Quakes to hit S.F. for friendly against Antigua and Barbuda 

The Earthquakes are coming to San Francisco's Kezar Stadium.

Instead of diving under your coffee table and covering your head, grab your soccer ball instead, as San Jose's professional soccer team will be making the trip north for a friendly against Antigua and Barbuda at 7 p.m. tonight.

Playing in The City has become a tradition for the Earthquakes of late — they played in Kezar last year and previously at AT&T Park. Team president Dave Kaval said the fan base makes it worth the trip. And while it would seem like Candlestick Park would be a more likely destination than the 88-year-old former home of the 49ers and Raiders, he said Kezar has plenty of appeal to the team.

"People can walk out of the community to the location and the match," he said. "That's very similar to some of the most successful teams in our league like Portland, or some of the European soccer teams like Chelsea or Fulham or Tottenham and things like that. I think it provides a really unique environment."

Proceeds from the game will go to the You Can Play Project, a nonprofit dedicated to "ensuring equality, respect and safety for all athletes, without regard to sexual orientation," according to its website, youcanplayproject.org.

Kaval said the partnership was a natural one.

"For us as an organization," he said, "we've always been very community oriented and we've been very open and diverse about our fan base and what we promote in the community. I felt like the timing and everything that's going on in San Francisco, and we've worked with the organization in the past, it really just made the most sense."

While the Earthquakes plan to continue trips to San Francisco in the future, local fans shouldn't expect a permanent move north in the future. The team is currently constructing a brand-new facility in San Jose, expected to open next year.

NEXT GAME

Earthquakes vs. Antigua and Barbuda

WHAT: Exhibition soccer game

WHEN: Today, 7 p.m.

WHERE: Kezar Stadium

INFO: www.sjearthquakes.com

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