SJ Earthquakes fans excited for World Cup

Just a few days to go until the World Cup and Bay Area soccer fans are giddy about the competition and the local players involved.
Tuesday, June 10, 2014
Just two days to go until the World Cup and Bay Area soccer fans are giddy about the competition and the local players involved.

San Jose Earthquakes forward Chris Wondolowski is on the U.S. World Cup team. They arrived in San Paolo on Monday. The team will be facing Ghana, the team that eliminated them from the last two World Cups.

There's a lot to be excited for San Jose soccer fans. They've been watching their new stadium grow over the past several months. They're also excited their player Chris Wondolowski is finally getting some attention around the world.

It's hard to believe that a brand new stadium with 18,000 seats will sit in the shadow of anything. But when you're building it at the same time as the new mammoth 49ers stadium in nearby Santa Clara, you tend to look small.

However, soccer fans in San Jose will get a kick out of this -- the Quakes will shake the region once this opens in 2015. It's now 60 percent completed. The big crane work is done and the terrace for the seats is in place.

Construction is scheduled to be finished in Nov. and the first Earthquakes game on the new pitch will be in March.

However, the structure isn't the only thing expected to be huge.

The Earthquakes' all-time leading scorer Chris Wondolowski is in Brazil playing for the U.S. national team in this year's World Cup.

"It's exciting for our community," said Jed Mettee with the San Jose Earthquakes. "And next year when we open our stadium we're going to have a global icon and soccer player to help open our stadium. And the best part about it is that Chris is a very down to earth guy from the Bay Area connects well with the fans so we couldn't ask for a better superstar to have on our team.

Wondolowski, affectionately known as Wondo to teammates and fans, has come a long way from his days at De la Salle High School in Concord.

He played for Chico State and has been in San Jose since 2009, blossoming into a Major League Soccer all-star and now, a player on the U.S. national team participating in his first World Cup.

Fans, teammates, and his head coach Mark Watson don't expect much to change when he returns from the world stage.

"He hasn't changed one bit in those four or five years," Watson said. "You know he signs every autograph. He's as humble a guy you'd ever meet and what we see every day in terms of the game and training, just being around the locker room, he's still the same guy."

San Jose fans also have another player to cheer for in the World Cup -- defender Victor Bernardez is playing for Honduras.

The 32-year-old has been with the Earthquakes since Dec. 2011 and it's his second trip to the World Cup, having played in South Africa in 2010.

And this weekend, ABC7 is the only place to watch the World Cup live.

Saturday morning you can see Colombia and Greece at 8:30 a.m., followed by Uruguay and Costa Rica at 11:30.

Don't miss a moment of the World Cup action with Watch ABC, which lets you watch matches right on your smartphone, tablet or computer.
Related Topics:
sports travel u.s. & world fifa world cup World Cup FIFA San Jose Earthquakes San Jose
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