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Matchday Rewind: San Jose Earthquakes drop season opener 1-0 to Real Salt Lake

Real Salt Lake goalkeeper Nick Rimando does his best Lucy Van Pelt impersonation in denying Chris Wondolowski the chance to poach a late second half goal for the San Jose Earthquakes. Photo: Joe Nuxoll, centerlinesoccer.com.

Monday morning, and my clothes are still drying out from Saturday night’s monsoon-like conditions at Buck Shaw Stadium. And as frustrating as the weather was, the Earthquakes inability to score in the 1-0 loss to Real Salt Lake further compounded the misery of San Jose’s season opener. We’ll give Chris Wondolowski a pass on this match — after all he proved of his ability and desire last season — but the reigning MLS Golden Boot winner will need to weather his disappointment at missing some gilt-edged scoring opportunities and bounce back this weekend against FC Dallas.

As was discussed in the new Center Line Soccer post-game podcast, the overall performance of the Earthquakes was promising. Some outstanding performances from the likes of Sam Cronin, Jon Busch, and Bobby Convey were a bit tempered by subpar efforts from Joey Gjertsen and Ryan Johnson, but the signs that the Quakes are still at, or even above, the level of last season’s playoff qualifying team are evident. Throw in the encouraging displays from the three MLS rookies Head Coach Frank Yallop employed in a late effort to secure a result, and the loss to Real Salt Lake looks even more like a lost opportunity to pick up points rather than a harbinger of a mediocre season to come.

For the benefit of our readers, and in an effort to clean out my RSS feed before my web browser freezes up, I present the following list of match reports and analysis of the Quakes match against RSL for those yearning for more information and insight into the season opener. For those needing a dry-cleaner to launder their wet and dirty clothing from Saturday night, I recommend searching for recommendations in your local area on Yelp.

The Matchday Rewind feature here at Center Line Soccer will be a semi-regular feature, with the goal of having it published the day or two after every Earthquakes game. The list above does not contain all the links out there on the internet, but does represent those that I find worth reading. No doubt a missed a few, and I encourage you to post those links in the comments section below so that all our readers can find them.