Fan guide to San Jose Earthquakes vs. NY Red Bulls
Already bought your tickets for Saturday's Eastern Conference Semifinal between the San Jose Earthquakes and New York Red Bulls? Maybe you need some additional motivation?
Read up on everything you need to know about this weekend's match!
Who: San Jose Earthquakes vs. New York Red Bulls
What: Eastern Conference Semifinal
Where: Buck Shaw Stadium
When: Saturday, October 30, 7 p.m.
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Pre-Game Tailgate Party
The Quakes are hosting a pre-game tailgate outside Buck Shaw Stadium at Alumni Park. Points of interest: Live pre-game show with John Shrader, Dan Dibley and special guests, bar-be-que, sign-making and face-painting stations, cornhole and a Quakes autograph table.
Win Pin Redemption
Any fan who has collected all seven San Jose Earthquakes Win Pins and wears them to Saturday's match will get a chance to watch the team warm up from the field. If you have all seven, look for an A-frame that says "Pre-Game Check In" in the Fan Zone. Check in will be at 6 p.m. Note: Must be wearing all of your Win Pins to participate.
The first 10,000 fans through the gates on Saturday will receive a free rally towel courtesy of Quakes playoff sponsors Amway, Xfinity, Jarritos and Devcon.
Quakes Playoff Merchandise
The Quakes will have commemorative playoff scarves ($25) and T-shirts ($15) for sale at Saturday's match.
CSN+ and Telefutura
Saturday's match will be broadcast live at 7 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet Plus and Telefutura.
Conflict of Interest: Giants or Quakes? Why not Both?
The San Jose Earthquakes aren't the only Bay Area team playing in the post-season on Saturday. Many fans have plans to watch the San Francisco Giants take on the Texas Rangers in World Series Game 3. Good news: You can watch both! The World Series is slated for a 3:30 p.m. PT start. Barring extra innings, dual-sport fans should have ample time to watch the Giants on TV and the Quakes in person at Buck Shaw Stadium.
Designated Players Galore
Thierry Henry might be out, but Rafael Márquez and Juan Pablo Ángel will suit up for New York. San Jose has a DP of its own in Geovanni. Márquez is the captain for the Mexican National Team and made 163 appearances for FC Barcelona between 2003 and 2010. Ángel, a Colombian international, played in 175 games for Aston Villa and also has ties with River Plate and Geovanni spent time with Hull City, Benfica and FC Barcelona. Any Euro snobs who are on the MLS fenceline have no excuse not to give this game a go.
Forget the designated players. Chris Wondolowski is worth the price of admission on his own. The MVP finalist and Budweiser Golden Boot winner finished the regular season with 18 goals and he's itching to give the home fans more to cheer for. He's local; he's a goal-scorer; he's Wondo-ful.
Worst to First
Raise your hand if you predicted San Jose and New York would make the 2010 playoff field. The Quakes and Red Bulls had very different transformations to get where they are today, but nobody could have predicted this first-round pairing. The two sides were at the bottom of their conference tables in 2009, but find themselves three games away from a trip to Toronto for the MLS Cup.
West vs. East
What sports fan doesn't love a little East Coast-West Coast rivalry? It's not just about Quakes vs. Red Bulls on Saturday. It's the Golden State against the Big Apple. Left Coast bragging rights are on the line for a league that was clearly dominated by teams West of the Mississippi in 2010. Will that trend continue in the post-season?