Ahhhh. The first game of the season. So many hopes, so many dreams, and in my case, fears that this season will not live up to the last for the San Jose Earthquakes. I hate starting the season with any sort of reservations, but I think it is inevitable after the high of last year. Or maybe I’m just more cynical than most.
Wow, what a depressing opening! Despite tonight’s result, a 0-2 loss to Real Salt Lake at home, I am actually in a pretty good mood. Tonight was like a family reunion of sorts. All the fun cousins, cool aunts and oddball uncles descended on Buck Shaw. (I speak metaphorically, of course.) We got to see a few of the new additions to the Earthquakes family take the field tonight, including Mike Fucito (formerly with the Portland Timbers). He impressed me in the preseason, and while he may not have made a huge impact tonight, I am excited to see what he does for us.
I also got to hang out (I use that term generously) with a few stars from the other football sport— Alex Smith, Vernon Davis, and Joe Staley of the San Francisco 49ers. The cool thing about this was that Staley took the ceremonial first kick, and still hung around to watch most of the game with his fellow players. Even cooler was the fact that, while there were obviously people coming and wanting an autograph or a picture, it really wasn’t that big of a deal that they were there. I was encouraged by the fact that most people were still more interested in the stars on the field. Surely this is a small sign that soccer is beginning to take its place among the “big boys” of American sports.
While I am, of course, disappointed with the result, I am not completely immune to the aforementioned hopes and dreams that come with a new season. While the slate may not be quite blank anymore, I feel there is much to be excited about and I know there is a whole lot of soccer left to be played before all is said and done.
And, lest we forget, Goonies never say die!
Image courtesy of San Jose Earthquakes’ Facebook page.