San Jose Earthquakes Take to the Pitch at Levi’s® Stadium
The San Jose Earthquakes held a training session at Levi’s® Stadium on Wednesday in preparation for the team’s upcoming match against reigning MLS Cup Champions, Los Angeles Football Club, at the sports venue on May 6. The painted end zones of Levi’s® Stadium were swapped out for soccer goals, and yard markers were replaced by penalty boxes and corner marks, transforming the San Francisco 49ers home field into an MLS-ready pitch.
Following the team’s workout, Earthquakes players expressed their enthusiasm to be playing at the stadium and one of the future host sites of the 2026 FIFA World Cup.
“It’ll be fun to play in the stadium,” Earthquakes team captain Yueill said. “Our focus is to bring our energy, our quality, our effort, our attitude and let the fans be excited about that. We’re excited for all of them to come out and enjoy the stadium.”
“It’s exciting. It’s a beautiful stadium,” Earthquakes defender Tommy Thompson said. “We played here in 2014 and again in 2016 and 2018, so to be back after a five-year break, it feels good. The whole team is excited to play in front of 40,000 people.”
For San Jose’s manager Luchi Gonzalez, who is also a former Earthquakes 2002 draft pick and US Men’s National Soccer Team assistant coach, Saturday’s match is both a full circle moment and a look ahead to the 2026 tournament.
“I feel honored because this is an international stadium,” Gonzalez said. “We are going to represent our country at the 2026 FIFA World Cup here and to be a community host city as the Bay Area.”
“It’s just a big honor that we as the local professional soccer team get to represent us and the league internationally and get to represent our fans here in this game. To know we are at over 40,000 people coming, and I know that there are still tickets available and the number of people committed to coming continues to rise, it’s a huge motivation for us.”
To cap off the day, two of San Francisco’s specialists, punter Mitch Wishnowsky and long snapper Taybor Pepper, met up with their Earthquakes counterparts to teach them the art of long snapping and punting and then take some shots on goal.
Kickoff for Saturday’s match between the Earthquakes and LAFC is at 4:30 P.M. PST.