Kaval's Kickoff: New stadium, U.S. Open Cup and Tumblr
It was a tough result this past weekend in Frisco, Texas where FC Dallas goalkeeper Raul Fernandez denied several great chances by the Quakes to equalize and steal a point late on the road against the top team in the League. It was one of those matches where despite outshooting and out possessing FC Dallas we could not seem to break the seal on the goal.
The team has a quick turnaround as we dive straight into U.S. Open Cup action with a Tuesday match at 4:30 p.m. PT against USL PRO's Charleston Battery. There will be a live stream available on www.uslnation.com. The club traveled straight to Charleston and the short rest period will no doubt test our depth. I am excited to see Mehdi Ballouchy get some minutes after rehabbing his ACL tear over the past six months. Mehdi's dedication to getting back on the pitch is very inspiring. His skills will be needed as we continue our long march through the MLS regular season, the US Open Cup competition, and the CONCACAF Champions League that will begin in August.
I am sure that many of you fans of international soccer caught the great German showdown between Dortmund and Bayern Munich in the UEFA Champions League final at Wembley. How about that great tifo from Munich's supporters? It was a stellar match with great action back and forth and a well-deserved redemption goal in the 89th minute from Bayern striker Arjen Robben to avenge his missed PK last year against Chelsea in the 2012 Champions League final. That was the winner and Wembley went crazy. It was cool to see Gus Johnson call the game – arguably the biggest match of the year – on Fox. Gus spent a good deal of time last year in the radio booth for the Quakes cutting his teeth on the beautiful game with Mr. Football, Chris Dangerfield. I think Gus brings an energy to the broadcast that is hard to beat. He has a very bright future in the sport. I am proud that he got his association football start here in San Jose.
It was a very eventful and positive week on the stadium front as we made several huge announcements. First, the new stadium 3D seat map is now available. Powered by Ballena Technology, the 3D seat map allows fans to see every vantage point from the unique all-standing terrace section behind the closed end zone – the only all standing section of its kind in the United States – to the awesome site lines five rows up in the midfield with our 33 degree pitch of our main grandstand. I encourage all fans to spend some time looking at the different views and getting to know the stadium better.
I will soon start a ten part series on my new Tumblr blog, dedicated to many of the unique aspects of the venue. The blog will include not only written descriptions of the sections and the thinking behind their design but also video interviews. Please follow me on Tumblr to check out the series and other interesting musings about the stadium and the club.
With the launch of the 3D seat map, we officially announced that the seats will be blue and that we will spell out Quakes in the closed end zone. This was an important decision and we wanted to make sure that fans had a voice. The blue seats were the overwhelming favorite from fans when I sought fan input earlier this year. Quakes was also a runaway winner for what to spell out in the seats. I want to thank everyone for their insightful and dedicated letters, emails, and tweets expressing their views. The most unique two entries for what to spell in the seats were probably "Terrremotos" (Spanish for Earthquakes) and "Clash" harkening back to the late 1990s. We chose the closed end for the moniker so that all the planes landing can best see the white letters popping on the blue seats. I think that the view will be an iconic part of coming to San Jose and we could not be prouder that most of the 10M visitors to San Jose who come through the airport will see our new home.
Another aspect of the new stadium map was the announcement that some of the sections had been renumbered to accommodate the final seating plan. I want to thank everyone for their understanding on that change. I want to make myself personally available to anyone affected by this alteration to ensure 100 percent that you are satisfied with the new seating plan. If you have any questions or concerns about your seats, feel free to reach out to me. As always, I am available via office hours, email at President@sjearthquakes.com, or via twitter @QuakesPrez.