San Jose suffered its first loss at Avaya Stadium as Real Salt Lake stifled the Earthquakes' attack Sunday, losing 1-0 on a laser of a goal by 35-year-old Javier Morales. The Quakes took it down to the last touch of the match, scrapping for a decision, but Fatai Alashe’s desperate volley went over the crossbar just before the final whistle after a furious scramble.
More Defensive Injuries
Shaun Francis left the match after challenging for a header and literally going head-to-head with a member of Real Salt Lake, which pressed JJ Koval into action. Cordell Cato already playing out of position, switched from right back to left back, with Koval playing on the right. Within five minutes of entering the field, Koval was beaten twice around the outside. The Quakes will be challenged against the Vancouver White Caps FC, who have won four of their first five matches.
Flashes of Brilliance
Both Matias Perez Garcia and Innocent Emeghara, at different times throughout the match, displayed some terrific dribbling skills. Unfortunately after they beat the first two guys, there always seemed to be a third RSL player that would come along and take the ball. The other exciting part of the game was the speed the Quakes have on the counter attack with Sanna Nyassi, Garcia and Innocent blazing down the field.
Avaya Stadium – Game 2
Often professional sports teams will announce a sellout when the game really isn’t a sellout, but the second game at Avaya Stadium definitely qualified. Why am I so certain, since there were some empty seats in the stadium? When I went to the will call window 40 minutes before the game, there were no more tickets being sold.
With the longest bar in North America, and the grass area with the two-sided video board, many seats are going without being used. This is especially true in the high dollar field suites. Spectators are in the stadium for the game, but are back in the suite area and not sitting in the seats to watch the game. All those empty seats so close to the field looks really bad. It reminds me of when the new Yankee Stadium opened up and they charged too much money for the field club seats. It looks like people don’t care about your product enough to sit and watch it. What makes it worse is those are the seats that are on camera the most.
For the Quakes, this is a good problem to have, as at least the tickets/suites are sold. What people do with them after they pay for them is out of the team’s hands. Now the question is how to make the stadium look like it is full when it is sold out. I’m not sure there is an answer for this with the signature diversions they have created.
Avaya Stadium – Getting Out After the Game
One frustrating thing with the new stadium is getting out of the parking lots after the game. It seems like you sit in one place with absolutely nobody moving. That’s because no cars were moving for extended periods of time while pedestrians walk down the sidewalk of Coleman Avenue. If the pedestrian traffic could be diverted through the back side of the parking lot, cars could get out, and everyone would get home sooner. This might require creating an access to Coleman Avenue at the northern most part of the Silver Lot for the people who walked to the match from the North.