They say that you only get one chance to make a first impression. After his mistake cost the San Jose Earthquakes a point against FC Dallas in a 1-0 loss to open the 2015 MLS season, goalkeeper David Bingham may want to ask for a do-over.
The Quakes made some big changes to the roster in the offseason, none bigger than the release of 38-year-old veteran goalkeeper Jon Busch and the promotion of Bingham. Busch has found a home as a backup to Sean Johnson with the Chicago Fire, while the 25-year-old Bingham has been entrusted as the starting goalkeeper for the Quakes.
The athletic fifth-year 'keeper, who joined San Jose ahead of the 2011 season, had shown a propensity to command the entirety of his penalty area throughout the Earthquakes preseason schedule, and his attempts to cover a wide range of ground in from of his goal were on display in the season opener against FC Dallas. At times, the former Cal standout looked commanding in goal, but in one moment, his confidence, maybe over-confidence, led to the mistake that cost the Quakes a point in Texas.
"I thought we played a good defensive game for 90 minutes," said Bingham. "It was one mistake on my part, and to be fair, this is the first game of the season. We have 33 games left."
The Earthquakes were not favored to win at Toyota Stadium, not against a playoff team from 2014 that had looked very impressive in the lead up to the regular season opener, so leaving Frisco with a 1-0 loss was not unexpected by many prognosticators. However, the performance by San Jose was worth at least a point, and to have it snatched away in second half stoppage time will be a bitter pill to swallow, especially for Bingham.
"We want to win every game," said Bingham, "but we understand that there's going to be ups and downs throughout the season."
The young goalkeeper will have plenty of opportunities to make amends for the fiasco in Frisco, and the path to improved performances begins as soon as the team arrives back in San Jose on Sunday.
"We're going to go back and look at film," said Bingham, "and we'll tighten up for our game coming up against Seattle."
The Quakes travel to the Pacific Northwest next Saturday to take on the defending MLS Supporters' Shield winners Seattle Sounders in the second of two successive road matches to open their 2015 season. One thing is certain: Bingham will have to be even more on his toes when he faces the attacking duo of Clint Dempsey and Obafemi Martins in front of a packed house at CenturyLink Field.
Improvement will need to come quickly, as there's little room for mistakes.