Welcome to another edition of Kaval's Kickoff. What a crazy match on Saturday! Not only was it the worst weather I can remember in 17 years of living in the Bay Area, but it was also impossible to believe that none of the Quakes shots managed to get by Nick Rimando, Real Salt Lake's crafty keeper. It was almost like there was a force shield around the goal. If I were a conspiracy theorist, I may have thought it had something to do with the Supermoon…
Two things really stood out this last week that reaffirmed my long held belief that Quakes fans are some of the best in the world. First of all, The Oregonian newspaper in Portland commissioned a scientific study to prove that Portland was officially Soccer City USA. (They have that on the signs as you enter the city. How cute.) The problem is that when the results were tabulated the winner was San Jose, California. That is correct. San Jose is Soccer City USA. This is a credit to everyone who plays, coaches, watches, or lives soccer here in our community and has done so for so many years. There is really no way that some of the great MLS success stories in Vancouver, Portland, and Seattle could have occurred if the super fans in San Jose hadn't been doing their thing for the past 30 years.
The second thing was that in spite of some truly terrible conditions, including horizontal rain and enormous lakes of standing water, we had a great showing of diehard fans at the match this Saturday. It was a sea of ponchos out there and, as I write this on Sunday, I am still soaked to the bone. The team dazzled with some very exciting soccer, especially by newcomers Simon Dawkins from Tottenham Hotspur, Ellis McLoughlin, and Anthony Ampaipitakwong, but could not find a way to end our four-year drought of not scoring on opening day. It was the type of game that no one who was there will ever forget being at. My all-time favorite moment was when, late in the second half and the Quakes pressuring Real Salt Lake with a flurry of scoring chances and corner kicks, seeing the clusters of celebratory balloons getting torn off their moorings and thrust across the field in a crazy, contorted kind of way. That was some wild stuff. I imagine that the folks who stayed home may some day regret not being able to say they were apart of the Great Deluge of 2011.
In order to honor the folks who were there, I have commissioned a special commemorative pin for the Great Deluge of 2011. Anyone who can demonstrate they were at the game (photo, wet socks, etc) can stop by the office or at Guest Services and receive the special pin that can be worn with pride to all future Quakes events. The pins should be ready soon and I will communicate when they are ready to be picked up.
San Jose Earthquakes