Ashleigh Baines is a Quakes fan living in Sunderland, UK. She follows San Jose on Twitter, keeps up with the team on SJEarthquakes.com and finally got the opportunity to watch her first game on Wednesday. Even though the result was unfavorable, Ashleigh was happy to write about her first Quakes experience. Find her on Twitter: @AshleighBaines
3:52 a.m. That was the time that my alarm was set for. The majority of the UK was asleep, but I decided to get up to watch a soccer match.
I’ve been following San Jose Earthquakes for over a year. I’d never actually seen them play, but when I found out that a Quakes games was going to be on ESPN I knew I had to watch it, no matter what.
At 4 a.m. I did question whether I’d be able to stay awake for the whole match after only five hours of sleep, but once the match started the Quakes had a half-chance from a Wondolowski cross and from that point I knew that falling asleep was not an option.
After watching English football week-in, week-out I was overwhelmed by the pace of the game. The players didn’t stop for the full 90 minutes and the referees kept up with the game without making any huge mistakes. (Almost the opposite of what we see in England. Not a week goes by without a refereeing blunder.)
From when Chicago scored, heads of the Quakes players dropped allowing Chicago to run the game, meaning the half time whistle was a welcomed one.
Throughout the second half I noticed that the players had a lot of respect for each other and the officials. They didn’t argue furiously with every decision the referee made and the players didn’t fall over feigning injury trying to trick the referee into giving them a free kick.
My Quakes Man of the Match was Bobby Convey. He was everywhere and he fought for everything. If he had put his chances away and got a bit more luck it could have been a different game.
Although my first Quakes game wasn’t a winning one, I still enjoyed it tremendously and it was definitely worth getting up at 4 a.m. for. I hope that the next Quakes game I see is a play-off one, hopefully at a more earthly time!
If you have a unique Earthquakes experience to write about, shoot us a message on Twitter: @SJEarthquakes.