Quakes stadium looms large for Wolff, A's

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Quakes stadium looms large for Wolff, A's

Lew Wolff is waiting to hear about a stadium in San Jose this week.

No, not that one.

The As stadium in San Jose -- which is in the infancy stage -- gets all the headlines. But Wolff is much further along with plans for a soccer stadium for the San Jose Earthquakes.

On Wednesday night the San Jose Planning Commission is expected to make a decision on the building permit.

The permit was approved in December but was appealed by a neighborhood group.

The 60 million, 18,000-seat Earthquakes stadium is the canary in the coal mine for Wolff. How this process goes could very much impact his plans to build a 500 million baseball stadium in the same city, dealing with the same planning department and same public.

The history of the project shows just how difficult it is to get even a small stadium built that will host only 30-35 events a year.

A quick review of the Earthquakes stadium plans would put anyone off from assuming they can be watching baseball in San Jose within the next few years.

Thoughts that the four-year contract the As just gave Yoenis Cespedes could take the As into a new ballpark? Well, maybe into the first round of neighborhood appeals.

The Earthquakes stadium was proposed in 2007 as part of larger mixed-use plan, complete with retail and a hotel. By 2008 the plan was reduced to a smaller site. By 2009, in the midst of a cratering economy, Wolff backed away from his planned 2012 opening date. Finally, in early January of 2011, Wolff submitted an application for a development permit. That was approved in December.

But in January a neighborhood group appealed, saying the impact of noise and lights hasnt been properly analyzed and that some of the language in the permit is too vague.

So even a small plot of industrial land hard by an airport and railroad tracks is going to face obstacles.

If the planning permit is approved tonight, the team will still have to apply for a building permit.

Anyone who is surprised that the process of getting any kind of a stadium built in California takes this long must be a) new here or b) not paying attention.

For five years Wolff and associates have had to play nice, massage the process and accommodate everybody for the rights to build a soccer stadium.

But the real goal isnt a soccer stadium. The real prize lies ahead.

Freelance writer Ann Killion is a regular contributor to CSNBayArea.com and Chronicle Live.

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from Quakes' lopsided loss to Red Bulls

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USATSI

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from Quakes' lopsided loss to Red Bulls

BOX SCORE

The San Jose Earthquakes had one big thing going for them when they took on the New York Red Bulls Wednesday evening — they were on 10 days rest having last played a truly competitive match on July 10 in U.S. Open Cup action.

Unfortunately for the Quakes, they failed to take advantage of that in losing to the Red Bulls 5-1 — definitely not the return to the pitch they were hoping for.  

Here are five takeaways from a Wednesday evening, lopsided loss to NYR. 

— The Quakes had no answer for Sacha Kljestan. The Red Bulls midfielder, who frequented the U.S. Men’s National Team roster at one point, was not called to international duty for the ongoing FIFA Gold Cup and San Jose paid the price for that — the man finessed the Quakes to death on Wednesday evening, factoring in three New York goals with his use of spacing in the Red Bulls midfield. 

— There were a couple of big debuts for San Jose. First, newly signed designated player Valeri Qazaishvili — who the MLS world is calling Vako — made his league debut when in he came as a substitute for Danny Hoesen at halftime. The Georgian native showed flashes with his early touch, but never really factored in the game until the 88th minute when he scored the Quakes’ lone goal on a volley tap courtesy of a nifty Jahmir Hyka cross. It’s a nice debut on the scoresheet, but San Jose is expecting DP-esque things from the Georgian. 

— And second, welcome back, Quincy Amarikwa. The forward has been sidelined since September of 2016 when he suffered ACL and LCL damage that required surgery. Amarikwa has been documenting his recovery on social media and surprised Quakes fans when he make his on-pitch return last week in a friendly against Germany’s Eintracht Frankfurt. On Wednesday, he made his official return in the 76th minute. Amarikwa has nine goals and seven assists in 41 career appearances with the Quakes. 

— It definitely wasn’t the homecoming head coach Chris Leitch was hoping for. Leitch played for five seasons over with the New York club. He made 101 appearances for the Metrostars/Red Bulls, assisting on five goals during his career. 

He’s now 0-1-0 as an opposing head coach. 

— It’s unfair to nitpick on a single defensive effort, given that soccer is a team sport, but the Red Bulls attacked center back Andres Imperiale often Wednesday afternoon — and more often than not, they were rewarded with a scoring opportunity. It’s the second straight poor showing on the road for the Quakes defense as a whole after surrendering a four-spot to Atlanta United FC on Independence Day.

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from Quakes' historic US Open Cup win over Galaxy

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from Quakes' historic US Open Cup win over Galaxy

It was a historic night over at Avaya Stadium. 

For the first time in U.S. Open Cup history, the San Jose Earthquakes have beaten their bitter rivals, the Los Angeles Galaxy -- 3-2. 

The win also propels the Quakes to just their second appearance in the tournament's semifinals. 

Chris Wondolowski scored a brace to lead the way while Danny Hoesen added the insurance. 

Here are a handful of things to know about Monday's win over the Galaxy. 

-- The sixth time was the charm as the Quakes had lost five previous meetings against their rivals. But the night began with some doubts when Jelle Van Damme scored in just the third minute. His header was goal No. 2 in the last two games against the Quakes.

But Wondolowski equalized courtesy of Tommy Thompson in the 16th minute and then put the San Jose up for good six minutes in the second half -- once again, thanks to Thompson. 

Hoesen scored a breakaway goal about ten minutes later.  

-- If you tried to find Wondolowski on the pitch using his regular number, you were unsuccessful. 

Wondolowski was sporting No. 38 Monday night in honor of Matheus Silva, the Quakes midfielder playing for Reno 1868 on loan who suffered swimming accident July 4 in Lake Tahoe. 

Silva was in a coma until July 6. 

Fittingly, the forward scored twice. Wondolowski's goal is the sixth of his U.S. Open Cup career. He's now tied for the all-time lead in Earthquakes history.  

-- Pregame, the Quakes introduced their latest acquisition, Designated Player Valeri ‘Vako’ Qazaishvili, to the press. 

Qazaishvili began his career in his native Georgia with FC Saburtalo in 2010, spending time on loan with Metalurgi Rustavi and Sioni Bulnisi. 

He then moved on to Vitesse in August of 2011 at just 18 years old, tallying one goal in four appearances for the first team in his debut season.

-- Speaking of Georgia, the Bay Area now boasts two of the nation's very best athletes. Zaza Pachulia, the starting center of the NBA Champion Golden State Warriors, was in attendance MOnday night. 

The center kicked the ceremonial first goal. 

He also swapped jerseys with Vako -- as per usual in soccer circles. No word on Pachulia's footy game. 

-- The Quakes have already equaled their best ever finish in Cup history. They'll now try to surpass that when they face either Sporting Kansas City of FC Dallas -- who play Tuesday night.