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San Jose Earthquakes

The San Jose Earthquakes were first founded in the 1970s as an expansion team from the NASL. The franchise became an MLS team in 1994 but did not begin MLS play until 1996. Famous athletes who have played for the Earthquakes include Chris Wondolowski, Vako, and Landon Donovan.

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Table of Contents

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Team Facts

  • Founding Year: 1994
  • City: San Jose, CA
  • Conference: Western
  • Number of MLS Cups: 2 (Most recent: 2003)
  • Mascot: Q
  • Owner: Lew Wolff
  • Head Coach: Matias Almeyda
  • Stadium: Earthquakes Stadium
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History

The San Jose Earthquakes joined Major League Soccer in 1994 as a part of the Western conference. They were originally named the Clash, before being renamed the Earthquakes prior to the 2000 season. The team ended their first season with a 15-17 win-loss record and a loss to the LA Galaxy in the playoffs. After this first season, they became the first MLS team to make a postseason international tour.

In 2001, the Earthquakes won the MLS Cup Championship for the first time. They would go on to win the cup again in 2003. As of 2020, they have not won another cup, but have had a range of successful and not-so-successful seasons. Striker Chris Wondolowski joined the team in 2011, and has since broken the record for most goals scored in MLS history.

In 2019, the Quakes gained a new coach, Matias Almeyda, who was known for helping teams come back from losing seasons. He drastically changed the way the Quakes played on the field, utilizing young, home-grown players much more than any MLS teams had seen in the past.

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Traditions

Krazy George

Krazy George is a key part of the San Jose Earthquakes. He is a professional cheerleader who is considered to be the inventor of the wave. He has cheered for dozens of teams around the country, and was hired by the San Jose Earthquakes in their very first season in 1996. He rounds the stadium with a drum and a megaphone leading fans in cheers and chants. In his early years, opposite teams actually filed complaints because his antics riled crowds up so much that it was distracting to the players. As of 2020, he still appears at Quakes home games in his quakes jersey with his megaphone. He is definitely a crowd favorite.

Seismic Moments

When the Earthquakes Stadium was built in 2015, they added in a seismograph to detect ground movement in the stadium. Since then, they have been tracking "seismic moments" where the stadium has become so rowdy that the seismograph reads the movement as a small earthquake. Some of the top seismic moments are:

  • October 22, 2017: When Marco Urena scored a goal to send the Quakes to the MLS Cup playoffs.
  • February 29, 2020: When Oswaldo Alanis scored a stoppage time goal to tie a game against Toronto FC.
  • April 11, 2015: When Sanna Nyassi scored a lone goal to win over Vancouver.

Fourth of July Clasico

One of the biggest rivalries in the MLS is between the San Jose Earthquakes and the Los Angeles Galaxy. Whenever these two teams play one another, it is called the California Clasico. In 2012, they started a tradition of playing a Clasico game right around the Fourth of July in the stadium at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California. This game has become a huge event for fans of both teams, with large tailgates taking place before and after the game, and fireworks being set off once the game ends.

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Stadium

The Earthquakes currently play in Earthquakes Stadium, located in San Jose, California. The stadium was built in 2014, and it borders the San Jose Airport, showing cool views of planes taking off and landing. Prior to this, the Quakes were housed at Buckshaw Stadium, which was on campus at Santa Clara University.

Their new stadium has a capacity of 18,000 seats, and holds the largest outdoor bar in North America. The bar is 310 feet in length, and sits at the north end of the stadium. Above it sits a massive screen where fans can watch the game and any important replays.

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Famous Players

There are several famous players who have spent time with the Quakes during their long MLS history. These players include:

  • Landon Donovan
  • Chris Wondolowski
  • Valeri "Vako" Quazaishvili
  • Jeff Agoos
  • Dwayne De Rosario
  • Shea Salinas
  • Steven Lenhart
  • Jon Busch
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Rivalries

The Earthquake's biggest rival in the MLS is the Los Angeles Galaxy. These two teams have had a notorious rivalry since the Quakes joined the league in 1996, being the first two California teams to join the league. Games between them, called California Clasicos, are always high energy for fans and players, and there always feels as if there is a little bit more at stake in these games. In all of the games that they have played one another, the Galaxy has won 41 games, the Quakes have won 31, and they have tied 18.

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Fan Base

The main cheering section for the San Jose Earthquakes is called the San Jose Earthquakes Ultras.

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FAQ

How many MLS Cups have the San Jose Earthquakes won?

The Quakes have only won two MLS cups in their time with the league. They won their first in 2001 against the LA Galaxy. They won the game 2 to 1 in a thrilling extra time finish! Their second win came in 2003 against the Chicago Fire. The Quakes won this game 4 to 2.

When did the San Jose Earthquakes join the MLS?

The Quakes joined the MLS in 1994, but did not play their first season until 1996. They were one of the first teams to join the league alongside the LA Galaxy, the Colorado Rapids, Columbus Crew and more. In this season, there were only 10 teams in the league.

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