As many Quakes fans will remember, the black and blue stunned one of the top teams in MLS, Toronto FC, on July 16 2016. Down not one, but TWO men due to Godoy & Quintero red cards, the crowd got behind the boys who fought back from a 1-1 draw to win the game 2-1 through a Simon Dawkins strike sending the Avaya Stadium crowd into a frenzy and is referred to as the club’s Most Improbable Win Ever.
Then-president Dave Kaval issued a challenge to our artistic fans to come up with a design that would be featured on a “win pin” and given out to fans at Avaya Stadium.
Matt Vasquez, originally from San Jose, but attending art school in San Francisco saw the challenge and submitted his winning design.
Just weeks after the 1-year anniversary of the match, the pin will be available at Saturday’s match in Guest Services free of charge for those that want to get their hands on a piece of history from the Most Improbable Win Ever.
We caught up with Matt to hear about his design and his love for the club.
SJEarthquakes.com: Tell us a bit about your background in soccer and how you found the Earthquakes?
Matt Vasquez: I grew up in San Jose, right next to the Shark Tank actually, and since I was a little kid, there was always Bay Area sports apparel put on me. Soccer didn’t have the biggest following, especially in the U.S., but soccer and the Quakes were things I was always drawn to.
SJEQ: Who do you normally go to games with and how are you enjoying the 2017 season so far?
MV: I’ve been bringing my girlfriend. At the beginning of the season she hadn’t been to a game, so now she’s been to a few games now, including this upcoming Saturday. A lot of my friends up here are soccer fans, they just haven’t had the push to go to Avaya, so I’ve been bringing a lot of first-timers and seeing their reaction is really cool to me.
It’s so cool to see all the new signings come in and with Nick Lima getting the goal last week we’re really starting to see these guys come through. The tide is turning for the Quakes in a really positive way.
SJEQ: How’d you get into graphic design?
MV: My dad was a graphic designer, so we always had the tools around my house. That’s what started it all. Being in San Francisco is awesome because I’m still able to do a lot of work while being around my sports teams and implementing that into my designs.
SJEQ: What do you remember about that game vs. Toronto FC?
MV: I feel like the crowd was never deflated. We had gotten two red cards. The atmosphere was really cool. Normally I feel like if the team gets a red card it feels like the end of the game in a sense, but it lit a fire even though the odds were against the Quakes. It was cool because every time Endo would get the ball the whole crowd would go crazy and start booing him.
SJEQ: Describe the design of the pin and how you went about designing it.
MV: I kind of wanted to stay away from focusing on the negative aspect of having two red cards and I really wanted to focus on the positive side of it; the comeback. I took half of the crest from both teams and used that as a subtle hint to what was going on and that we were against Toronto.
SJEQ: How does it feel to have a physical representation of your fandom in the hands of so many others that love your team?
MV: It’s crazy. When I read about it I was so excited. When I first heard about the competition I was really stoked. I knew I had to do something. To get the pin made is so cool. I’m really excited to share it with everybody. All of my friends are huge Quakes fans. It’s really special, I’m in my last year of school right now, and it is really motivating to push me to make that next step. Especially with the Quakes of all teams. It’s crazy.