Saturday was my first time watching soccer live and I have to admit, I enjoyed the game.
Prior to attending, I had many misconceptions of the game. Based on watching the game on television, my thoughts were that the game was slow and boring. The players just seemed to kick the ball back and forth between themselves in the middle of the field with the occasional kick from the corner.
At the time, soccer was like watching hockey except on a wider field with less scoring and no fights.
Coming into the match, I had no expectations. I left my thoughts and beliefs back in the City.
Upon arrival two hours before the game began, the parking lot was dotted with tailgaters. Beer and bbq were in an abundant supply. There were games where opponents threw sacks of sand at a marked board. Cheers and jeers would erupt after each toss.
As we walked closer to the queue leading to the stadium entrance, loud synchronized chanting filled the air. Off to the side, the San Jose Earthquakes’ supporters were egging on the Los Angeles Galaxies’ supporters who had just deboarded from their twin charter buses. Although small in quantity, the Earthquakes’ supporters were decked out in the blue and black of their team and did their best to show their enthusiam. The Galaxies’ supporters were in disarray for the first few minutes, but came on strong and drowned out the Earthquakes’ supporters with chants of their own.
An omen of things to come.
Once inside, we passed by the merchandise booth. An authentic San Jose Earthquakes’ jersey is pricy–about $120. Bypassing the booth since I am a fan of neither team, we headed to our seats which was situated in the right field bleachers if it were an Oakland A’s game. The sun was bright and unrelenting. My lack of suntan lotion and dark outer wear was going to be the death of me.
I headed to the concession stands to get a beer to cool down. Twenty minutes before the opening ceremony and ten minutes of watching my friends gobble down a tasty looking hot dog, the urge to get one myself was too strong to ignore.
Pushing through the throng of fans in attendance, we finally were able to queue up for Saag’s Specialty Saugages. There were plenty of choices on the menu, but I was only eyeing the Atomic Hot. The dog was twice as long as the rest and spicy to boot. The price was pretty good as well, $6.75 compared to a similar one found at AT&T Park which would have cost $8.50.
Back in my seat with a refill, my first bite of the dog hit me like a mack truck. Spicy hot! I knew I was going to regret eating the dog either later that night or the next morning.
Overall, the game was fast-paced and entertaining. The Galaxy team was so much bigger than the Quakes. The Quakes felt like a JV team compared to the Galaxy. The Quakes seemed to focus most of their defensive attention on David Beckham which let the rest of the Galaxy team run wild.
I could see why Beckham is a star, even from far off seats; he is easily recognizable with his style of play. He closed on attackers faster than the other players and his passing was on-target the entire game.
The field looked much smaller than the one seen on television. On tv, there were wide open space for players to run to receive the ball, but when you are there in person, there does not seem to be much space to maneuver. Or it may just be that the Quakes are not a very good team, seeing as how the Galaxy were able to find holes in the Quakes’ defense any time they wished.
Although the home team lost 0-3 to the visiting team, the game turned out pretty entertaining. I would go again. Maybe.