SAN JOSE, Calif. – The San Jose Earthquakes, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom and Soccer United Marketing (SUM) announced today that they will host a doubleheader spectacular at Candlestick Park on Saturday, August 8. The Earthquakes will take on the defending MLS Cup Champion Columbus Crew at 5:30 p.m. PT, followed by UEFA Champions League winner FC Barcelona against Mexican powerhouse Club Deportivo Guadalajara (more popularly known as Chivas). The match will mark Barça’s first visit ever to the Bay Area. Barça and Chivas have played twice before in the United States with Barça posting a win and a tie.
“We are excited to host the ‘Night of Champions’ with the two-time MLS Cup Champion Earthquakes, the reigning MLS Cup Champion Crew, FC Barcelona, who won the Champions League this year, and Chivas, who have 11 Mexican league titles,” said Earthquakes Executive Vice President David Alioto. “We are constantly working to bring big soccer events to Northern California and this doubleheader is a perfect example of that. We would like to thank Mayor Newsom and the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department for partnering with us on this special event. With two great matches and the world-class talent that will be on display, it really will be a magical night.”
Tickets to see the Spanish giant, whose honors include 19 La Liga trophies, a record-setting 25 Copa del Rey championships and three UEFA Champions League titles, will go on sale to the general public on Monday, June 22. Season ticket holders will receive a comparable ticket to the match and will receive new tickets to the match in the mail. A special presale will be held for Earthquakes season ticket holders and other Earthquakes partners from Wednesday, June 17-21. Season ticket holders should contact the Earthquakes Front Office at 408-556-7700 to purchase additional tickets or for any questions and concerns. Tickets prices start at $30 and can be purchased by calling (800) 225-2277 or by logging on to sjearthquakes.com.
FC Barcelona intends on bringing its heralded roster of international superstars that currently includes Lionel Messi, Rafael Marquez, Xavi, Carles Puyol, Thierry Henry and Andres Iniesta. The club just finished their treble winning season. They won all three of their major competitions: Spain’s La Liga, UEFA Champions League and Copa del Rey. After finishing the season with 87 points and capturing the La Liga title, Barça went on to defeat Manchester United 2-0 in the UEFA Champions League Final with goals from Samuel Eto’o and Lionel Messi. Messi, a 21-year-old Argentinean, finished as the highest scorer, with nine goals, and as the Most Valuable Player of the UEFA competition. He is also in the running for the FIFA World Player of the Year Award for 2009. Barça also defeated Athletic Bilbao 4-1 in the final of the Copa del Rey.
Guadalajara is one of the top teams in the Primera Division de Mexico, the highest professional division in Mexico, and returns to the U.S. to take part in what will be a rematch against FC Barcelona of the 1-1 tie played in 2008 in front of 92,650 fans at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Chivas have won a Mexican Primera Division record 11 league titles in their existence.
The Earthquakes have had great success hosting international matches during the past three seasons. Mexico has played a number of matches in recent years at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, including a match on January 28 against Sweden in front of 46,550 fans. The two previous trips by Mexico to the Coliseum resulted in sellout crowds of 47,416. The Mexican national team defeated Ecuador 4-2 on March 28, 2007 and more recently on March 2, 2008, the Under-23 teams of Mexico and Australia tied 1-1. Also, the Quakes hosted a sold-out SuperLiga match between Mexican sides Chivas and Atlante at Buck Shaw Stadium in 2008.
This trip will mark Barça’s third tour on American soil in partnership with Soccer United Marketing. In 2006, the FC Barcelona USA Tour registered the highest average attendance for any club tour in U.S. history, averaging 80,734 in three matches. Barcelona played in front of three sold-out crowds: at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum (vs. CD Guadalajara, 1-1 on Aug. 6 in front of 92,650), at Houston’s Reliant Stadium (vs. Club America, 3-3 on Aug. 9, with a crowd of 70,550), and at Giants Stadium in E. Rutherford, NJ (vs. NY Red Bulls, 4-1 on Aug. 12, in front of 79,002).
In 2008, FC Barcelona USA Tour visited two cities and averaged 40,000 fans. On August 3, FC Barcelona defeated one of Mexico’s most historic clubs, CD Guadalajara, 5-2 at Chicago’s Soldier Field. Three days later, on Aug. 6, Barça defeated MLS’ New York Red Bulls 6-2 at New Jersey’s Giants Stadium.
Information regarding media accreditation for the tour will be made available to the national and international press in the coming days.
About San Jose Earthquakes
The San Jose Earthquakes are a Major League Soccer team that entered the league as an expansion franchise in 2008. The Earthquakes play their home matches at Buck Shaw Stadium and Oakland Alameda County Coliseum. The team played in San Jose from 1996-2005 before being relocated to Houston. The Earthquakes won the MLS Cup in 2001 and 2003 and captured the Supporter’s Shield in 2005. The Earthquakes then returned to MLS as an expansion team in 2008. For more information about the Earthquakes, log on to www.sjearthquakes.com.
About Major League Soccer
Headquartered in New York City, Major League Soccer is the top-flight professional soccer league in the United States and Canada. MLS features many stars from the U.S., Canada, and around the world. MLS kicked off its 14th season on March 19, and will feature 15 teams each playing 30 regular season matches. They include Chicago Fire, Colorado Rapids, Chivas USA, Columbus Crew, D.C. United, FC Dallas, Houston Dynamo, Kansas City Wizards, Los Angeles Galaxy, New York Red Bulls, New England Revolution, Real Salt Lake, San Jose Earthquakes, Toronto FC and, in its inaugural season, Seattle Sounders FC. A Philadelphia expansion team will debut in 2010, while expansion teams in Vancouver and Portland will debut in 2011. For more information about MLS, log on to the League’s official website at www.MLSnet.com.
About FC Barcelona
FC Barcelona is a private sports association which was founded 108 years ago. It has more than 160,000 members from all around the world and its goal is to promote sport practice as well as social, cultural and philanthropic initiatives. On the sporting front, FCB is one of the most honored clubs in Europe. Apart from football, FCB has four other professional sports–basketball, handball, roller hockey and five a side football–and eight non-professional sports such as volleyball, athletics and ice hockey. The club channels all activities related to FC Barcelona’s social identity through the FC Barcelona Foundation.
About Soccer United Marketing
Founded in 2002, Soccer United Marketing (SUM) is the preeminent soccer business company in North America. SUM holds the exclusive rights to the most important soccer properties in the region, including: all commercial rights to Major League Soccer; the United States Soccer Federation; promotional and marketing rights to Mexican National Team games played in the United States; the marketing and promotion of the CONCACAF Gold Cup™, and marketing, promotional and broadcast rights to the prestigious eight-team Mexican club tournament - InterLiga™. SUM also manages promotional and marketing rights in the United States for Mexico’s most popular sports team, Club Deportivo Guadalajara (Chivas).
In addition, SUM created SuperLiga, the innovative professional tournament between MLS and Mexico’s First Division clubs that debuted in 2007, as well as the Pan-Pacific Championship, an international soccer tournament that crowns the top club from the Pan Pacific region. In 2008 SUM entered into a long term partnership with FC Barcelona which includes tours of the legendary Spanish club. These global properties are represented by SUM’s slogan: One Sport. One Company.™ For more information, please visit www.SUMworld.com.
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