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A Supporter’s View: The San Jose Earthquakes


When you have been waiting for your team to come back like San Jose Earthquake fans, you aren’t likely to get too frazzled by a season-opening loss, even if it is to the hated Los Angeles Galaxy. The fact remains that the team some thought might never come back is back.

Admit it, you thought San Jose would be ahead of the expansion team curve, especially after the Carolina Challenge Cup win in pre-season. The defense was looking good and the attack, well, the attack didn’t look great in pre-season either.

As we were reminded last Thursday night, growing pains are unavoidable. Even the 1998 Chicago Fire, the only expansion team to ever win an MLS Cup in year one, struggled early in the year. No, nobody is comparing the current Earthquakes to the ’98 Fire, it isn’t even close, but we should remember that the MLS season is long and there is still time for Frank Yallop to mold the squad.

SBI Correspondent Kevin Matthiessen watched his team make its return to MLS and while there was little about the results that was worth cheering for, Matthiessen joined other San Jose fans in simply being thankful to have a team to root for. Here is his take on the club’s first match of the season (Feel free to provide your reaction to Stephen’s piece in the comments section below):

Loss aside, it’s good to have the Earthquakes back

By Kevin Matthiessen

Yes the Earthquakes are back. They may be a new expansion team but the fan base remains the same. Established in 2008? Nah, just ask an old timer Quakes fan and he will tell you this team was indeed established in 1974. So what if there were different owners, management, players, stadiums, etc.

Heck, scientists tell me every single cell in my body is regenerated every seven years. So in essence I’m a completely different person than I was seven years ago but I’m not saying I was established in 2001.

Along with our well established team, we also have our well established rivalry. So, not only were the Earthquakes taking the field for the first time in years, they also happened to be playing against our most hated rivals, the Los Angeles Galaxy*, the same team that knocked the Quakes out of the playoffs, and out of the league. Yes, this same team, whose owners took our team away from us and sent them to Houston, were the first foes for 2008. It was almost too much to bear. And surely it was. A disappointing 2-0 loss was the result, giving us Earthquake faithful the most bittersweet of entertainment on the night.

Surely there are many built-in excuses for the loss. The Quakes are an expansion team. No away team has won yet this season. The Supporter’s Shield winners, MLS Cup champions, MLS Cup runners up, and the Galaxy have all lost as much or more than the Earthquakes did on their first night. Since their opponents came off a terrible 4-0 defeat, surely they would come out on fire and be tough. The biggest reason for the loss however I would attribute to is nervousness.

If our boys Ryan Cochrane and Joe Cannon felt any of the pain that we did when the Earthquakes were moved, and I’m sure they did, it’s understandable that nerves were running high. And certainly it must have carried over to the other players. In fact, none of the players looked terribly relaxed on the night.

They wanted to win so badly.

It’s hard to blame anyone for wanting something too much or for trying too hard. These two players are by far the most popular Earthquakes players. If anyone’s going to make some mistakes it may as well have been them. They won’t get fried on the soccer boards and fans will give them a second chance.
Being as though the Earthquakes are an expansion team, this season will always be about second chances.  And here we are as fans with another chance to fully enjoy MLS. We won’t take it for granted.


  1. kevin- of course there will be blanco fans there 😀

    as a fire fan, i dont look too much into the 4-0 victory (altho i loved it) as they were a man down, the game couldve been different… i can only hope the professionals on the field feel the same way…

    i am biased of course, therefore i expect the fire to win, but i wont lie about the fact that i dont know much about SJ’s chemistry, ability, etc…. hopefully a good game regardless 😀

  2. Brett- no kidding huh. The foxsoccer site is pretty bad too.

    I think we have a good chance to win or at least draw. The Fire may be a little too over confident coming in to this game. And having lost their last game, the Quakes will probably come out with guns a blazin’ for the home opener.

    The X factor is going to be whether there will be a contingent of Blanco fans at the game. Let’s hope not!

  3. kevin- lol, noone on these boards can come close to the type of posts i see on myspace…

    whats your take on your chances this saturday??

  4. Brett- Thanks for the clarification. That’s a good point. I hope I didn’t sound like an a-hole, I was mostly trying to be funny.

  5. Kevin- i think everyone is in agreeance that these pieces are great and that they should continue, i just think we were simply saying that there should be 1 posted thread where there would be links to all the correspondent pieces…

    not one for change?? most posts that go past the 1st page get ignored (by most) so to post all these could prevent discussion on some… noone whinned about how long it takes, simply to unclutter the board

  6. Hey Tony,

    Thanks brother. I’d like to give everyone a little time to gel and get comfortable before mixing things up too much. Having said that however I’d prefer Vide in the destroyer role and Corrales in the AM role.

    Like you said about Glinton, I would have preferred to have him start up top with Kamara as well. Perhaps he was a little bit sore/injured/tired from his international duty.

    I agree with what you said about Salinas being a midfielder… For this year I believe he would be best as a sub for O’Brien or Guerrero at the 65 minute.

    Hey kpugs- funny you should say that. I had a copy of Walden mini book in my pocket at the Quakes 2nd preseason game. I brought it to read in case I got there too early! (Yeah I went by myself.)

  7. You could have posted Henry David Thoreau’s “Walden” here and it wouldn’t matter. As a fan of the league itself (RBNY fan) I am very happy the Quakes are back.

    Having said that, I think you’re in for a rough season. But I may be as well, who knows? That’s the beauty of the game.

  8. Kevin:

    Good stuff. Give me your opinion: I felt that Quakes had better shape after the substitutions. I thought Glinton particularly gave the attack some strength and presence. (I was not expecting much from him, either.) But for me the major worry is the Coralles and Gabavoy were horrible. Coralles in particular seems poorly suited to the role Yallop gave him. So my opinion after the first game is:

    – Shea Salinas is a midfielder, not a forward. He’s young, let him run.

    – Glinton needs to start at forward because of the available options he is the only one who looks like he can hold the ball.

    – We need a destroyer in front of the back line. And I have no idea where we might find one.

    If we can stiffen the middle of the field, we can hang in against a lot of teams.

    Agree, disagree?

  9. Thanks Steve B. Yeah me too. Though I hate you guys on game days, you Galaxy fans are still a hundred times better people than non-MLS fans!

    Thanks Wally. Appreciate it.

    Hey Whiners- I timed it. It takes all of 12 seconds to scan through this page and the next to find soccer news. Oh, maybe you are still on dial-up… Sorry about that.

    Fellow ‘Quakes fans- Yeah I know. I’ll get Ives to update that old logo!

  10. I disagree.. I’m loving the correspondent pieces and like that they’re visable. Another way to not be productive at work.

    Great work Kevin.

  11. I’ve got to agree – these supporters views are cool, but all of them together are overkill.

    Maybe post one a day?

    Or the idea of one link for all of them is also a good idea.

  12. Uncle Jason- perhaps Ives can have a seperate link for it?? or maybe 1 post that has links for all the teams corespondents??

  13. Okay Ives,

    These correspondent pieces are taking up way too much space on the site and getting in the way of more important things.

    Please figure out a way separate them from the main headlines.


  14. Even though I’m a LA Galaxy fan, I am very excited to see SJ Earthquakes comeback to soccer and I will enjoy this rivalry very much.



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