Kaval's Kickoff: Demolition, playoffs and commercials

San Jose's President takes on the MLS playoff format and challenges fans to interact with the c

It has been another exciting week here at the Quakes as we prepare for opening day on Saturday, March 19 at 7:30 p.m. against Real Salt Lake. The big news is the demolition that is scheduled for this Thursday at noon at the old FMC Buildings adjacent to the Nutrilite Training facility. Our staff has been working diligently to organize all the assorted elements of the event. This weekend, the Ultras were kind enough to spend an afternoon "decorating" the buildings with some graffiti art in Quakes themes and colors. It should add a unique element to the demolition.

The team enjoyed their time in England at Spurs Lodge, the home of Tottenham Hotspur of the English Premier League (EPL). It was a great week on the pitch as the Quakes beat up on Birmingham City's reserves 4-0 on Tuesday and toppled Colchester United 3-0 on Wednesday. The boys came up short in going for the trifecta, dropping a 3-1 match against Leicester City on Thursday. Wondo has kept up his scoring ways from 2010 with two goals and newcomer Steven Lenhart was active in all the matches, causing havoc up front while netting two goals against Birmingham City. 

One interesting piece of news this week was MLS announcing the new playoffs structure. With the expansion teams in Vancouver and Portland, ten teams now make the playoffs. I have spoken to several fans about the change and there seems to be conflicting opinions on the new system. Some folks love the extra two spots which gives the teams a better chance to make the playoffs.

However, purists bemoan the huge playoff field since it devalues the regular season. One thing that I can say is odd is the inconsistent double and single leg matches in the quarter and semifinals. We dealt with that last season where we had a two leg match against the New York Red Bull, but only a one-leg semifinal against the Colorado Rapids. It seems more logical that you would either have it one way or the other and if you had a double leg it would be in the semifinals and not the quarterfinals. 

What do folks think about the playoff structure? I would love to get feedback on the best possible structure. As the League expands again with Montreal in 2012, there will undoubtedly be more conversation about the best way to handle the playoffs and, of course, the balanced regular season.

One other really cool thing this week was the new Quakes ad campaign: Earthquakes VS. Three spots were released this week both on YouTube, our website, and throughout our media buys on Comcast and other outlets. My favorite ad is the Piñata where Wondo rescues the birthday party from the Evil Piñata that won't seem to break. Anyone with kids can empathize with that situation. Also, send along any ideas you have for Earthquakes VS. We want to continue to build this campaign and would love any ideas for challenges that our players can take on.

Finally, I want to encourage anyone who hasn't renewed their season tickets to call in and get signed up. You know who you are. We have had a great offseason getting fans to renew and getting new folks signed up. Don't miss the boat. 2011 is set up to be an exciting and memorable season both on and off the pitch. The team is poised for another playoff run and we have a great experience in store for the fans.

If you have any feedback, as always, send me an email: president@sjearthquakes.com.

Dave Kaval
President
San Jose Earthquakes