Kaval's Kickoff: Great weekend for soccer
Good teams know how to get results when they are not at their best. That is exactly what happened this weekend at Buck Shaw Stadium. Alan Gordon finished rookie Sam Garza's beautiful cross with a powerful and dramatic header in the 88th minute to get the Quakes a draw and lift the home team to sole possession of second place in the Western Conference with 23 points and two games in hand on Real Salt Lake.
The Quakes gave up a tough early goal to Chivas USA that really altered the course of the match. Chivas USA was content to bunker down and try to eke out a win. In the second half, Frank Yallop made some great moves by subbing in both Sam Garza and Alan Gordon to spice up the attack. Garza added pace on the wing and the rookie rewarded the savvy head coach with a well-timed assist to Gordon who gave everything he had to thunder home the equalizer.
I was happy to see the team bounce back from the Vancouver loss with a result at Buck Shaw and it was especially exciting to see another late goal. That has been the Quakes’ MO this season and it continued on Mother's Day. We had a lively and festive crowd join us over the weekend for a rare day game in what was perfect California spring weather. It was great to see so many families celebrating their Mother's Day with us.
Combine the Quakes’ game with action from the English Premier League and Sunday was quite a day for association football. For those who missed it, Man City avoided a catastrophic loss to Queens Park Rangers (QPR) with two goals in stoppage time (sound familiar?) to get their first Premier League title in over forty years. Despite the fact that Man City basically bought the title, the sight of the fans turning from utter despair when QPR were up 2-1 with 30 minutes to play to pure joy after the two goals was the essence of sport.
I thought Ian Darke called fabulous match. Clearly he’s been listening to Gus Johnson, our home radio extraordinaire. The use of "Gladiatorial" was brilliant. Next time I hope he incorporates "Rise and Fire."
Speaking of the Premiership, we are proud to announce that Swansea City will be visiting the Silicon Valley this summer. Fresh off a 1-0 win to close out their first season in the EPL, the Swans will be at Buck Shaw Stadium on Tuesday, July 31 for a 7:30 p.m. match. Season ticket holders have priority purchasing options for this match starting today through Friday at 10 a.m. They should use Bonus Game “A” for their own tickets.
This marks the third straight season that we will host an EPL club. The Swans are the only Welsh team ever to play in the Premiership since its formation in 1992. They play an open style and have been nicknamed Swans-alona as a reference to FC Barcelona's flowing style of soccer. With the Quakes also playing an open style this season, it should make for a fun match with a lot of scoring and action. The Swans won games against Liverpool, Man City and Arsenal during their inaugural EPL journey and have a solid core of young players that have a bright future.
Finally, I’m off to Houston this week to catch the Dynamo-Timbers match and scout their new stadium for any additional insights as we continue with the working drawings on our new stadium. Let me know via email or Twitter if you have seen any aspects of their facility that we should incorporate or potentially avoid (like the orange color motif).
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