While much of the MLS schedule today forces fans to choose between watching their club or their country, the San Jose Earthquakes made a smart move in pushing up the time of their match with the Los Angeles Galaxy to avoid conflicting with the USA versus Mexico Gold Cup final. Originally slated for an 8 p.m. start time, the California Clasico was rescheduled to 3:30 p.m., which leaves just enough time after the match to get to a television in time for the 6:00 p.m. Gold Cup kickoff. In fact, for those in attendance at Buck Shaw Stadium for today’s Earthquakes game, a more appealing option is to stick around and watch the broadcast of the game from the Rose Bowl on the in-stadium big screen scoreboard.
The Fox Soccer feed of the Gold Cup final will be used for the simulcast, which will come as a disappointment for the many folks who have enjoyed listening to Pablo Ramirez while watching the entire tournament on Univision. Even if Spanish is not your primary language, the pace and energy of the commentary ramp do wonders to up the excitement level of the broadcast. Plus, Ramirez has a great way of bringing flavor to the game through the clever use of nicknames and sayings that bring a smile to the viewer’s face.
Another note for tonight is that seating on the field is limited to Earthquakes season ticket holders. While this may exclude some of the seating to watch the scoreboard, the vantage points from the grandstands should still provide an ample experience for the remainder of fans that stick around to watch. If you do want to get onto the field after the game and are not a current season ticket holder, be sure to make friends with one during the game. They can help you navigate your way down to the pitch.
No information from the Earthquakes as to whether the general concessionaires will be open during the watch party, including the beer booths, and whether food and drink will be allowed onto the field. However, a selection of the gourmet food trucks will still be operating after the match, so the chance to nosh on a burrito or some Korean BBQ is still in the offering.
And lastly, be sure to bring some blankets for the viewing party. No chairs will be allowed on the field, but kicking back picnic-style will be encouraged. It might be a good idea to have some mosquito repellent at hand as well given the timing of the game. The chance of the Quakes lighting citronella candles to scare off the buggers seems quite remote.
The California Clasico in the afternoon and the Gold Cup final in the evening — all in the cozy confines of Buck Shaw Stadium. A perfect Saturday of soccer awaits.