is training in our backyard for the next two weeks as they prepare for the first game in their Send-Off Series, a May 27 date with Azerbaijan at Candlestick Park (7 p.m. PT / ESPN2, WatchESPN, Unimas).
For soccer aficionados, it doesn't get much better than that. We'll be rubbing elbows with Jurgen Klinsmann & team as they get ready for the biggest soccer event in the world. Even better, the San Jose Earthquakes have a pair of fan-favorites vying for coveted spots on the USA's 23-man roster for Brazil.
Local and national media alike were on hand for the Americans' first training session in the Bay Area on Wednesday, a return to Stanford Stadium. Here's a glance at some of the coverage from The Farm:
Earthquakes defender has joined the grassroots Say No To Racism movement popularized by FC Barcelona defender Dani Alves’ banana-eating incident on April 27.
Bernardez posted a photo of himself eating a banana on Instagram with the caption, “SAY NO TO RACISM.” The 2014 FIFA World Cup bound center back from Honduras was inspired by Alves to post the image.
“I was watching the match with Barcelona versus Villareal when someone threw the banana at Dani Alves,” Bernardez said. “Honestly, it was unsettling to watch. This should not exist in modern soccer.
“Today’s soccer world is different now – it’s better than that. Racism needs to be eradicated and it’s a joy to see footballers from across the world, such as Alves and Neymar, stand up for the cause that this will not be tolerated. It’s an inspirational movement.”
Following the 3-2 win against Villareal, Barcelona teammate Neymar posted a photo on social media of himself eating a banana. Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero followed suit with Brazilian women’s national team star Marta and the movement continued to pick up steam.
Bernardez says the response he’s received has been overwhelmingly positive. Fans and teammates – past and present – have voiced their support and even joined the movement.
“It has all been positive feedback,” he said. “My Honduran teammates have written me saying they’ve been influenced to spread the message and take similar photos. The movement is catching the world by storm. A simple picture shows the world that we as athletes will not tolerate racism and we are all equal. We are all brothers and sisters and we need to show each other respect.”
Go on, Big Vic.
With the world's biggest sporting event around the corner, the Earthquakes and Pep Boys Auto have teamed up to give one lucky winner the ultimate World Cup viewing experience.
It's easy to enter - from now until June 7, at halftime of each match, @SJEarthquakes on Twitter will ask for your Quakes #PepBoysSub that will make an impact in the second half. All you have to do is answer with the last name and the hashtag #PepBoysSub to automatically be entered to win.
Seems easy enough, right? Just don't forget that hashtag and make sure to follow @SJEarthquakes on Twitter, and you'll be in the running for your own private catered World Cup viewing party with an Earthquakes player.
Check out the full contest rules and guidelines here.
In honor of our 40th Anniversary match versus FC Dallas on Saturday and our Hall of Fame induction of Johnny Moore, we're teaming up with Gordon Biersch to give away a throwback Moore t-shirt.
The shirt, which features our original jersey and Moore's No. 8, will be given away to 2500 fans in attendance of Saturday's match.
Additionally, a throwback shirt will be available for purchase at the game.
The shirt is a replica of the Quakes training jersey which, coincidentally, is what the team wore in their first-ever match in club history because their jerseys weren't ready in time.
You won't want to miss this one-time chance to rock some vintage Quakes gear. Buy your ticket today and arrive early!
Santa Clara men’s soccer goalkeeper and San Jose Earthquakes academy product Kendall McIntosh was invited to the U-21 U.S. National Team training camp last week at the U.S. Soccer’s National Training Center in Carson, Calif. McIntosh was joined by Stanford forward Jordan Morris as the only two non-professional players selected for the 21-player camp. The Sonoma native played in the second half of a 2-1 win against Mexican amateur side Club Tijuana. This was the first time McIntosh had been called up for under-21 duties after impressive stints with the U-20s and U-17s.
While playing for the U-20’s, McIntosh made three starts and played in four games heading into the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup. In 2012, he played 495 minutes in six starts, accumulating a 3-1-0 record and a 1.00 goals-against average.
In two years with the U-17’s, McIntosh appeared in the 2011 CONCACAF U-17 Championship in Jamaica, posting two clean sheets against Jamaica and Canada and a win against El Salvador to help the USA advance to the FIFA-U17 World Cup in Mexico.
The maturation of Earthquakes rookie JJ Koval in the second month of the 2014 MLS season challenges the notion of an adjustment period for first-year players in the league.
The 21-year old Stanford product has become a fixture in the Quakes midfield in the month of April, logging 295 minutes in six games as a rookie, second only to Chicago Fire rookie Harry Shipp (448). After recording 120 minutes in a CONCACAF quarterfinal loss to Toluca on March 19, Koval transitioned from a gameday substitute in the first four MLS fixtures to a starting midfielder in the last two matches against Colorado on April 19 and Chivas USA on April 26.
In light of the rookies’ emergence, Major League Soccer bumped Koval to number two in the MLS Rookie Rankings, up from number five just a week earlier. After earning a 1-0 win against Chivas USA in Week 8, Soccer By Ives named Koval the SBI MLS Rookie of the Week, only the second rookie in the 2014 season to be honored.
For the ninth overall selection in the 2014 MLS SuperDraft, success has derived from an unshaken poise on the field, a quality habitually absent in first-year players. Koval’s veteran savvy is a direct result of his vocal leadership, unshaken versatility both in the midfield and defense, and growing reputation as a hard-nosed defensive juggernaut.
After a strong showing in the month of April, Koval is positioned for a bright month of May. The Quakes open the third month of the season with three matches in eight days, two of which will be played at Buck Shaw Stadium. After conceding only one goal in the last three games, Koval will look to anchor the Quakes midfield in search of consecutive three point matches, all in a day’s work for one of the most promising rookies in MLS.
Our very own Jordan Stewart will be showing his love of motor sports on Wednesday when he presides as Grand Marshal of the Mini Grand Prix of San Jose on Wednesday.
We want to see you there! Any Quakes fans that show up to the festivities at Plaza de Cesar Chavez in downtown San Jose wearing a Quakes jersey will receive free tickets to the Continental Tire Grand Prix powered by Mazda at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca this weekend.
Seeing Jordan Stewart drive a racecar AND getting free tickets? Sounds like a win-win to us.
Happy Earth Day, Quakes fans!
In the spirit of Unity and keeping it clean, we will officially be celebrating Earth Day on Saturday at Buck Shaw when we face Chivas USA.
With the help of match-presenting sponsor County of Santa Clara Household Hazardous Waste Program, the Earthquakes will have many green activations for fans to enjoy at the game. Our Epicenter will be full of "green" vendors, including the San Jose Conservation Corp who will be supplying bins for recycling, landfill and compost throughout the stadium, Santa Clara Hazardous Waste Program and Edible Silicon Valley. We'll even have face-painters who will be painting good ole' Mother Earth on whoever wants it.
Our official coin toss will be done by the Green Hero, brought to us by the City of San Jose Environmental Services, and Earth Day Facts and Tips will appear on the videoboard for all fans to enjoy throughout the match.
And - rumor has it - our mascot Q will have an Earth Day themed hairdo for the celebration as well. Could green hair be making a comeback?
You'll have to be there to find out. See you on Saturday!
In the inaugural match of Major League Soccer, San Jose's Eric Wynalda scores against DC United in front of 31,683 of you at Spartan Stadium.
Only fitting that the first player ever signed by the Earthquakes in 1974 will be honored at our 40th Anniversary Game on May 10.