The Earthquakes new stadium is getting a unique look -- the club announced Tuesday that the teams planned stadium will include luxury suites directly next to the field of play, a feature that Earthquakes president Dave Kaval says will be unique in the world of professional sports. Unveiling our state-of-the-art luxury suites is another landmark moment for our club as we push forward with our new stadium plans, Kaval said. These suites are different from any other experience in professional sports because fans will be intertwined with the action on the field. Fans in these suites will be just as close to the game as our technical staff and players on the bench. The move could also prove a boost in the Earthquakes quest to strength their relationship with the technology industry in the Silicon Valley. While talking to CSN Bay Area earlier this month about building corporate partnerships, Kaval explained, I think in many ways we really need the new stadium to really have additional ways to incorporate more partners. The suites will have 17 seats apiece and amenities such as in-suite catering, a private bar and a lounge area with a High Definition television. They will come at a cost of 70,000 per season, with a minimum five-year commitment, making for a total cost of 350,000. The suites will be available not only for Earthquakes games, but international games and other events as well. Tickets will go on sale to Earthquakes season ticket-holders on Friday, Dec. 2 and to the general public a week later, on Dec. 9. On the design front, Kaval had previously advocated the idea of putting the fans as close to the action as possible, explaining, that much of the inspiration for the idea came from the Earthquakes current home at Buck Shaw Stadium on the campus of University of Santa Clara. I think the biggest thing people will notice when theyre at our new venue is how close you are to the pitch, Kaval said. And the funny thing is where we sort of learned that from was Buck Shaw. Because Buck Shaw, for all its failings and complications, you are so close to the action. Kaval also pointed out that putting fans so close to the action was not just unique for American sports, but something that visitors from other countries admired. I remember even having people come over from England or Brazil and theyre like, I dont think Ive ever been so close, he said. Kaval went on to liken the concept of putting fans close to the action to courtside seats at NBA games, saying, We wanted to duplicate that, because I think that creates a very unique experience and one that is uniquely soccer in the same way that you go to the NBA and sit on the floor. The current plans for the stadium have six suites located on each side of the field, close to the halfway line, meaning that fans on one side of the stadium will be right next to the players and coaches on the bench and a few yards from the sideline. We want to make sure and were going to be so close to the action that people really feel like theyre on top of it and they feel a connection to the team and to players, Kaval said of the stadiums design. All this has come even as the club awaits a planned development permit for the stadium from the city of San Jose, with a decision expected Dec. 14. The team will then have to get a building permit for the stadium, but Kaval said earlier in November that we still feel that were hitting our objectives with regards towards starting construction next year.For more Earthquakes, MLS and world soccer chatter, you can follow Nick Rosano on Twitter: @nicholasrosano
HOUSTON — Alberth Elis and Vicente Sanchez each had a goal and an assist, and the Houston Dynamo blanked the San Jose Earthquakes 3-0 on Saturday night.
Houston (10-7-7) joined Seattle and Sporting Kansas City at the top of the Western Conference standings by improving to 9-0-3 at home.
Elis got his head on a corner kick by Boniek García to open the scoring with his seventh goal in the 21st minute. It was the Dynamos' league-leading 17th goal off a set piece.
Elis helped ice the game in the 86th minute with a nifty touch to get around a defender before Sanchez beat his defender and the goalkeeper to the centering pass for his first goal.
Sanchez gathered a loose ball just before it crossed the end line and centered it to Mauro Manotas for his eighth goal in stoppage time.
Tyler Deric had three saves for his fourth shutout.
San Jose (9-10-5) has lost five straight on the road and remains one point up on Vancouver for the final playoff spot.
It appears that stretches at Avaya Stadium for the San Jose Earthquakes are showing up on the schedule at just the right times.
Not too long ago, the Quakes were reeling after a miserable stretch of soccer on the road. But now, after two straight wins at Avaya -- the latest a 2-1 victory over Columbus Crew SC on Saturday -- San Jose is once again knocking on MLS' playoff door.
Marco Ureña scored in the 42nd minute and Chris Wondolowski added the eventual game-winner in the 56th.
It's going to make for a nail-biting latter part of the season for sure in the super tight Western Conference. But for now celebrate with these five takeaways from the Earthquakes' ninth win of the season.
-- Don't look now, but the win on Saturday means the Quakes have already surpassed their total from last year. The victory jumps their point total to 32, good for fifth in the Western Conference as of this article's publication. Dallas' loss and more importantly Vancouver's draw were huge results for San Jose as the season turns to the scoreboard-watching phase with eight teams jockeying for six playoff spots.
-- Have a game, Tommy Thompson. Columbus controlled the first 20-25 minutes but it was around that time that the midfielder began to put his stamp on the match -- much to the appreciation of his San Jose teammates. He gave Columbus fits purely with his work rate and along with his assist, he came within inches of his second goal of the season. It was undoubtedly one of Thompson's most complete matches. Not only did he facilitate Wondolowski's goal, but defensively, Thompson was a visible and noticeable force. One has to wonder if he's turned the corner with that aspect of the game -- it was his defense that many speculated was keeping him out of the lineup during Dominic Kinnear's time as the head coach.
-- Marco Ureña scored his third goal of the season and his first since a 2-1 win over Real Salt Lake on June 24. Ureña was a mainstay in Kinnear's lineup and hasn't really gotten the opportunity to earn the trust of new head coach Chris Leitch -- with a lot of his time spent on international duty since the Leitch was hired. Keep an eye out on that relationship.
And, it's also time to acknowledge another round number for Wondolowski. With his goal in the 56th minute, the forward has hit the 130 career goals mark -- 123 of those have come since 2010.
Wondolowski is still fourth on the all-time list but now he's only three behind Jaime Moreno and four behind Jeff Cunningham.
-- That's now back-to-back impressive performances for David Bingham. And that has to feel super good for the former Cal keeper considering the defensive disaster that was San Jose's most recent road trip.
-- After years of research and MLS flirting with the idea, Video Replay is here. And like most new things that are introduced into a sport rich in tradition, there is plenty of chatter -- for and against the change -- floating around.
There will be four main areas of focus for MLS' new VAR: goals, penalty calls, direct red-card incidents and cases of mistaken identity (when it relates to yellow and red cards).
On Saturday, the system was not truly tested except for the couple of minutes it took to analyze Adam Jahn's goal for Columbus.