Inside 3252 Away Days: The way to San Jose

350 miles away, 3 points coming home

Week 5 of the Major League Soccer season saw the Black and Gold travel north to take on in-state rival San Jose Earthquakes which was suffering a three-game MLS losing streak — little did they know it was soon to be four. Earlier this year San Jose showed signs of being a capable foe by defeating LAFC 0-3 in a pre-season meeting, this away match was no time for training wheels.

Photos by Erick Gonzales @freetransfer, @lafcphoto on Instagram

LAFC overwhelmed its host with quick pace, lateral movements, and spearhead aggression ultimately leading the Black and Gold to a 5-0 mollywhopping of the Quakes. The match was pinnacle Bob Bradley football culminating in a Carlos Vela hat trick and quick touch precision goals by Diego Rossi and Steven Beitashour. The boys handled business at Avaya Stadium, leaving no question to their talent as they solidified a #1 spot in the MLS Western Conference and in nationwide media power rankings.

Although this was an away match, one thing the Quakes and local natives alike did not foresee was the all black thunderous storm that would soon engulf Silicon Valley in the form of The 3252. Several buses, dozens of cars and a few domestic flights transported the heart of LAFC to San Jose. Not only to support our boys, but to invade Avaya and stick a big black and gold flag on it to claim it as another home.

Photos by Bryana Monserratt Hernandez on Instagram

Friends, Food & Football

Tailgate kicked off in the early morning as weary all-night travelers emerged from buses and other vehicles to set up camp in the dirt and rock parking lot. With a midday kickoff, all the food and beer that fuel The 3252 was consumed within a few hours. A train parked nearby provided a backdrop for photo-ops for supporters. The morning was filled with positive vibes and excitement streaming from the troop as kickoff time loomed.

Once it was time to go in, the march from the lot to the stadium filled the air with the reverberation of drums, claps and chants bouncing off the outer walls of Avaya. As the massive block of supporters approached the entrance, onlookers emerged from the tops of the stands to witness the walkway below saturated in black and gold attire and passionate roar. San Jose fans were not prepared for the column of noise that was about to shroud their home.

Near kickoff all things were peachy for SJ supporters as The 3252 sat in a dormant state tucked away in the far corner of Avaya only coming alive to commandeer the national anthem ritual. It was an unusually quiet pregame for any follower of the Black and Gold as The 3252 giant in the away section laid motionless — that was until the 4th minute of the game where that sleeping giant erupted into life with a  “HOO...HAH” in sync with fists pointed toward the sky. At that moment San Jose fans and players knew they were in trouble.

Not too long after The 3252 came to life San Jose goalkeeper Mario Vega whiffed on a clearance leaving Carlos Vela alone in front of goal with nothing, but the ball. Easy 1-nil for the boys and preview of what was to come.

The energy from our supporters was so boisterous Avaya was rocking — literally. The 3252 jumped for LA Football Club so hard that the canopy lights above were swaying with the Black and Gold supporters. The Earthquakes’ stadium can now safely say it can endure an earthquake.

The remainder of the game was an onslaught both on the field and in the stands. The Quakes suffered a 5-0 defeat to the boys from Los Angeles. The disconnected home supporters were out chanted in their stadium. Sweet were the final chants of the game coming from The 3252 — A Sha-la-la to our victorious LAFC.

By 3252 member Pablo Martinez, contributing writer.

Match details

The Los Angeles Football Club defeated San Jose Earthquakes 5-0 on Saturday March 30th at Avaya Stadium. With the win, LAFC remained atop the MLS standings with a 4-0-1 record (13 points). The 5-0 scoreline was LAFC’s largest win in Club history and it also matched the Quakes’ worst-ever defeat in home soil.