I went to see Norwich play San Jose Earthquakes in the second of their pre-season friendlies in the US. It was a little like going to watch Norwich play Grimsby Town in the FA Cup. The ground is not in the town implied by the club’s name; Cleethorpes in the case of Grimsby and Santa Clara in the case of San Jose. Both grounds are fairly shabby. In both cases Norwich lost in a disappointing performance.


The announcer managed to avoid the risk of mispronouncing “Norwich”, by referring to them as the Canaries. There was no danger of flying the British flag upside down, by using the English Cross of St George.


At halftime, I saw the Legend that is Darren Huckerby in the line for beer. He played for both Norwich City and San Jose Earthquakes in this career. Being British, I did not go and ask for an autograph or pose for a photograph.

The game in Sacramento had been a mainly neutral crowd. This was, unsurprisingly a much more partisan affair. There was a block behind the goal who kept their singing, chanting, and flag waving going throughout the game. The group call themselves the 1906 Ultras; the year referring to the big Earthquake that shook the Bay Area. They added a vibrant atmosphere to proceedings.

The team-sheet, or roster to use the American term, caused some amusement to the geeky couple behind me. I heard him say about a Norwich player “Snodgrass, that sounds like a Quidditch player”

It was a fun night, minus the result, but if I only enjoyed seeing Norwich when they won, I would have stopped watching the Canaries many years ago.

Published in: on 21 July, 2013 at 9:04  Leave a Comment  

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