A beautiful night, a great crowd and a bad result.
The Fire dropped its home opener 2-1 Saturday night against San Jose in front of 20,276 fans hoping to see the first win under new coach Carlos de los Cobos.
"I expected a win," said goalkeeper Andrew Dykstra, in his first home game as a starter. "The fans deserve a win. We train every day for a win, and against San Jose I think we should have gotten one. It's real disappointing."
The first San Jose goal came in the 49th minute, Arturo Alvarez taking advantage of a Fire mistake. A runaway back pass caused a collision between Dykstra and defender C.J. Brown that left both on the ground as Alvarez chipped the ball over them into the net.
"Unfortunately it was in a position where C.J. and I had to scramble to get it out of there and unfortunately I took C.J.'s shoe in my gut," Dykstra said. "I tried to keep it out of the goalmouth. It was just unlucky that the deflection went right to the guy's foot. A messy, messy goal that we can't afford to have and we need to do better on next time, just keeping it clean in back."
The Fire (0-2-1, 1 point) got the goal right back in the 52nd minute when Collins John, his back to the San Jose net, laid off the ball to Marco Pappa, who sent a 24-yard blast into the upper right corner of the net.
The game-winner came in the 81st when rookie defender Ike Opara lost Fire defender Tim Ward and headed in a Bobby Convey service, giving San Jose (1-1-0, 3 points) a 2-1 lead.
Despite the assist it was a frustrating night for John, who somehow missed an open net on two occasions. The first came at the 10-minute mark when Patrick Nyarko slid a pass to the middle of the goalmouth where John stood about 4 yards out. John shot the ball wide the other way.
In the 73rd minute John lined up another shot with San Jose goalkeeper Joe Cannon out of the goal. This time the shot was on frame, but the Earthquakes' Jason Hernandez was in the right spot to clear the blast.
"That's part of the game, you know," John said. "It's a disappointing night. Our first home game. I think the best team lost, and that makes it even more hard and frustrating. Next week is a must-win, that's for sure, because we are looking bad right now. We have to close the gap. I still think this team can go very far."