San Jose Earthquakes' MLS leading record has caused a problem for the league as the MLS Cup final may now be played in one of the league's smallest venues.
The 'Quakes are currently sitting pretty at the top of Major League Soccer, three points clear of Sporting Kansas City with three games remaining, and are in line for home advantage throughout the play-offs. And, if the California-based franchise reaches the MLS Cup final on December 1st, the club will be in a dilemma.
San Jose's current home is 10,525-seater Buck Shaw Stadium, also home of Santa Clara University's NCAA soccer team, but it is one of the oldest and smallest venues in a league that is being spoilt with new stadiums over recent years.
The club has other options but they are not without issues. Spartan Stadium, home of the San Jose State football team, seats 30,000 but has an artificial turf surface. Adding a temporary grass surface over the current field would not be an option as it would be costly and potentially dangerous to the players.
A more realistic venue would be the 50,000-seater Stanford Stadium. The stadium has a grass field and the amenities needed to host the MLS Cup final, but Stanford University's Cardinals football team could have a game in there in the night before. If Stanford win the Pac-12 North conference and have the best record in the league, it would host the Pac-12 championship game on November 30th. Earthquakes president David Kaval stated the stadium logistically couldn't accommodate football and soccer games in consecutive days.
The problem provides no initial solution, but Kaval is confident it will be resolved: "With those options we're going to find a suitable location for the game if we're fortunate enough to host it."
Posted on 07/10/2012