Fresh off of a 10-day training trip to London, the San Jose Earthquakes will begin their 2010 MLS schedule with a exhibition game against the Houston Dynamo today at Kezar Stadium at 7 p.m.
The exhibition is the first of two preseason friendlies prior to the Earthquakes’ season opener against Real Salt Lake on March 27. That opener, however, could be delayed if the MLS Players Union decides to strike. The union has voted to authorize a strike if a new collective bargaining agreement isn’t reached by March 25, when the league kicks off.
“The team has definitely been really good in the preseason,” Earthquakes coach Frank Yallop said. “We had a good trip. The boys learned a lot and we played against great opponents.”
The Earthquakes went 2-0 in friendlies against English Premier League squads West Ham United and Tottenham Hotspur, and look to build upon the preseason performances heading into the MLS season.
“It was good for us to see top-level competition,” San Jose forward Chris Wondolowski said.
The Earthquakes, who play their home games at Santa Clara’s Buck Shaw Stadium, are looking to improve on a 7-14-9 record and a last-place finish in the 2009 season and today’s match is a stepping-stone.
“We’re going to play a lot of guys and get a good look at everyone, but it doesn’t matter who’s in there for us. We’re a pretty deep team. Anyone who’s out there can provide a spark for us,” Wondolowski said. “Houston is a good team. It’s going to be a litmus test to see where we stand.”
Wondolowski, a Danville native who was acquired midseason from Houston via trade, is looking forward to playing in front of local fans.
“We love San Francisco and have a pretty good following, but anytime we can gain one or 100 fans, it’s a benefit to us,” Wondolowski said. “I grew up a Quakes and Clash fan. I grew up loving the sport and this team. It’s home for me here.”
IF YOU GO
WHO: Earthquakes vs. Houston Dynamo
WHEN: Today, 7 p.m.
WHERE: Kezar Stadium
TICKETS: $10 or free for season-ticket holders
INFO: (800) 225-2277 or www.sjearthquakes.com