The San Jose Earthquakes will have to find a way to shake this game off. For nearly 92 minutes it looked as if the Quakes would pull out a valuable road point against a good FC Dallas team. But a late Blas Pérez goal erased any chance of this, and sent San Jose packing with nothing to show for an overall solid effort.
There were certainly positives to take away for the Quakes. While Dallas did have its share of chances, defensively San Jose generally did well with a team that provides tricky match ups. Up front Dallas boasts plenty of variety with Pérez and Tesho Akindele providing height and power, and Mauro Díaz and Fabian Castillo adding plenty of speed and creativity. The Quakes handled these players for the most part, nearly doing enough to earn the clean sheet.
San Jose also did well to get forward, although none of the attacking forays ended in a goal. Predictably, the team did not look completely in sync in the opening match of the season. Still, the players showed signs of linking up well and creating chances. This team deserved a point from the game.
The ratings for each player are listed below. Do you agree? Too harsh on certain players? Too lenient on others? Add your comments below.
G David Bingham, 5 - A very mixed performance in just his fifth career MLS start. His reflexes looked good in net, and he made a couple of excellent saves from close range. The trouble came when he advanced off of his line to challenge for aerial balls. Got away with some risky punches and challenges in the first half, but has to take the lion's share of the blame for the only goal. He should improve in this area.
D Marvell Wynne, 6.5 - Solid regular season debut for the veteran side back. Was generally reliable defensively, as Dallas didn't find too much space down the attacking left flank. Wynne will likely look to improve his attacking contributions. He wasn't sharp working with Nyassi on the right.
D Paulo Renato, 7.5 - There were plenty of things to like about Renato's performance. His instincts were sharp, as evidenced by his goal line clearance in the first half. Also did very well distributing passes from the back line, something that the Quakes have lacked in a center back. Biggest drawback was his difficulty dealing with Fabian Castillo, but that could be said about most of the players dressed in blue.
D Victor Bernardez, 7 - Was reliably solid on the night. Did well overall to contain Blas Pérez, and was not really responsible for the goal. His biggest issues seemed to be in communication. He'll have to get on the same page with Bingham and his side backs as the season moves forward.
D Shaun Francis, 6 - Did well enough defensively, but could have been better with his passing. Both side backs could have contributed much more offensively. When he did try to advance up the field, he was often caught out of position, leading to excess space for players like Diaz and Castillo.
M J.J. Koval, 4 - A game to forget for J.J. He did get stuck in defensively a number of times, but a player in his position needs to be able to turn and make attacking passes. In this respect, he lacked composure and seemed to make the wrong decision almost every time. He's still a very young player and will improve. But on this night he was rightly substituted off for Adam Jahn in the 60th minute.
M Jean-Baptiste Pierazzi, 5 - Often struggled to deal with Dallas' speed through midfield. Was lucky to avoid a booking on multiple occasions for stopping players' momentum (a shock really, given how card-happy the referee was). He did better than Koval in his distribution, but didn't provide enough support for the attackers.
M Sanna Nyassi, 8 - The best player on the field for San Jose. Worked tirelessly on both ends of the pitch. In the early goings he seemed to always pop up to interrupt Dallas attacks, and then constantly gave defenders headaches with his speed and creativity in attack. Still has some room to improve with his precision on passes in the final third, but was certainly the biggest positive for the Quakes.
M Shea Salinas, 4.5 - Very disappointing season debut for one of San Jose's brightest attacking talents. His service from set pieces was poor, and he couldn't seem to link up with anybody in midfield or attack. Made one good move by beating Atiba Harris near the box and drawing a yellow card, but then got himself in the book when he was dispossessed and pulled his defender down in frustration. We know we'll see better from him.
F Matias Pérez García, 5.5 - Would have liked to see a lot more from MPG in this season's opener. He got on the ball enough times to make a difference, but came up short when it mattered most. Perhaps the best way to sum up his night is that he shot when he should have passed, and vice versa. Again, we will see better games from the Argentine.
F Chris Wondolowski, 6 - Appropriately looked like San Jose's biggest goal threat. Unfortunately, a goal scorer will always be judged on just that -- goals scored. Did well to sting Seitz' palms with a right footed effort in the first half. But his best scoring chance came early in the second, and he put his one-timed effort wide. Really should have scored with the opportunity.
F Adam Jahn, 5 - The great preseason form was not there against Dallas. Was still a physical presence in and around the box, but that was pretty much it. Despite playing a third of the match he never really seemed to settle in and find his feet. Hoping for more from him as the potential super-sub.
M Fatai Alashe, N/A - With about 10 minutes of game time, didn't play long enough to really affect the match.
F Innocent Emeghara, N/A - At least he got a couple touches on the ball.