Is there a better soccer event in the Bay Area than the Earthquakes' annual trip to Stanford Stadium?
As the club's players and coaches might say: No chance.
Last year, the club sold out one week before kickoff. This year, the demand will surely rise. With that in mind, fans should keep the following dates in mind: Friday, Feb. 1 - Visa Pre-Sale starting at 10 a.m. PT; Monday, Feb. 4 - Official public on-sale starting at 10 a.m.
If the past is any indication, fans won't want to miss the Earthquakes' version of The Big Game. And, in case you need some convincing, here are five reasons why you need to save the date:
1) California Clasico - Northern Californians love any chance to stick it to their LoCal neighbors. Not only does the San Jose-LA rivalry have heaps of history, but it continues to grow following a spate of "Goonie Moments" in 2013 and an untimely exit from the MLS Cup Playoffs for San Jose. You can be sure the 1906 Ultras will be armed with another epic tifo display for this one.
2) Salute to the Armed Forces - This writer's personal-favorite from the 2012 Stanford Stadium game was Chris Wondolowski's goal celebration. After a ridiculous no-look back-heeled goal, the Wondo-ful one gave his own salute to our armed forces with some passionate high-fives behind the net. The Salute is back on in 2013 - well deserved for everything those folks do for us.
3) Fireworks Display - No need to explain this one. Who doesn't like a spirited fireworks display a few days before the Fourth of July?
4) Halftime Show - Last year, the Earthquakes upped the midway ante with a patriotic tribute to our armed forces. America the Beautiful was sung, a giant American flag was lifted by red-white-and-blue balloons and all five branches of the military were on the field in what I'm sure was the most memorable halftime show any MLS team put out in 2012. Patrick Roberge Productions is back for 2013 and will undoubtedly turn out another brilliant show.
5) Magical Moments - Why do people attend big events? For the memories. Over 50,000 people will always remember the time they dropped by Stanford Stadium on June 30, 2012 to watch the Goonies come from 3-1 down to defeat David Beckham, Landon Donovan, Robbie Keane & Co. They'll remember Steven Lenhart's blond mane bobbing up-and-down during his post-goal workout on the crossbar, the 1906 Ultras' massive, grassroots tifo display, and, of course, Wondo's clutch goal. Expect to leave the 2013 edition with memories that will last a lifetime.