What was it like at the soft opening of Avaya Stadium, the new home of the San Jose Earthquakes? For starters, the fans filed into the new stadium hours prior to the 2:00 p.m. kickoff against the LA Galaxy and roamed the facility non-stop until the opening whistle.
The Largest Outdoor Bar in North America -- the LOBINA -- was surrounded by supporters partaking in a pregame libation, and the cozy grass field Epicenter invited fans to try the best in gourmet food truck dining. Such was the draw of the stadium, that most fans didn't get to their seats until well after the game had started.
The more than 10,000 fans that came out for the final preseason match for both clubs were treated to a match that started slow, but picked up pace after halftime. Omar Gonzalez of LA scored the first goal ever at Avaya Stadium, although it was an own goal that gave the Earthquakes a 1-0 lead. Former Stanford stars JJ Koval and Adam Jahn netted for San Jose to earn the victory, despite a goal from reigning MLS MVP Robbie Keane and the target forward efforts of former Earthquakes hero Alan Gordon.
The home side secured a 3-2 victory in the preseason game, one that started under partly clear skies but ended in a freak hail storm, and now looks forward to an away to start to the MLS season next Saturday at FC Dallas. The LA Galaxy, the defending MLS Cup champions open their season this Friday at home against the Chicago Fire.
San Jose Earthquakes 3 -- LA Galaxy 2February 28, 2015 - Avaya Stadium
Scoring Summary: SJ -- Own goal (Omar Gonzalez) 42, JJ Koval (Chris Wondolowski) 58, Adam Jahn (Matias Perez Garcia) 67; LA -- Jose Villareal (Robbie Rogers) 65, Robbie Keane (Stefan Ishizaki) 82.
Misconduct Summary: SJ -- Fatai Alashe (caution) 53; LA -- None.
San Jose Earthquakes: David Bingham, Marvell Wynne, Victor Bernardez, Paulo Renato (Ty Harden 73), Shaun Francis, Jean-Baptiste Pierazzi (Fatai Alashe 46), JJ Koval (Adam Jahn 64), Matias Perez Garcia (Khari Stephenson 81), Sanna Nyassi (Cordell Cato 76), Chris Wondolowski (Tommy Thompson 72), Shea Salinas (Leandro Barrera 71).
LA Galaxy: Brian Rowe, Omar Gonzalez, Robbie Rogers (Andre Auras 83), Leonardo (Todd Dunivant 46), Dan Gargan, Juninho, Stefan Ishizaki, Ken Walker (Rafael Garcia 71), Bradford Jamieson (Jose Villareal 63), Robbie Keane, Alan Gordon.