In any major US or Canada city, there are always opportunities to do interesting things in them. Even if the cities appear to be the same cookie-cutter buildings, streets, and cement jungles – there’s some differences that can make a visitor more exciting and/or interesting to do. One of them is professional sports – you may not be a fan of the team nor the sport, but at least, it’s something that everyone can do which is buy a ticket and then attend the game. No special equipment required.
In San Jose, California, there are two major professional sports teams: the San Jose Earthquakes that play in MLS (Major League Soccer) and the San Jose Sharks of the NHL (National Hockey League). I’ve already covered the Sharks as I look at them as a placeholder team so I can watch the visiting teams play but the Earthquakes are a relatively newer team (they lost their initial team after the originals left to go elsewhere but years afterward, was granted an expansion team to restart the Earthquakes). So as a result, the Earthquakes got new colors, new identity, and a new stadium.
So I looked up the schedule and found out that both San Jose teams were going to play so why not?
Why not go to both and see the teams play?
Well before the start of the game, I checked the grounds before getting into my seat to hunker down. Wear a jacket! It can get cold with the winds blowing!
First up were the Earthquakes playing against Toronto F.C. in Avaya Stadium. Upon arrival, I felt that atmosphere was trying wayyyyyy too hard to be like in Europe. Too much partying and not enough seriousness in the game itself.
When you look at the scoreboard, yes, you can see San Jose International Airport. Why they built a stadium near the airport – no idea. Must have ran out of land. Could have just played in Levi’s Stadium instead…. which they do once a year.
Second was the play. Gosh…. it was horrendous. The league has a lot more to go in order to catch up with the European leagues. I felt as if any of the Bundesliga 3 teams would beat anyone in MLS. The team I had in mind: SV Wiesbaden – that team could beat the MLS’s best. And don’t try to compare the MLS to the powerhouse teams such as Arsenal, Tottenham, Manchester United, RB Leipzig, Borussia Dortmund, FC Barcelona – these teams would easily win with the quality that they have. And the tactics of the MLS are limited compared to the European teams. The quality is just not there.
They run back and forth with lots of mistakes. Better to run back to Europe for better football play.
But nevertheless, the Earthquakes put on a great show at the end of the game. Down 1-2 while in stoppage time, the Quakes draw a foul outside of the penalty box which set them up for a free kick. The Quakes plan it out to where they take the free kick towards the goal…. and he makes it! 2-2! What a wild finish to rescue the loss and transform into a tie!
Next game: Sharks vs Penguins.
There was a quite a number of Penguins fans in “da house” which is not surprising due to their outreaching popular fan base.
Another good reason to go to the games early: watch the players warm up. Particularly, the superstars. Number 71 of the Penguins is Evgeni Malkin.
There wasn’t much to say about this game over than the Penguins that won 2 Stanley Cups in the last 4-5 years was in complete struggle mode having lost 5 straight games going into San Jose. Well, make it 6 straight losses. The team just struggled and it showed.
Sometimes going to see a superstar such as Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby – doesn’t produce much in great memories. More like duds. But that’s sports for ya.
I thought that the “Next One” or #87 aka Sidney Crosby was going to put on a show. Instead, there wasn’t much to see in terms of goals. The Penguins got shutout in what was a Sharks barrage.