That the San Jose Earthquakes will be hosting a sold-out home game is not really news, for the organization has been able to boast that achievement at 10,525-seat Buck Shaw Stadium numerous times over the last 12 months. However, when considering that they get to still brag about another shut-out, this time at 50,000-seat Stanford Stadium, the enormity of Saturday’s California Clasico for the Bay Area soccer loving public becomes clear. Big names, a big game, a big stadium, and a big firework show — the recipe is there for what the Earthquakes are calling "The soccer event of the summer!"
Any visit by the Los Angeles Galaxy to the Bay Area results in heightened interest by local soccer supporters, but in recent years that have been tempered by a less than compelling on-field product put forth by the San Jose franchise. Not this year: Entering the weekend, the Earthquakes sit in the driver’s seat for the MLS Supporters’ Shield with the best record in the league, and they will be looking to overturn in the Galaxy the defending MLS Cup champions.
MLS has jumped on the rivalry bandwagon like never before, and on their website and beyond, images and videos are being produced to capture the attention every California Clasico match-up creates in anticipation by players and supporters. The match on Saturday is being broadcast nationally by ESPN and will feature Adrian Healey on the microphone — just hours after he was last heard announcing from the European Championships in Poland and Ukraine. The 7:00 p.m. kick-off means the television ratings won’t rival those generated last weekend for ESPN’s Seattle at Portland match broadcast earlier in the day, but the expectations are that the numbers should approach some of the best rated matches on Clasico history.
Stanford Stadium has been sold-out for nearly a week, and secondary ticket sellers are asking upwards of hundreds of dollars a ducat. The legendary tailgate scene that sprouts up around the stadium for these big events should provide the preamble for the performance of the team’s inside the band-box of a facility. New memories will be formed and new commitments to what Earthquakes president David Kaval promises to make an annual event on the Bay Area soccer calendar will be made. And toping off the whole evening will be the largest fireworks show scheduled for the Peninsula this summer.
Are you ready for the celebration? Well, if daydreaming about Saturday’s match is not enough, get pumped up with the following set of videos. And yes, you will be excused if you feel the need to race about the house screaming "Goal! Goal! Goal! Earthquakes!"The ESPN promo — complete with epic music!
Want a bit more information? Let the ESPN2 preview fill you in.
The look-back to the best California Clasico of all time: 2003 MLS Cup playoffs.
Lenhart and Saunders mixing it up last season. Yeah this rivalry extends from grandstands to the field.
Where did all that #GooniesNeverSayDie business come from? Well, let Samwise Gamgee help remind you...
And if the going gets tough late in the game? Alan "The Animal" Gordon is there to save the day.