San Jose Earthquakes

(Note: Until the 2000 season, the San Jose entry into MLS was known as the San Jose Clash. Then, in a desperate attempt to hoodwink the fans and distract from the general crappiness, the name was changed to the San Jose Earthquakes)

The San Jose Clash are one of the founding franchises of the the MLS (Major League Soccer), which kicked off it's inaugural season in 1996. Their play can best be described as a combination of scrappy and crappy. They have basically been one of the worst teams in MLS for the first couple of years. 1997 was particularily horrible, as they not only were about the worst team, but they were also knocked out of the US Open Cup by the SF Bay Seals.

Nevertheless, the Clash are the inheritors of the rich Bay Area soccer tradition. The San Jose Earthquakes were the local entry of the now defunct NASL. The team played hard and generally Spartan Stadium was jam-packed, as this was the first pro franchise in the San Jose area. When the NASL folded, the Earthquakes bummed around as semi-pro, and eventually disbanded. The San Francisco Bay BlackHawks were the next team to kick around in the semi-pro ranks, and many of the current Clash players came up through those ranks.

At least two of the original Clash roster spent time in Germany. Eric Wynalda played in the Bundesliga with both 1.FC Saabrücken and VfL Bochum, and John Doyle had minimal playing time with VfB Leipzig in their Auf Wiedersehen Bundesliga season.

The Clash-Quakes-Crap team was the worst in MLS pretty much from 1997-2000, playing crap, looking crap and alienating the fans. Finally for the 2001 campaign, they cleaned house. Rookie coach Frank Yallop got rid of a lot of crap, and then 19 yr old phenom Landon Donovan was signed on loan from Germany's Bayer Leverkusen. Things looked up and the Quakes were finally a decent team. In fact, they turned out to be more than decent, as they peaked in the playoffs and ended up winning it all! They were unable to defend their title, but in 2003, they again crunched the opposition, winning the title for the 2nd time. Unfortunately, after winning the title, coach Frank Yallop resigned to take over the Canadian national team.

The defense of the title in 2004 proved to be illusory. Although the team made the playoffs, they struggled to put together a run. The franchise was also beset with rumours that the club was going to be sold and moved to someplace with more Mexicans (as part of the MLS plan, see the silly Chivas-USA franchise). This was apparently laid to rest when the potential investors realized there are more Mexicans in California than Mexico. So, apparently the Earth-Clash will survive through 2005.

But then, MLS decided to move the club to Houston, where they became the "Dynamo". I guess they figured that the blackmail for a new stadium didn't work. However, San Jose was promised an expansion club, which would also be called the Earthquakes. This team would start the 2008 season, and apparently will play in Santa Clara's Buckshaw stadium. (This is hardly much of an improvement over Spartan stadium; I remember playing high school martches there!!!)

City San Jose (CALIFORNIA). Pop: 894,943 (2000).
Address PO Box 26160, San Jose, CA 95159
Phone: (408) 260-6300
Colors Blue jersey, white/black trim, black shorts. Changes all the time to extort more money from fans. Here's a photo of the jersey. The old Clash jersey was a nice turquoise blue green with black trim. photo (17k)
Stadium Spartan Stadium. Capacity: ?, but approx. 30,000 for soccer. Every stadium in the US is all seats, and in fact if you stand up the whole time, people will yell and throw beer at you.
Tickets Range from $13-$35. You can usually knock off a dollar or two by ordering in advance. Tickets available directly from the Clash or all normal ticket outlets (e.g. BASS). You might also try contacting The Casbah, because they often try and get group rates for the rowdy section. Spartan Stadium is fairly small, but when the Clash are playing crap, you should have no problem getting tickets. Games at Stanford are no problem, even if the Clash were playing Brazil.
Supporters The Casbah is the real fan grouping. The name is taken from the British punk band The Clash song, Rockin' the Casbah. Expect anywhere from 10,000-15,000 fans at Spartan Stadium.
Friends American fans tend to be more polite than their Euro counterparts. Thus it is rare that fans riot. We prefer our violence on the field, so as a result you should have no trouble even if you are wearing an L.A. Galaxy jersey in the middle of the Casbah section.
Foes Given Northern California's obsession (i.e. inferiority complex) with Los Angeles, the closest would be the Galaxy.
Heroes Landon Donovan, the most talented American player ever, was basically responsible for bringing the championship to San Jose and turning the franchise around. (2001-2004). Canadian Dwayne DeRosario scored the match winner in the first championship. John Doyle (1996-2000) still holds the record for "most fouls committed".
Zeroes Khodadad Azizi, the Iranian international, totally sucked during his stay here (2000). Abdul Thompson Conteh missed more easy goals than any player in the history of soccer.
Beer No official beer of the Clash fans. San Jose's main microbrewery is Gordon Biersch in the downtown, which brews respectable German style beers, but the meat-market yuppiness is annoying to soccer fans. If you run out of bottled water, Budweiser is a sponsor.
Grub and Pub There is a plethora of pubs. In San Jose, Britannia Arms is pretty much the official hangout. Refer to The Casbah website for more details.
The Net The official web site is useful for schedules, ticket prices, etc. The Casbah is the place to go for the fan's view, it's page is at .

	San Jose Earthquakes (original)

1974	NASL	5th	15 clubs	playoffs
1975	NASL	17th	20 clubs
1976	NASL	6th	20 clubs	playoffs
1977	NASL	8th	18 clubs	playoffs
1978	NASL	23rd	24 clubs
1979	NASL	23rd	24 clubs
1980	NASL	23rd	24 clubs
1981	NASL	19th	21 clubs
1982	NASL	10th	14 clubs

	Golden Bay Earthquakes

1983	NASL	3rd	13 clubs	playoffs
1984	NASL	7th	 9 clubs
---->NASL defunct

1990-95 amateur play as San Francisco Bay Blackhawks

	 San Jose Clash

1996	MLS	6th	10 clubs	playoffs
1997	MLS	10th 	10 clubs	
1998	MLS	10th	12 clubs
1999	MLS	10th	12 clubs

	San Jose Earthquakes (xerox copy)

2000	MLS	12th 	12 clubs
2001	MLS	4th	12 clubs	CHAMPIONS
2002	MLS	2nd	10 clubs	playoffs
2003	MLS	2nd	10 clubs	CHAMPIONS
2004	MLS	7th	10 clubs	playoffs

(c) Abseits Guide to Germany :