San Jose unveiled its new home on Saturday, but Buck Shaw Stadium did little to jumpstart an Earthquakes offense that has been sputtering for most of the season.
FC Dallas played the role of defensive spoiler, but it was tough to celebrated a road point too much considering the Hoops’ own attacking woes. A second straight game without a goal has FC Dallas wondering where that dangerous attack from earlier in the season went.
SBI Correspondents Kevin Matthiessen and Casey Corcoran took in the action and provided us with their takes on the match.
Tie feels like a win for one Earthquakes fan
By KEVIN MATTHIESSEN
Technically, it was the Earthquakes second home game, but this game truly felt like the home opener. It was finally time to see the Quakes play at renovated Buck Shaw Stadium and find out what the game day experience was going to be like. No longer will I have to rely on the spy photo postings on bigsoccer.com and centerlinesoccer.com to produce the mental imagery of the field in my head.
Unfortunately, there is no tailgating allowed in the parking lots so we had to enter the stadium grounds for the pregame "Tailgate Party". Luckily we arrived in plenty of time to partake in the festivities. For my brother Chris and I, this consisted of drinking overpriced beer, surveying the new digs at Santa Clara University, and saying things like "Oh hey, there’s Don Garber. I should go say hi or something. Oh wait, he’s outside the beer garden area. Oh well, it’s nice to finally share the same air with him though atleast."
Santa Clara University looked like a very nice school and had a resort feel to it with fine landscaping details and palm trees. More importantly, the pitch looked very nice. I believe that it’s a Bermuda and Rye grass blend. Though the pitch had recently been installed, it didn’t have that ugly, striped, newly sodden look to it. The other nice thing about the field is that it is completely flat. And come to think of it, I can’t recall anybody creating divots or slipping or anything. The Oakland A’s ground’s crew surely know what they are doing.
On the field, the Earthquakes looked very good. They controlled the ball for most of the game, the defense was solid and there was a lot of good interplay in the flank and up the middle. Unfortunately once again, the goals did not come. I realized now that I haven’t seen a live goal in over 360 minutes of Earthquakes action I’ve watched without being able to celebrate the blissful magic of a goal.
For me, James Riley was man of the match on the day. He made countless runs up the right flank and generally wreaked havoc all game long. Also, while filling in for the injured Ryan Cochrane, Jason Hernandez did very well.
Despite the lack of goals, I still walked away from the experience quite entertained and happy. This leads me to want to devise a new way of scoring the match. How about, we give a ourselves a goal for something positive and a goal for "them" for something negative. Here’s the box score:
Easy access from freeway and easy parking. Goal: Us. 1-0
No tailgating. Goal: them. 1-1.
Heineken and Gordon Biersch on tap. Goal: Us. 2-1
12 oz. beer costs $8.00. Goal: Them. 2-2
Clean sheet. Goal: Us. 3-2
No goals. Goal: Them. 3-3
Maintained most of the possession and created goal scoring chances. Goal: Us. 4-3
Nobody got injured. Goal: Us. 5-3
No horns blasting and buzzing throughout the game. Goal: Us. 6-3
Team made very few mistakes. Goal: Us. 7-3
So there you have it. Quakes fans enjoy an entertaining 7-3 game in the opening of the renovated Buck Shaw Stadium. Welcome back Quakes. Welcome back me.
Not a win, but Hoops impress in tie
By CASEY CORCORAN
Disclaimer: The glass is usually half-full for this writer.
Is there anything worse than a boring nil nil draw? Honestly, it is as un-American as kissing your sister. Yes, nil nil draws can be fantastically exciting and well earned for both sides. This was not one of those games. If you did not see the game on Saturday night, let me just paint a picture for you.
Imagine it is 1917, and there are two very long trenches facing each other. On one side you have FC Dallas manning the machine guns; on the other you have San Jose doing the same. Every couple minutes or so, a runner like Kenny Cooper would build up some courage and take off towards the enemy lines. Of course he would get about ten feet from his own line before he was obliterated back to where he started. San Jose epically got off a total of one shot on goal.
There is not a whole lot that I took out of this game, so the comparisons will continue.
Back in 1944 Allied forces landed in Normandy. If you have seen Saving Private Ryan, you might visually remember that landing. In my mind, this game equates to putting FCD and SJ jerseys on those first couple guys ready to storm the beach. They are ready to attack and win. Of course, as soon as that front door drops they are mowed down by enemy fire.
Dark, I know, but the point is this was bunkered defensive soccer, a glorious three shots to one.
The good news for FCD is the point on the road. San Jose looks very decent for an expansion side. They are very solid defensively. FCD stays at the top of the league, even with the many hiccups so far. The defensive schemes seem to be sinking in, and Duilio Davino is showing the bonuses he brings to the table. I have already written a story about the attacking prowess FCD has shown. Maybe I wrote way way too early.
I think I am just a product of trying to promote the game of soccer to my skeptic friends. Boring they say, one goal scored they say. Well, this game certainly did not help convince any of them. That horrible taste in my mouth is the taste of another bad example to work with. So while it was not as horrible as I am making it to be, I feel no pain in denouncing it.
This game was like me asking out the prom queen back in high school. My soul just cringed at the thought of what would have happened in that instance. Likewise, my soul cringed watching this game.