When outsiders look at the fixture San Jose Earthquakes vs Houston Dynamo on paper it probably would seem like any other game in MLS, especially for those not aware that originally Houston Dynamo were the San Jose Earthquakes. When the franchise moved from up state California to Texas in 2005 it left many devastated soccer fans in the area as San Jose had a big professional soccer history dating back to 1974, George Best even played for the NASL Quakes.
In front of a standing room only crowd this weekend as the play off race heats up, any thoughts for the other team were evidently now out of the question.
"Friendship was definitely pushed aside," Dynamo coach Dominic Kinnear said. "And it was very competitive from the first minute to the ninetieth. There were handshakes tonight, instead of hugs."
Houston were able to win back to back MLS cups only after one year in the league but many feel they had a substantial advantage as a new franchise with an already established team.
San Jose on the other hand did get a franchise back for 2008 but have had to build from scratch in their first year. Finding the first half of the season tough going, San Jose have turned things around following some shrewd moves in the transfer window and now the San Jose Earthquakes are a team everyone in the Western conference has their eye on as they climb the table.
So even after a 1-1 draw at home against the ever dominant Houston this weekend, keeping San Jose's 2008 play off hopes very much alive, even the manager was a little disappointed.
"Getting a point was good, not getting a win, it's maybe a couple of points dropped," Quakes manager Frank Yallop said. "But I think all in all, the chances, it was pretty even for both teams. We just move on and try to get something down in Houston next week."
As the area of Houston was pounded by hurricane Ike this weekend, more than a few in Northern California are hoping the Earthquakes will shake up the place again next weekend.