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Kaval's Kickoff: An update on the new stadium

This weekend I accompanied the team on their trip to Houston to spend some time visiting the new stadium that is being built for the Dymano. The new facility is impressive and provided me with some unique perspective that will, in the end, find its way into our stadium. 

One of the things that I reviewed and that we are spending a great deal of time researching and evaluating is the exact nature and form of the exterior of the stadium. In our initial renderings that accompanied the zoning permit, we indicated a preference for using a tarp material with representation of soccer players. This gave a sense of movement and obviously identified the building as a soccer stadium. This element continued to be the baseline design in the PD Permit that we are finalizing with the city this fall. We have also contemplated a more artistic or iconic treatment using steel, composites, or other scrim materials. Additionally, we have looked at adding light and color to the exterior, especially at night. Houston has a lightweight aluminum skin planned and I reviewed a sample of the design. It looked very modern and clean. We understand how critical it is for all stakeholders in the project that the exterior evokes a bold and iconic sense of purpose and design befitting the San Jose community. As always, any suggestion from folks would be welcome and you can email me at president@sjearthquakes.com with ideas.

On the field, we had a great first half and were positioned for a road win, but unfortunately couldn’t hold on. Khari Stephenson's deft volley of a Steven Beitashour cross in the 40th minute gave us a great 1-0 lead and silenced the crowd at Robertson Stadium at University of Houston. The Dynamo were a bit shell shocked, especially after failing to convert on several chances in the first half. You knew that the Dynamo would come out of halftime like a hornet's nest and, if we could weather that storm and get the match into the final 25 minutes with the lead, then the pressure could lead to a counter for the Quakes or a 1-0 win. Too bad that just 90 seconds into the half we ended up on the wrong end of a call on Bobby Burling in the box that gave the Dynamo a PK equalizer. I thought that was the turning point and we lost our momentum. In spite of that, the boys fought back and Khari had a quality breakaway chance that just did not materialize. Overall, Khari was quite effective out of his natural midfield position, which was good to see. Houston ended up taking the match in the 79th minute on an athletic cross by Luiz Camargo and finish by 74th minute substitute Will Bruin.

I cannot help to think that we could have won this game 1-0. Certainly, last year we won a lot of matches that way and picked up critical road points. We are just going to have to do a better job protecting leads and getting two goal leads. I also felt that we lacked a true target forward with Steven Lenhart and Alan Gordon out and that such a player matches up well against Houston. You could see that in our victory in June against the Dynamo where Lenhart dominated up top, helping lead us to a 2-0 win at home.

This week is a quick turnaround and we are off to Portland for a Wednesday match against the Timbers. Be sure to tune in on Comcast SportsNet Plus at 7:30 p.m. PT.


Dave Kaval
San Jose Earthquakes


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