Kaval's Kickoff: Three points, Summer of Soccer & new stadium updates
It was a great feeling this weekend to get our first win of the season in front of an enthusiastic and energetic crowd at Buck Shaw Stadium. The 1-0 win was built on a strong defensive performance – the second clean sheet in a row – and a Goal of the Week contender by Portuguese international Yannick Djalo. Yannick’s first MLS goal was pure class as he took a great Shea Salinas cross and bounced it by the keeper. Yannick was a halftime sub by Coach Mark Watson and the move paid immediate dividends as Chivas had to deal with Djalo’s creativity and speed. You could feel the rise of the crowd whenever Yannick had the ball and started taking on defenders. I think Clarence Goodson hit the nail on the head in the post game interview when he said that when Yannick gets fit he will be one of the most exciting players in MLS. It will be fun to watch his emergence as a key player for the Quakes this season.
The win moved us up the table and with two games in hand allows us to control our destiny to get back into one of the five playoff spots. We are off to Vancouver next weekend to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the first match between the Quakes and Caps at Empire Stadium on May 5, 1974. The Quakes prevailed 2-1 in that contest and it would be fitting to return the favor with a similar score line 40 years later. There is a great read on the historic 2-1 match here. The match was a 1-1 draw in regulation and was decided by a shootout in classic NASL style. San Jose’s Mark Demling scored the winning shootout goal after nine shooters from each side.
This week also saw the announcement of another huge match this summer for the Quakes. First of all, we have the California Clasico at Stanford Stadium on Saturday June 28 (TICKETS). Second, we have the first event ever at the new Levi’s Stadium when we take on the Seattle Sounders FC on Saturday August 2 in what should be an historic day for Bay Area sports (TICKETS). Finally, we will be part of the Last Summer at the Stick with a big match at Candlestick Park the previous week when the Quakes take on Atletico Madrid on Sunday July 27 at 4:00 p.m. Atletico is having an amazing season competing in the semifinal of the Champions League and leading La Liga. It will be one of the most prestigious clubs that the Quakes have ever faced. We are thrilled to bring Bay Area soccer fans an amazing summer of high profile and world class soccer matches.
On the stadium front, things are progressing quickly as the steel terraces are being installed over the structural steel superstructure. The concourse buildings with the high quality ground face white block are also going up and the team building that contains the player locker rooms, lounge, and training facilities is getting its Eldorado stone façade and trespa wood cladding this coming week. This week will also see the underground work get going for the scoreboard bar – the largest exterior bar in North America. I am including the latest aerial shots of the stadium for everyone to check out. These are from 3/30 and are the first with the entire steel superstructure erected. Pretty cool.