Yup, the Earthquakes are gone!

That’s right, Major League Soccer has relocated the San Jose Earthquakes to Houston. Damn, his time, its personal. Ok, maybe not that bad, but I had a soft spot for the quakes since a lot of my friends live in the bay area and, no less important, I met Staci out there. The cynic in me says, “ugh one less reason to head out to SJ” but I would never really entertain that though, don’t worry, I love my peeps in Sunnyvale. That magical land untouched by winter’s hand and, curiously, thunder storms.

The reality is, that without a commited owner. AEG was keeeping the team afloat but couldn’t be expected to cover the losses with no profitable end in sight. Soccer Silicon Valley deserves huge amounts of props and support for all the hard work they did to try to keep the team in Northern California. I hope they won’t hold this against the league, if it ever has a chance to return to the area. The local politicians jumped in to late, with too little, seemingly, to make it work for another season. But there may be hope for a future franchise. See other reactions from soccer blogs

The city of San Jose and MLS have signed a letter of intent which could provide San Jose with an expansion team as early as 2007, should a local investor be found, a financing plan for a new stadium be presented and other conditions be met. The Earthquakes name, colors and competition records have been retained by MLS for a possible expansion team.

Finally, this was never a Kansas City vs San Jose question. They’re two different teams, in two different markets and it was not an either-or decision. This is also a good sign for the league. It sends a clear message to potential owners that they are focused on the profitability and sustainability of the league. The front office is not afraid to make tough, unpopular business decisions that may be good for the overall health of the enterprise.