Just got back from attending the first ever game played by the San Fernando Valley Quakes - and was very, very impressed. Final score was: SAN FERNANDO VALLEY QUAKES 1-1 LOS ANGELES STORM Around 700 people came to watch the game in the neat and tidy stadium, the John Elway Stadium in Granada Hills (a suburb of LA in the Valley) - which, for Quakes games, is re-named the Re/Max Epicenter. Quakes (in red and black) started stronger than the Storm (in all-white), but both teams seemed pretty nervous at times, it being the first ever PDL match for both teams! Quakes' defensive line looked pretty solid, and I was especially impressed with both their centre-backs, who had a good command of what they were doing, and kept their leftback and rightback in check. VERY good drilling, and good communication. I was also impressed with central midfielder Mat Davis, who was playing the dual role of playmaker AND holding man - he made some exquisite passes out to the wings, but had the sense to calm things down when the midfield got crowded. Not many chances, though, and the first half ended 0-0 Half time had some nice performances by the Shockwave cheerleader squad, and an amusing kickabout featuring the Quakes mascot, the LA Galaxy mascot, AND the Chivas mascot, who had turned up to cheer on the new franchises. Second half started great for the Quakes - 2 minutes after the restart a cross from the right was deflected into his own net by a Storm defender - 1-0 Quakes. Things got tight again pretty quickly, though, and the midfield battle resumed. For long periods, the Storm actually looked like the better team. Storm's pressure resulted in the Quakes getting a little ragged in their ball control, giving possession away too easily, passing to no-one, generally not looking as solid as they had in the first half. The Storm hit the bar, blazed one over the top, forced Quakes keeper Kevin Guppy to make a couple of great saves, and only just missed a great 30-yard free kick, but nothing was going in despite their pressure. The Quakes should have sealed it 15 mins from time when a quick counter-attack left midfielder Mike Zaher running at the Storm keeper from the half way line, but he ran out of steam before he could get close enough to have a shot on goal, and the recovering defense forced him to send his effort wide. It looked like the Quakes were just going to hold on for the win until, two minutes from time, the defence bungled a simple clearence and let Storm striker Daniel Ardon equalize from close range. I suppose 1-1 was a pretty fair result, but if coach Khosrashahin can get his players working together I think it all looks pretty promising. Next game is next Saturday, at home to the Orange County Blue Star. Come and take a look at the brand new SFV Quakes fans message board at http://sfvquakes.proboards67.com/index.cgi. Go Quakes!