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With its origins dating back to 1974 in California, the San Jose Earthquake (formerly known as the San Jose Clash) was a professional soccer team that competed in the North American Soccer League from 1974 to 1988. (NASL). Because of poor season ticket sales in San Francisco, the Franchise relocated to the Spartan Stadium in San Jose, where it has been ever since. George Best, a Northern Irish international, was signed by the San Jose Earthquakes in 1980. The former Manchester United player scored 21 goals in 56 appearances for the club throughout his career.
The franchise received a tremendous amount of support from the surrounding community, which had previously been deprived of a sports franchise in the region. During the club’s first season, they averaged over 15,000 people each game, more than twice the average attendance of the rest of the league. In 1975, the Spartan Stadium was chosen as the site of the inaugural NASL Soccer Bowl, thanks to the large number of people that attended.
The club was formerly known as the ‘Golden Bay Earthquakes’ from 1983 and 1984, but when the NASL folded in 1984, the name was changed back to the San Jose Earthquakes to honor the city’s earthquake victims. The squad was later transferred to the Western Soccer League, where they competed for the next two seasons (WSL). The team was later purchased by Peter Bridgwater, who remained the club’s owner until it was sold to a new owner in 1988.
It was via a newspaper competition organized by the San Jose Mercury News that the band came up with the moniker “Earthquakes.” Dick Berg, the team’s General Manager, was the one who came up with the name. Because of the club’s proximity to the San Andreas Fault, it has gotten some negative feedback as a result. The San Jose organization was established in 1994 when the club became one of six clubs to become founder members of Major League Soccer (MLS).
With effect from the first day of August in 1995, Peter Bridgwater rejoined the club as its President and General Manager. Bridgwater is regarded as an icon of American soccer. He was a key figure in the founding of the Western Soccer Alliance and served as the Venue Executive Director for the 1994 World Cup, which was held in San Francisco. Despite the fact that Bridgwater retained ownership of the club’s name and emblem, the team changed its name to become known as the ‘Clash.’ Nike, a major stakeholder in the Major League Soccer, had a role in this.
Laurie Calloway was named as the inaugural Head Coach of the San Francisco Earthquakes when the team was established in December 1995. After just a short period of time had elapsed, Calloway revealed that John Doyle of the United States National Team and Nigerian International Michael Emenalo would be the club’s first two members. Eric Wynalda was signed by the San Jose Sharks in 1996, a move that was met with controversy since Calloway and Wynalda did not get along when they worked together at the Atlanta Hawks. San Jose proceeded to make use of their ties to the Chicago Blackhawks by making the first-ever deal in Major League Soccer history, trading Rhett Harty for Troy Dayak.
The Spartan Stadium in San Jose was the site of the first-ever Major League Soccer match, which was played in front of a crowd of 31,683 people. With a goal by Eric Wynalda, the San Jose Earthquakes defeated D.C. United 1-0, becoming the first team in Major League Soccer history to do so. The San Jose Earthquakes then broke the attendance record against the Los Angeles Galaxy a month later. There were 31 728 people in attendance at Spartan Stadium, which was the largest crowd for a sports event in the history of the city of San Jose.
After enjoying moderate success in the inaugural season of Major League Soccer, San Jose began to sputter. Bridgwater fired Calloway and replaced him with Brian Quinn, but the Clash didn’t improve much as a result, finishing last in the Western Conference for the first time in 1997. The team’s fortunes did not improve, and Quinn was fired before the end of 1999 and replaced by Lothar Osiander, who was a better player. Another significant alteration occurred in 1999 when the franchise reverted to its original moniker of the Earthquakes.
However, the team’s poor performance remained, and things only began to change when the Earthquakes signed Frank Yallop before the 2001 Major League Soccer SuperDraft. The addition of Landon Donavan on loan from German heavyweights Bayern Leverkusen, which was orchestrated by Yallop, completely transformed the club. Tim Hanley and Dominic Kinnear were hired by the new head coach to serve as goalkeepers and assistant coaches, respectively. The club had virtually instant success as a result of these modifications.
Despite finishing with 41 points, the Earthquakes were 16 points better than they were at the end of the previous season. In the end, they were victorious in the Major League Soccer Cup, defeating rivals Los Angeles Galaxy 2-1 in the championship game. The San Jose Earthquakes didn’t have to wait long for their second Major League Soccer championship, as they defeated the Chicago Fire 4-2 in the finals in 2003. Later, Yallop resigned from his position with the Earthquakes to become head coach of the Canadian national team. Following this, assistant coach Kinnear was promoted to head coach, and former player John Doyle was appointed to the post of assistant coach.
In early 2004, general manager Johnny Moore departed from his job, bringing the number of changes to three. This was owing to the potentially inflammatory rebranding of the team to San Jose America, which would have resulted in ownership shifting to the owners of Mexico’s Club América. When former Los Angeles Galaxy defender Alexi Lalas was named as Moore’s successor, the fans of the club were in for a difficult time. Plans to relocate the club to Houston were scrapped as a result of the change in administration, and the playing rights of star player Landon Donovan were transferred. Donovan subsequently went on to play for the Los Angeles Galaxy, who were arch-rivals at the time.
Despite all of the off-field turmoil, Kinnear was able to maintain his winning ways. The Earthquakes have qualified for the playoffs on two occasions and have won the Major League Soccer Supporters Shield in 2005. San Jose Earthquakes have seen some success on the field, but their fortunes have been bleak off the field in recent months. The club’s owner, Anschutz Entertainment Group, announced that the team will relocate to Houston since the organization was unable to secure a soccer-specific stadium for the team in its current location of San Jose.
Following this, the franchise relocated to Houston, where members of the coaching staff and players also relocated with the organization. According to Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber, the team’s name, colors, emblem, and history were all forfeited as a result of the relocation. The squad was once named as the Houston 1836, and then as the Houston Dynamo.
A three-year option to construct a soccer-specific stadium in the San Francisco Bay Area was granted as part of an agreement between the Major League Soccer and the owners of the Oakland Athletics baseball franchise in 2006. Fans were ecstatic. The San Jose Earthquakes were being rebuilt as a new San Jose Earthquakes expansion to the Major League Soccer (MLS) season got underway after almost a year without an MLS team of their own.
As soon as the team’s homecoming was completed in 2007, they announced that Buck Shaw Stadium would serve as a temporary home for the 2008-2010 seasons, with some of their games taking place at the McAfee Coliseum in Oakland. Another piece of good news for the Earthquakes’ supporters was the revelation that Head Coach Frank Yallop will be re-instated in his position as manager of the team. Darren Huckerby and Ronnie O’Brien were vital to the Earthquakes’ success during Yallop’s tenure, with the former receiving the MLS Newcomer of the Year award. Yallop also made several important acquisitions for the club during his time.
In 2010, the Earthquakes were virtually back to their previous level of performance on the field. After qualifying for the playoffs with 46 points, the Quakes fell short of winning the championship and were knocked out in the semi-finals by a 1-0 loss to the Colorado Rapids in overtime. The Quakes, on the other hand, we’re unable to replicate their previous success and failed to qualify for the playoffs the following season.
However, the Quakes’ season-ending disappointment served to encourage them, as they went on to have the greatest start to an MLS season ever in 2012. Their tendency to fight back late in games caused striker Steven Lenhart to remark, in allusion to the film The Goonies, “Goonies never say die.” Following a 3-2 victory against rivals Los Angeles Galaxy, the club scored three goals in less than 20 minutes to earn the victory. The chanting of the statement became a recurrent refrain amongst the team’s supporters.
Despite being eliminated from the play-offs, the 2013 season finished with a trophy, marking the first time since the team’s return to the competition. Following their win of the Supporters’ Shield, the San Jose Earthquakes were qualified for the CONCACAF Champions League for the first time in the team’s history. With victories against the Montreal Impact (Canada) and Heredia (Mexico), San Jose won their CONCACAF group in 2014 on goal difference (Guatemala). Although they were victorious on penalties against eventual finalists Toluca, they would not go any further. The extra burden of European football took its toll on the team, and as a result, they were unable to qualify for the MLS Play-offs.
|Team Name||San Jose Earthquakes|
|Established In||June 15, 1994|
|Based In||San Jose, California|
|League||Major League Soccer|
|Head Coach||Matías Almeyda|
San Jose Earthquakes Fanmail Address:
San Jose Earthquakes
1123 Coleman Avenue
San Jose, CA 95110-1104
San Jose Earthquakes Contact Details
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