Santa Clara soccer fans are used to cheering former Broncos who turn pro and do their alma mater proud. But starting this spring, with the return of Major League Soccer (MLS) to the Bay Area, the crowds at Buck Shaw Stadium can cheer on the pros right on Bronco turf. That’s because for the next couple of years the San Jose Earthquakes will be playing the majority of their home games on the Mission campus, with the balance being played at the Oakland Coliseum.
The good news was made public in late October. The arrival of the Earthquakes on campus will be preceded by major improvements made by the San Jose team to both Buck Shaw Stadium and Stanton Field, which is used by Broncos men’s and women’s soccer teams for practice. Look for seating in Buck Shaw to nearly double, for the addition of a state-of-the-art digital video board and new public address system, and for a field basking in lights reconfigured specifically for soccer.
Nearly three years ago, Bay Area soccer fans lamented the departure of Major League Soccer from San Jose for Houston, where the team was rechristened the Dynamo. The return of the Earthquakes in ’08 also brings home former Broncos defenders Ryan Cochrane ’05 and Joe Cannon ’98. Now 24 years old Cochrane last year helped anchor for the Dynamo what the San Jose Mercury News esteems the best defense in MLS. Cannon, 33, is two-time MLS goalie of the year and made the All-Star Team with the Quakes in 2001-02.—JM and SBS