Ahead of Saturday’s 20th Anniversary Clash Celebration, Earthquakes’ assistant equipment manager Eric Weber wanted to create a match day poster that highlighted the magic of the San Jose Clash’s 1996 Inaugural MLS match win at Spartan Stadium.
With a splash of the Clash’s elaborate colors behind an illustration of Eric Wynalda’s iconic goal celebration, the second-year kit man has brought that historic night to life, hoping to spark an overwhelming sense of nostalgia amongst Bay Area soccer fans.
“The team’s look is so different now compared to what it used to be, and I wanted to remind fans about how unique and special that time was,” Weber said in an interview Monday. “Saturday will be a special night and I wanted to make a poster to celebrate that.”
Weber’s 20th anniversary poster will be featured in this weekend’s match day magazine for all fans in attendance. For this ‘90s themed fixture, incorporating the colors, branding and a certain “old-school feel” was important for the illustration.
“Because it’s a throwback match, and considering how significant that day was, I started thinking of folklore, stained glass window theme,” Weber explained. “I was trying to get a bunch of different elements that didn’t just represent the game, but also represent the team and the area.
“I have the stadium, the official MLS ball, the computer chips to represent Silicon Valley. I did the eagle wings because they played D.C. United, so it was a nod to the match. The Clash name came from the idea of the natural beauty of the area contrasting from the Silicon Valley technology and how they’re polar opposites. I had to add the scorpions, obviously.”
The intricate colors, the ball and the scorpions are all symbolic of the league’s inaugural match, but it’s the inclusion of the iconic Spartan Stadium beams that Weber hopes strikes a chord with the San Jose faithful.
“I really wanted to add the beams from Spartan Stadium and all of the pictures I looked at, it was pretty prominent,” Weber said. “I wasn’t sure if it was going to translate well, but everyone I’ve showed that knew the team and the stadium well recognized it right away, which I was pretty happy about.”
After studying the match highlights, Weber received some advice from Bay Area native, former Earthquakes player and current goalkeeper coach Tim Hanley on how to capture that night in an illustration.
“I’ve already showed it to Tim [Hanley],” Weber said. “He liked it. He actually helped me out a lot. It looked a little bit different originally and he helped me fine tune it a bit.”
The Earthquakes 20th Anniversary match kicks off Sunday, April 2 at 7:30 p.m. PT at Avaya Stadium. Parking lots open at 3:30 p.m. PT. Stadium gates open at 5:30 p.m. PT.
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