Kaval's Kickoff: Cheers to San Jose's faithful
While I was disappointed that we did not pull off the win and the much needed three points this weekend against Portland, I was thrilled with the energy at Buck Shaw. The combination of Quakes Supporters with Krazy George made for a truly memorable night. The 1906 Ultras got it started early with an epic Tifo display of the San Jose skyline with a jab at Portland for their Soccer City USA nickname. As many folks know, despite Portland's self proclaimed status as Soccer City USA, an independent market research company paid for by The Oregonian newspaper rated San Jose as the true Soccer City USA (something that Quakes fans knew already, but it was nice to get the recognition). The tifo was followed by a huge smoke screen. There was enough smoke to conceal a WWII battleship and it may have been a bit too much in hindsight as it drowned out the ability to see the great tifo, but I loved the amazing dedication that the Quakes’ Supporters showed in making such an awesome display and in giving 100-percent in rooting for the team. It certainly makes a difference.
The intensity of the Timbers Army really motivated Quakes fans. The give and take between supporters groups was fun to see. It created an electric atmosphere, especially when Alan Gordon scored the equalizer on awesome service from Steven Beitashour in the 67th minute. I saw many a Quakes fan turn towards the Army and shout them down. I think my favorite moment along those lines was when the Quakes survived a flurry of Portland shots in the 87th minute and two fans in the on-field seats turned around and faced the Timbers Army and shook their large foam fingers back and forth as if to say "not in our house." Their gesture was met with loud applause by all the Quakes fans.
Beyond the Supporters from both teams, we had our secret weapon in the form of a white-haired assassin with worn jeans shorts, an original 1974 Quakes jersey and his trusty drum. I am talking about the infamous Krazy George. He was in full effect Saturday, roaming the stands getting everyone on their feet to cheer for the Quakes. I am sure a ton of folks grew up seeing Krazy George at Spartan Stadium or at the Oakland Coliseum incite the crowd into a frenzy. He was certainly up to his old tricks and we are excited to have him back on Oct. 1 against Sporting KC to apprentice the winner of the "Be the Next Crazy George Contest". Look for the voting to start up soon on www.sjearthquakes.com.
As I am sure you can imagine, no one is thrilled about all the ties and the 10-match streak without a win. I was happy to see the team play much better as a unit, take some chances, and possess the ball more against Portland. This is certainly an improvement, but now we just need to take advantage of our opportunities around the goal. This weekend is critical against Colorado, the defending MLS Cup Champion. It is time to get revenge for the loss in November of last year on their field in 20-degree weather. I know our team will be super motivated and we are looking forward to another strong effort and hopefully the end of the winless streak.
In other news, we have more meetings with the City of San Jose on the PD permit this week. We will continue to keep everyone posted on our progress. It has been great working with the city as we finalize the design elements. I know there have been a lot of questions about where we are on the stadium process. We are still in the PD permit stage and hope to have that completed soon along with additional information for fans and the community regarding the upcoming timeline.
Finally, I hope to see everyone out this weekend against Colorado at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday. We have a two-game sellout streak and we would like to keep that going. The boys need our support and it is a perfect opportunity to build on the energy from last weekend to catapult the club towards a win and three points and a move up the table.
San Jose Earthquakes