Kaval's Kickoff: Goal calls, training camp and more

Club President David Kaval gives Quakes fans an update on the 2012 preseason

This past week brought some great buzz around Quakes Land with the first days of preseason training camp. The players, coaches and staff are all excited about the upcoming season. After all the offseason moves, it was nice to put faces to the names with Marvin Chavez, Jean Alexandre, Shea Salinas and Sam Garza in the mix, among others. Overall, we have been happy with the offseason moves as they have addressed some of our largest needs. Chavez and Salinas will bring much needed speed and pace to the pitch while Victor Bernardez and Alexander will help protect leads and make sure we do not squander points by giving up late goals.

On the new stadium front, we are proud that we have sold nine of the twelve luxury suites in only one month. This really shows the strong interest from the business community in the Quakes and the new stadium. The appeal hearing of the planning commission should be scheduled shortly and we will let everyone know as soon as that date is finalized. We are calling on everyone who cares about the Quakes and wants to show their support for the stadium project to attend the meeting. The meeting will be in the evening on a Wednesday night at San Jose City Hall. It's imperative that we have a strong showing from our fans and stakeholders. I know I can count on our passionate, lifelong fans to represent the club.

Preseason offers several opportunities for Quakes fans in other regions to see the club. We visit San Luis Obispo for the second year in-a-row to play the Colorado Rapids on February 10. It would be great to see all our Central Coast fans out to root us on. I'm also optimistic that some Gauchos from University of California Santa Barbara will make the trip north to see alumnus and MLS SuperDraft No. 6 overall selection Sam Garza and his teammate and Supplemental Draft choice James Kiffe take to the pitch wearing black and blue. Fans also have an opportunity to see the Quakes play in Portland in an interesting preseason tournament with the Timbers, Chivas USA and Swedish team AIK. If you have not seen the stadium in Portland, this is a great opportunity to visit - in my opinion - the best stadium in MLS.

Finally, It was great seeing Chris Wondolowski get his seventh cap with the USMNT this weekend in a friendly against Venezuela at The University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz. Dramatics aside, the game was made even better as I watched on Galavision in Spanish. There is 10 times more energy with the Spanish language play-by-play guy. The, "GOALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL," call on the 97th-minute header by former Earthquakes midfielder Ricardo Clark off a well-placed corner from Jermaine Jones was an all-time classic. The call must have gone on for five minutes.

Wondo brought the intensity the US side needed when he subbed in in the 62nd minute. It was a sight for sore eyes to see the US team playing such an attacking style in the last quarter of the match. Wondo was so very close on a header in the 85th minute that was denied as well as a shot in the 74th minute that was denied by an amazing save from the Venezuelean keeper Jose Morales. And did you see that nifty back-heel pass to Burnbury? Wondo does more than just score goals. All in all, it was a great game for Chris. Congratulations are in order for his best performance for the USMNT to date. Let's make sure that Quakes Nation gets behind Wondo and the USMNT as they take on Panama on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. PT on ESPN3 and Galavision. This time I'm hoping we hear an epic goal call for Wondo!

GO QUAKES!

Dave Kaval
President
San Jose Earthquakes