The 2018 MLS Season is approaching, and as much as the Quakes need your support at Avaya Stadium from March 3 all the way into the playoffs, road support is always more than welcome and encouraged! Below are 5 of the best, doable road trips for fans looking to get away for a weekend while still being able to catch their favorite team live and in person.
1. Vancouver Whitecaps FC, May 16 & Sept. 1
This gem of a Canadian city is a closer and easier trip than most people realize. With a flight clocking in at just under 2 hours, no time difference and reasonably priced flights when booked far enough in advance, every MLS fan should experience this beautiful city that boasts a full stadium, ocean & mountain views, a gorgeous Stanley Park and much more. Hint: Due to unpredictably rainy weather in May, hold off for that September trip if you enjoy the Autumn season. Just ask Joe Cannon, who played in Vancouver from 2011-2013. He'll give you activity/food recommendations to keep you busy for a whole weekend. Plus, revenge is on the line for the Quakes' devastating playoff loss in 2017.
2. LA Galaxy, May 25
Perhaps the easiest trip to make of the year. Great May weather and a quick flight or drive to see one of only two California Clasicos in 2018 (the other is at Stanford Stadium on June 30) make the away leg of the best rivalry in MLS a must-see this season. The San Jose Ultras made StubHub Center feel like a home game for the black & blue last season in our decisive 3-0 victory. The stadium may be in Carson, but it's just a stone's throw away from Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach & Santa Monica to name a few.
3. Real Salt Lake, June 23
Labeled as one of the most underrated MLS trips to make by many players & staff, Salt Lake City is a foodie's city with endless outdoor activities in the nearby mountains & surrounding cities. The RioT (Rio Tinto Stadium) hasn't been kind to the boys lately, but one of the top MLS atmospheres, bragging rights in the Rancid Derby & a lovely June day in Utah sounds like a recipe for one of the more enjoyable away days in 2018.
4. LAFC, September 22
Finally, a game in LA proper. LAFC's brand new Banc of California Stadium and the chance to see the first-ever meeting between the clubs in LA is reason alone to make this 5-hour drive of a trip down to Southern California. LAFC have been hard at work building a team that is sure to be jelling and competitive by the time this trip rolls around, setting up a real test of the Quakes' own offseason moves.
5. Seattle Sounders FC, October 28
Decision Day. Enough said, but I'll lay it out for you: By the final game of the 2018 season, the hope is that the Quakes will already have secured their status as a playoff team, and Decision Day will merely have seeding implications. If that is not the case, the dramatics of 2017's final regular season game vs. Minnesota where Marco Ureña sent the squad to the playoffs with a stoppage time winner should be enough to explain the potential magnitude of this game. Not to mention, Seattle is one of the great MLS cities, stadium atmospheres, coffee empires & hipster hangouts.
See ya on the road!