Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Shrader's Spin: Grand Opening

April 30, 2010: Grand Opening

George Best didn’t have one. Not Paul Child before him, not Landon Donovan nor John Doyle, nor any of the hundreds of players who were with the San Jose Earthquakes of any era, or with the San Jose Clash. None of them had their own training facility, a home practice field they could call their own.

Until now.

“For me it’s a great day,” said General Manager of Soccer Operations John Doyle, the East Bay native who played and coached for the Clash and Quakes. “I’ve been excited for this day since I was a young player.”

This, Doyle is talking about, is Friday’s grand opening of the Nutrilite Training Facility on Coleman Avenue in San Jose. It sits right next to the piece of land on which the Quakes are hoping to build a stadium soon.


“There have been a lot of good teams and good players to come through this place who never had the privilege of having this,” said defender Jason
Hernandez. “And it truly is a privilege.” Doyle says it seems like such a small thing to have what he calls “a piece of grass that your team can practice on.” But, “to have a world class field and facility like this is great for us.”

The Nutrilite Training Facility has a big, beautifully manicured field, plus side space for the goalies and for other more individual work.

“We’re excited. It’s a place to call home,” Hernandez said. “To have a place to hone your skills, to get better. It’s a place we can count on.”

And there are some big picture advantages, Doyle says, such as a place for the U.S. National Team to practice when in town.

“It’s just a down payment,” said San Jose mayor Chuck Reed, on hand for the grand opening. “Just the first step,” in the great history of this site. Reed said, “We’re going to do everything we can,” to make sure a stadium gets built nearby.

“The sky’s the limit,” Hernandez said.

“It does get you excited,” Doyle said. “If you’re the general manager, or a fan, or you simply love soccer like I do.”

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