Hey, it’s Oz and I am the new site manager for Center Line Soccer. Before we begin the work of turning this blog into the central online meeting place for all Quakes fans I wanted to take a moment to introduce myself and talk a little about why I wanted to help with this blog.
As you can probably tell from the headline I love this sport and I have a bit of flair for the dramatic. My love for soccer was cultivated on the streets of Salinas, California, specifically, a neighborhood on the east side of town called Alisal. In this neighborhood, there is but one sport to play and follow and that is the same sport our parents and their parents alike were rabid about, Soccer. The high school team in the neighborhood, the Alisal Trojans, are constantly ranked as one of the best teams in the nation and their home pitch is known as the “nest of soccer”. In 1996 when MLS was celebrating its inaugural season the California Jaguars were celebrating a championship in the USISL Select league, then the 2nd division of American soccer. Most of their most talented players were ultimately scooped up by this small team from the Pacific Northwest with big aspirations that called themselves the Seattle Sounders. I wonder if things ever worked out for them.
As you can tell I had very little options of what sport I was going to follow and I have thoroughly enjoyed my time following the world’s sport. In 2013 I decided to take my devotion a little further and became a season ticket holder for the San Jose Earthquakes after all they had just announced that for the first time in their divided history they were finally going to have a stadium to call their own. My grand plan was to get season tickets while they were still playing in the tiny fortress known as Buck Shaw Stadium and hope the prices didn’t get jacked up too much for the new stadium.
While my plan worked pretty well, the same cannot be said for the team I love. Since returning to the league in 2008 the Quakes have been an enigma not only to the growing soccer community across the country but also to the loyal supporters that keep showing up hoping maybe this time things will be different.
I am one of those supporters.
I will stick through the carousel of coaches and bizarre personnel changes as long as there is a team in San Jose named the Earthquakes. I cannot help it.
This, of course, does not mean that I will just sit in the stands as one of the original teams of MLS gets continually treated as a financial experiment by an owner who is more concerned with building his real estate empire than producing a championship team. I’m much to arrogant for that. I will, however, continue to show up to Avaya and pay inflated concession prices and I will continue to support those 11 players on the pitch with all my heart. I will end this piece with a quote from one of the greatest sports books ever written that may help explain why I endure the pain and long drives that come with supporting the Quakes and MLS as a whole.
“Years have gone by and I’ve finally learned to accept myself for who I am: a beggar for good soccer. I go about the world, hand outstretched, and in the stadiums I plead: ‘A pretty move, for the love of God.’ And when good soccer happens, I give thanks for the miracle and I don’t give a damn which team or country performs it.” -Eduardo Galeano “Soccer in Sun and Shadow”