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!!!)
San Jose (CALIFORNIA). Pop:
PO Box 26160, San Jose, CA 95159|
Phone: (408) 260-6300
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.
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.
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.
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.
Given Northern California's obsession (i.e. inferiority complex) with Los
Angeles, the closest would be the Galaxy.
Landon Donovan, the most talented American player ever, was
basically responsible for
bringing the championship to San Jose and turning the franchise around.
Canadian Dwayne DeRosario scored the match winner in the first
championship. John Doyle (1996-2000) still holds the record for
"most fouls committed".
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.
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
useful for schedules, ticket prices, etc. The Casbah is the place
to go for the fan's view, it's page is at www.thecasbah.org .
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
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 : www.abseits-soccer.com