Kaval's Kickoff: Stanford Top 10

San Jose's President counts down his top-10 moments from Saturday's match

What an amazing weekend for the San Jose Earthquakes and soccer here in the Bay Area. A record crowd of 41,028 fans flooded Stanford Stadium on Saturday night to celebrate the beautiful game and their home town team, the Quakes. This was the second largest crowd in all of Major League Soccer (MLS) this season and one of the largest crowds in the history of the League. If anyone had any doubt about the Quakes and our fan base, I hope this historic evening can once and for all put those questions to rest.

The team responded with a valiant effort, especially in the second half and got some amazing goals from Steven Lenhart and Khari Stevenson to gain a 2-2 draw. In order to properly celebrate the spectacle, I wanted to fire up a top ten list to commemorate the epic evening.

Here is the official Dave Kaval Top-10 List of Amazing Moments from the Red Bull-Quakes match at Stanford Stadium.  

10) The awesome tifo and unreal energy displayed by the Ultras and Casbah at the match. Leading the whole stadium in the chants of EARTH – QUAKES gave me goose bumps.
9) Seeing thousands and thousands of fans in old Quakes jerseys from both the 2001-2005 Championship era as well as some throwback NASL gear. Folks really represented their colors at the match.

CONCACAF announces Champions League quarterfinal matchups

MIAMI (Friday, October 25, 2013) – The Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) has confirmed the quarterfinal pairings for the 2013-14 edition of the CONCACAF Champions League, the region’s premier competition for clubs, following the completion of Group Stage play last night.

The quarterfinal matchups are as follows:
Deportivo Toluca, MEX (1) vs. San Jose Earthquakes, USA (8)
Cruz Azul FC, MEX (2) vs. Sporting Kansas City, USA (7)
Club Tijuana, MEX (3) vs. LA Galaxy, USA (6)
Deportivo Árabe Unido, PAN (4) vs. LD Alajuelense, CRC (5)

The quarterfinals will be played in a home-and-away format, with the first legs scheduled for March 11-13, and the return legs on March 18-20.  The exact schedule will be announced in the coming days.

Teams with the higher seedwill play away first, before returning home for the second leg.
 
The eight quarterfinalists emerged from an original field of 24, which kicked off group play on August 6, in the quest to crown a new champion following CF Monterrey’s three-year reign.
 
“After a captivating group stage, we are thrilled to reveal the pairings for the quarterfinal round of the CONCACAF Champions League,” said CONCACAF General Secretary Enrique Sanz. “Fans across the region can expect plenty of excitement as these eight clubs compete for the Confederation title and a ticket to the FIFA Club World Cupin 2014.
 
“From Gold Cup, through FIFA World Cup Qualifiers and now in the CONCACAF Champions League, the level of competition in our region has been tremendous this year.  It was exciting to see qualifying from all of our various group stages go right down to the wire.”
 
The quarterfinal matchups were determined by a ranking of winners from each of the eight groups, accordingto a formula based on points obtained in the group phase followed by goal differential. The quarterfinal winners will advance to the semifinals.
 
The full quarterfinal schedule, as well as more information on the CONCACAF Champions League, can be found at CONCACAF.com.

8) The first equalizing goal by Khari Stevenson to give the Quakes a 1-1 tie heading into halftime and how the intensity of the play sent the whole stadium into a frenzy.
7) Food truck row in the Epicenter Fan Zone was off the hook with thousands of fans sampling everything from BBQ Kalbi to Twisted’s tasty frozen yogurt.
6) The jumper’s helmet cam broadcast live on the videoboard as they descended toward the stadium. It looked like that huge American flag connected to the second jumper practically touched the masses of fans as he swooped down to land on the field. That was awesome.

Recap: Quakes 2, FC Dallas 1

Walter Martinez and Chris Wondolowski each scored a goal to help MLS original Ramiro Corrales go out a winner in the final game of his career, and the San Jose Earthquakes topped FC Dallas 2-1 on Saturday in the season finale for both teams.

The win – and an emotional send off for Corrales in the 71st minute – eased at least some disappointment for the Quakes, who were still eliminated from postseason contention in favor of the Colorado Rapids.

Martinez, who made his MLS debut in May, scored his second goal of the season for the Earthquakes, who needed to score 13 goals and to have the Rapids lose on Sunday in order to return to the playoffs.

Wondolowski scored his team-leading 11th goal of the season in the second half.

Stephen Keel scored in stoppage time for Dallas, who also said goodbye to a club regular in head coach Schellas Hyndman, who announced earlier this month that he will step down at the end of the season after six years on the job.

Martinez missed a shot high to the top left corner in the early going, but came back in the 27th minute to give the Earthquakes a 1-0 edge.

Justin Morrow sent a forward pass along the left sideline, where Martinez picked it up and played a dangerous cross that skipped past Dallas goalkeeper Chris Seitz, who was caught going for Steven Lenhart’s dummy run in front of the goal.

Wondolowski added his goal, a sharp drive in the upper right corner, in the 57th minute. He was assisted by Lenhart and Shea Salinas.

Corrales, making his first start since Sept. 14, had two good scoring chances in the first 11 minutes. He missed wide right in the fifth minute and again in the 11th minute.

The last original remaining MLS player from 1996, Corrales received a standing ovation from the crowd when he was introduced. A special ceremony, featuring a video tribute from players around the league, was held before kickoff.

Corrales played 250 games for the Earthquakes, the most in team history by nearly 80 games.

Corrales received another standing ovation when he was subbed out of the game in the 71st minute, and Lenhart and Victor Bernandez punctuated the moment by carrying him off the field on their shoulders.

5) Can you say smiley face fireworks? The fireworks show was the perfect capstone to a great evening. I will never forget all the flashbulbs as people took photos of the show.
4) Honoring the 1994 World Cup players from the United States National Team at halftime, especially the 30 for 30 style video recounting that historic day 17 years ago when Stanford Stadium played host to 84,000-plus fans to see the US narrowly lose to the eventual World Cup Champion Brazil 1-0.
3) Jon Busch making quite frankly one of the best saves ever in the 83rd minute and the crowd gasping at the enormity of the athletic diving play.
2) Two words: The Wave.
1) 41,028 Quakes fans erupting in celebration when Stephen Lenhart smashed a header into the net in the 68 minute. The stadium literally shock with the force of an Earthquake.

I would like to thank all our loyal fans who attended the match and made history this weekend. We could not do it without your tremendous support. I would also like to thank Stanford University for hosting us and providing such a beautiful venue for such a great community event.

GO QUAKES!

Dave Kaval
President
San Jose Earthquakes