Kaval's Kickoff: World Cup, New Stadium & looking ahead to California Clasico
What an amazing start to the 2014 World Cup! The U.S. Men’s National Team had a dramatic 2-1 Goonie-esque victory over Ghana to start the tournament with a bang. It was a nail-biting affair with most of the action in front of the U.S. goal. Tim Howard had a great match and despite surrendering the equalizer to Ghana in the 82nd minute, the U.S. found a way to escape with a win. The 85th minute corner kick by Graham Zusi from Sporting KC managed to find the head of newcomer John Brooks who pounded it into the back of the net. That goal is one of the most historic in World Cup history for the U.S. It was great to see all the MLS players like Kyle Beckerman from Real Salt Lake making a real contribution. Clint Dempsey from Sounders FC showed pure class with the fifth fastest goal in World Cup history a mere 30 seconds into the contest.
I had a fun time watching the match with hundreds of fellow fans at the World Cup viewing party at Plaza de Cesar Chavez in downtown San Jose. It was a raucous atmosphere filled with plenty of ‘U.S.A.!’ and ‘I BELIEVE THAT WE WILL WIN!’ chants from the fans. I love seeing the community come together to support the national team. The World Cup is really the only sporting event outside the Olympics where this patriotic spirit pervades the country. It was great to see San Jose represent.
The next step for the United States is a tough match-up against Portugal on Sunday at 3:00 p.m. With American striker Jozy Altidore’s status uncertain, there is a real opportunity for star Chris Wondolowski to play a key role. There are massive viewing parties both in San Jose at St. James Park and in San Francisco at Civic Center Plaza. I encourage everyone to wear their most patriotic getup to cheer on another huge result for the United States.
On the stadium front, the construction is progressing quickly. The grading for the road, Earthquakes Way, which borders the western side of the site is in motion. It is very cool that we get to name a street after the team. The concourse buildings are also almost completely built. They will house the concessions facilities, restrooms, and merchandise locations. The team building is fully enclosed. The el dorado stone and trespa wood panels are all installed and the glass is in. The building looks great and has a very upscale feel. It will be a great home for the front office and team. Most recently, the home team wooden lockers have been assembled. They look great. Keep an eye on my twitter @QuakesPrez and my Instagram feeds to see the latest photos of all the progress.
We are closing in on another California Clasico. Just over ten days until the Galaxy head to town for our yearly derby at Stanford Stadium. We have another great day planned for all our fans. First of all, we have two giant TV screens set up for the Eucalyptus groves at Stanford to catch the first day of knock out round action in the World Cup. Get there early to catch the World Cup action and tailgate. The match this year celebrates the World Cup and the 20th anniversary of Brazil vs. United States. While the U.S. lost 1-0 in that match, the impact of the 1994 World Cup on the Bay Area is still being felt. We are excited to celebrate the 20th anniversary as well as the spectacle of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil with a massive halftime show. The match itself should be another exciting affair as two Western Conference heavyweights take center stage. Be sure to get your tickets to be part of history.