• Friday Jan 31, 2014

    San Jose Earthquakes celebrate 40th anniversary

    The San Jose Earthquakes unveiled their new uniforms on January 30, 2014. (Photo courtesy of the San Jose Earthquakes) 

    SAN JOSE, California -- A club that lives by the mantra its players epitomize on the field, the San Jose Earthquakes celebrated their 40-year “Never Say Die” history on Thursday with a huge anniversary party in downtown San Jose.  As part of the celebration, the Quakes unveiled a new team logo and presented their 2014 primary and secondary jerseys. 

    “This is truly a historic day for our organization, celebrating 40 years,” said team president Dave Kaval to a capacity crowd of supporters.  “What an amazing and long and winding road it’s been to get here: the ups and downs, the team leaving then coming back.  There is no way we would be here today, forging a new path forward, without the support of all the people here today.” 

    The original Earthquakes were founded in 1974 as part of the North American Soccer League (NASL).  Soccer greats like English forward Paul Child and Northern Irish attacking midfielder George Best donned the Quakes’ red kits during the team’s 11-year NASL run.  When the league folded in 1984, the club continued on as part of the Western Soccer Alliance. 

    Soccer’s rich tradition in San Jose took a big step forward when, in 1996, Major League Soccer welcomed the club back as the Clash.  United States internationals John Doyle and Eric Wynalda anchored the side in those early MLS seasons, and the club survived in the upstart league.  By 2000, the Earthquakes moniker had returned, and the team captured two MLS Cups in the next three years.  After having the organization relocated to Houston, fans welcomed back the reborn Quakes to MLS in 2008 and have supported them strongly ever since.

    “Despite all the obstacles and adversity, we as a club and community have never given up,” Kaval said in an open letter to all fans.  “Our hardship has made us appreciate what we have even more and has deepened our commitment and devotion to being a member of the Quakes family.” 

    And so 2014 marks four decades of comebacks for the club, through an alphabet soup acronymic roll call of leagues and organizations, exemplars of American professional soccer’s past.  The Earthquakes never-say-die catchphrase perfectly encapsulates what the club has always been about on the field and in the community, and even is emblazoned on the backs of their new jerseys.

    “That has really become part of the ethos of the club,” said Kaval.  “It carries forward all the history of the club, and coming back from behind as the underdog.  We love that part of the Earthquakes’ heritage and want to make sure it was represented.”

    With the launch of a new logo and new uniforms completed, the club moves forward in its preseason in preparation for the start of the MLS season and the quarterfinal round of the CONCACAF Champions League.  The Quakes will host Liga MX powerhouse Toluca on March 11 to kick off their CCL knockout round series and, four days later, welcome Real Salt Lake for the domestic opener.

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