1968 - 2014

For Club and Country: San José's Soccer Heroes

History San José

A source of pride to soccer fans are the local club heroes chosen to represent their respective countries in international competition, including regional qualifying tournaments, the Olympics, friendly matches, and the World Cup. Since the earliest years of professional soccer in the Bay Area with the North American Soccer League (NASL), through the triumphs of professional women’s soccer and the success of Major League Soccer (MLS), over 100 men and women have represented their countries as well as our local teams. The following exhibit is a selection of items from The San José Soccer Legacy Collection recognizing many of these players.

The San Jose Soccer Legacy Collection at History San José is large and growing through the ongoing generosity of the Soccer Silicon Valley Community Foundation (http://www.ssvcf.org). The collection comprises over 300 photographs, 2000 objects, videos, books, and magazines about Bay Area soccer, as well as ephemera such as ticket stubs, posters, and game programs that focus on youth, collegiate, and professional soccer primarily in San José and Santa Clara.

Poster charting San Jose Clash and Earthquakes players who have played in the World Cup, 2014

Early Years

The North American Soccer League (NASL) was launched in 1967 with the Oakland Clippers-a team that existed through the 1968 season. The San Jose Earthquakes followed in 1974 and survived until 1988 through the upheaval of several leagues including the NASL that ceased operations in 1984. Those early NASL years were characterized by foreign players coming to the United States to complete their careers with many of them playing for the United States Men’s National Team (USMNT).

Mirko Stojanović, 1968
San Jose Earthquakes #2 defender Arthur ”Art” or ”Buzz” Demling, c. 1976
Forward Boris Bandov was born in Yugoslavia., 1975
Quakes forward Jimmy Johnstone leaping in response to sliding tackle by Seattle Sounders #16 Adrian Webster at match at Spartan Stadium, San Jose State University,1975
San Jose Earthquakes midfielder Ilija Mitić, 1975
The San Jose Earthquakes celebrate their 1975 NASL indoor championship at the Cow Palace in Daly City,
San Jose Earthquakes #22 striker Juli Veee, shown in 1976, was born in Budapest, Hungary
Paul Child (Earthquakes 1974-79, USA 1973) #10 forward game-worn jersey, 1977
San Jose Earthquakes #11 forward Mark Liveric in action during a match in 1976 at Spartan Stadium.
Forward Leroy Spann (Earthquakes 1978, Trinidad and Tobago 1974-82), 1978
#20 defender Doc Lawson (Earthquakes 1979, USA 1979), 1979
San Jose Earthquakes badge featuring #11 forward George Best (Earthquakes 1980-82, Northern Ireland 1964-77), 1980
Miro Pavlovic (Earthquakes 1976-77, 1980, Yugoslavia 1968-74) #8 midfielder game-worn jersey,1980
Golden Bay Earthquakes badge featuring #12 midfielder Leonardo Cuéllar (San Jose Earthquakes 1982, Golden Bay Earthquakes 1982-84, Mexico 1973-81), c. 1983

Finding Their Way

During the late 1980s and early 90s, players in the Bay Area played on semi-professional teams such as the San Jose Oaks and the San Francisco Bay Blackhawks. 

Despite the lack of professional leagues in America, growing pools of talented players were available for the United States National Teams. The U. S. Men's National Team qualified for the World Cup—the first time in 40 years in 1990. The U. S. Women's National Team won the first ever Women’s World Cup in 1991 with several players who would go onto play in the Women’s United Soccer Association—the first professional league for women. The United States hosted the World Cup in 1994; six matches were played at Stanford Stadium in Palo Alto.

June/July 1991 Soccer Digest with cover story on San Francisco Bay Blackhawks Dominic Kinnear (Blackhawks 1989-93, Clash 1997, USA 1990-93).
Poster of 1991 USWNT photo, autographed by entire team.
USMNT defender #3 John Doyle in action in a friendly match against Scotland on May 17, 1992 at Mile High Stadium in Denver. The U.S. was defeated 1-0.

Major League Soccer

With the success of the 1994 World Cup driving enthusiasm, Major League Soccer (MLS) was founded in 1996. The San Jose Clash hosted and won the first ever MLS match on April 6, 1996 at Spartan Stadium at San José State University on a goal from USA International Eric Wynalda. Wynalda also served on the USMNT during the 1998 World Cup in France as did future Earthquakes defender Jeff Agoos.

San Jose Clash players protecting their privates defending a free kick with forward #8 Jeff Baicher (Blackhawks 1989-92, Clash 1996-99, USA 1990-91), winger #21 Eddie Lewis (Clash 1996-99, USA 1996-2008), forward #11 Eric Wynalda (Blackhawks 1990-92, Clash 1996-99, USA 1990-2000), and defender/midfielder #15 Istvan Urbanyi (Clash 1997-98, Hungary 1990).
San Jose Clash winger Eddie Lewis (Clash 1996-99, USA 1996-2008), 1998
Members of the 1998 USMNT at Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex to prepare for the 1998 France World Cup: forward Eric Wynalda (Blackhawks 1990-92, Clash 1996-99, USA 1990-2000), midfielder John Harkes, defender Marcelo Balboa (Blackhawks 1990-91, USA 1988-2000), and winger Preki Radosavljević (San Jose Grizzlies 1994-95, USA 1996-2001).
Martín Vásquez (Clash 1998, Mexico 1991-92, USA 1996-97) #6 midfielder jersey, 1998
Ronaldo Cerritos (Clash 1997-1999, Earthquakes 2000-01, 2005, El Salvador 1993-2008) #20 forward game-worn jersey, 1999

Women’s Soccer

In 1999, the United States hosted the Women’s World Cup featuring four matches at San José State University's Spartan Stadium and a semi-final at Stanford Stadium. Sold-out attendance at venues nation-wide and the dramatic, ecstatic win by the U. S. Women's National Team drove momentum for the country’s first professional women’s league, founded in 2000. International stars from the 1999 tournament joined teams throughout the new WUSA league, including the Bay Area CyberRays. The CyberRays won the league’s first championship in 2001 -- The Founder’s Cup. The WUSA was ultimately unsustainable; it folded at the end of the 2003 season.

Newsweek July 19, 1999 with cover photo of USWNT player and San Jose native Brandi Chastain (Santa Clara Broncos 1989-90, CyberRays 2001-03, FC Gold Pride 2009, USA 1988-2004).
Brandi Chastain (Santa Clara Broncos 1989-90, CyberRays 2001-03, FC Gold Pride 2009, USA 1988-2004) #6 midfielder/defender USWNT jersey. Worn during the 1999 Women’s World Cup tournament in the U.S.
Bay Area CyberRays Inaugural Season team photo poster including international players, 2001
Refrigerator magnet sponsored by Fox Sports Net, KICU 36, and Tickets.com. Features photo of #9 Kátia (CyberRays 2001-03, Brazil 1995-).
Tisha Venturini (CyberRays 2001-03, USA 1992-2000) #15 midfielder game-worn jersey, 2001
Julie Murray (CyberRays 2001, Australia 1987-2000) #8 forward game-worn jersey, 2001
Sissi (CyberRays 2001-03, FC Gold Pride 2009, Brazil 1983-2000) #10 midfielder game-worn jersey, 2002

Quake’s Success

Meanwhile in Major League Soccer, the Clash renamed themselves San Jose Earthquakes in 2000. Between 2000 and 2005, the Quakes won two MLS Championships and one Supporter’s Shield. The Quakes roster during this period was loaded with international stars or stars-to-be.

Landon Donovan (Earthquakes 2001-04, USA 2000-) #10 forward game-worn jersey from first leg semi-final loss to Miami Fusion on October 10, 2001, at Lockhart Stadium, in Ft. Lauderdale
Bobblehead of goalkeeper Joe Cannon (Clash 1999, Earthquakes 2000-02, 2008-10, USA 2003-05) holding 2001 MLS Cup, 2002
Roster card featuring forward #20 Ariel Graziani (Earthquakes2000-02, Ecuador 1997-2000), 2002
Roster card featuring defender #24 Wade Barrett (Clash 1998-99, Earthquakes 2000-02, 2005, USA 2002-2007, 2002
Troy Dayak (Blackhawks 1989-93, Clash 1996-98, Earthquakes 2001-05, USA 1990-91) #19 defender game-worn jersey, 2003
Bobblehead of forwards Landon Donovan (Earthquakes 2001-04, USA 2000-) holding the 2001 and 2003 MLS Cups and wearing 2001 and 2003 championship rings, 2004
San Jose Earthquakes 2004 season ticket with embossed silver image of Ramiro Corrales
San Jose Earthquakes 2004 season ticket with embossed silver image of Dwayne De Rosario
Calendar page from 2004 San Jose Earthquakes Team Calendar featuring #18 goalkeeper Pat Onstad (Earthquakes 2003-05, Canada 1988-2010).
Program insert featuring #25 forward Brian Ching (Earthquakes 2003-05, USA 2003-10), 2004
Alejandro Moreno (Earthquakes 2005, Venezuela 2004-11) #15 forward game-worn warm-up jersey, 2005

World Cup Hopes

Although the U. S. Men's National Team suffered a poor 1998 World Cup, the pool of available quality players grew as the popularity of the sport increased in America. In 2002, the World Cup was hosted jointly by Korea and Japan. The Americans reached the quarterfinals before losing to Germany. In 2006, at the Germany World Cup, the USMNT failed to get out of their group, but that disappointment drove the team to winning the 2007 Gold Cup and making it to the Finals of the 2009 Confederations Cup in South Africa. In 2010, at the World Cup hosted by South Africa, the Americans won their group but were not able to progress beyond that victory.

Placard from USMNT locker room at Spartan Stadium where Bruce Arena coached his first USMNT match, 1998
Jeff Agoos (Earthquakes 2001-04, USA 1988-2003) #12 defender game-worn USMNT jersey. Agoos is the most capped U.S. defender with 134 matches, 2001
Starting line-up for the USMNT from November 2001 Soccer Jr. magazine.
Sports Illustrated, June 24, 2002 with cover photo of San Jose Earthquakes and U.S. Men’s National Team player Landon Donovan
2002 Adidas World Cup Korea/Japan referee uniform worn by Brian Hall at Match 38, Group F England vs. Nigeria at Osaka Nagai Stadium on June 2, 2002
Richard Mulrooney (Clash 1999, Earthquakes 2000-04, USA 2003) #8 midfielder game-worn USMNT jersey from friendly match against Wales on May 26, 2003, at Spartan Stadium.
USMNT starting lineup in friendly match against Sweden on January 19, 2008 at Home Depot Center in Carson, California.

Women Never Give Up

Despite the lack of a professional league, women’s soccer still thrived in international, youth, and collegiate competition with record numbers of NCAA scholarships offered to young players. Another league, Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS), commenced play in 2009 with FC Gold Pride based in Santa Clara, attracting several of the world’s best female players to the team’s roster. FC Gold Pride won the WPS championship in 2010 but was forced to cease operations for financial reasons before the 2011 season. In 2013, the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) started playing. Although there is no team currently located in the Bay Area, several players from clubs and colleges in the Bay Area continue to play in the NWSL and for the USWNT.

Aly Wagner (Santa Clara Broncos 1998-2002, USA 1998-2008) #10 midfielder game-worn USWNT jersey, 2007
Leslie Osborne (Santa Clara Broncos 2001-04, FC Gold Pride 2009, USA 2004-) bobblehead in USWNT uniform, 2009
FC Gold Pride team photo with 2009 schedule.
FC Gold Pride 2010 Home Schedule at Pioneer Stadium at CSU East Bay
Marta (FC Gold Pride 2010, Brazil 2002-) #10 forward game-worn jersey, 2010

Give the People What They Want

After the San Jose Earthquakes were moved to Houston in 2006, soccer-inspired community activism took hold. The organization Soccer Silicon Valley (SSV) formed to find a way to bring a Major League Soccer team back to San José. Very quickly, the owners of the Oakland Athletics Major League Baseball team, Lew Wolff and John Fisher, bought the Earthquakes franchise with plans to build a new stadium, and the team returned in 2009. 

SSV continued to work towards helping the Quakes secure a stadium location next to the Norman Y. Mineta San José International Airport. Groups like SSV’s Soccer Silicon Valley Community Foundation (SSVCF) and the Bay Area Women’s Sports Initiative (BAWSI) continue to cultivate a positive, charitable relationship with the soccer-loving community.

While the new stadium is being built, the Quakes have played at Buck Shaw Stadium at Santa Clara University. As in the NASL days, the team’s roster has featured several international players who have made appearances for their national teams. During the 2014 FIFA Brazil World Cup, Quakes fans have two stars to support: defender Victor “Muma” Bernárdez for Honduras and forward Chris “Wondo” Wondolowski for the USA and both for San José!

Ryan Johnson (Earthquakes 2008-11, Jamaica 2006-) #19 forward game-worn jersey, 2008
Bobby Convey (Earthquakes 2009-11, USA 2000-08) game-worn cleats, 2009
#7 midfielder Simon Elliott (Earthquakes 2009, New Zealand 1995-2011) during pre-game line-up for the National Anthem, 2009
Steven Beitashour (Earthquakes 2010-2013, Iran 2013-) #33 defender jersey, 2010
Poster advertising the 3rd Annual SSVCF Dinner on September 17, 2010 at History Park with keynote speaker former San Jose Earthquakes forward and General Manager Johnny Moore (Earthquakes 1974-77, USA 1972-75)
Reach Up! World Foundation (founded by Brandi Chastain) jersey worn by #21 Fernando Clavijo (Golden Bay Earthquakes 1983-84, USA 1990-94) at Chastain's charity testimonial match on October 2, 2010 at Buck Shaw Stadium.
Chris Wondolowski (Earthquakes 2005, 2009-, USA 2011-) #11 forward game-worn USMNT from friendly match against Spain on June 4, 2011 at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts.
Khari Stephenson (Earthquakes 2010-12, 2014-, Jamaica 2004-) #7 midfielder game-worn jersey, 2011
Roster card featuring #16 forward Alan Gordon (Earthquakes 2011-, USA 2012-), 2012
Poster advertising the 5th Annual SSVCF Dinner on October 12, 2012 at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View
Roster card featuring #26 defender Víctor Bernárdez (Earthquakes 2012-, Honduras 2004-), 2013
San Jose Earthquakes Program, 2013 Season, Issue 5 announcing three new Quakes players
#81 winger Marvin Chávez (Earthquakes 2012-13, Honduras 2006-) in Autograph Alley on his way to warm-up for match vs. Sporting Kansas City on August 18, 2013 at Buck Shaw Stadium.
#10 midfielder Walter Martínez (Earthquakes 2013, Honduras 2002-11) in Autograph Alley on his way to warm-up for match vs. Philadelphia Union on September 8, 2013 at Buck Shaw Stadium.
#44 defender Clarence Goodson (Earthquakes 2013-, USA 2008-) in Autograph Alley on his way to warm-up for match vs. FC Dallas on October 26, 2013 at Buck Shaw Stadium.
Chris Wondolowski (Earthquakes 2005, 2009-, USA 2011-) #18 forward during USMNT friendly match against Azerbaijan on May 27, 2014 at Candlestick Park in preparation for the 2014 Brazil World Cup.
Credits: Story

Curator — Katrina Anderson, Collections and Exhibitions Volunteer, History San José
Online Exhibit Creator — Catherine Mills, Project Archivist, History San José

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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