Is Saturday's road effort a sign of things to come or a new team trying to gel?
After a 2017 campaign where the San Jose Earthquakes struggled on the road -- especially defensively -- the 2018 season did not start much better in a 3-2 loss to Sporting Kansas City.
"Of course, I am disappointed to be leaving here without points," said Quakes head coach Mikael Stahre, "but especially because in the first half and then in the first 15 minutes of the second we played really well."
The teams went into the half tied but Sporting Kansas scored twice in the second half, both times taking advantage of San Jose's gift of enough space for KC to take advantage of.
Chris Wondolowski scored for the Quakes -- putting him 10 goals away from Landon Donovan in the MLS all-time race and all alone in second place on that list.
"I wish we could have won," Wondolowski said. "but credit to our team and Magnus [Eriksson] for putting that ball in there. To finish it was pretty cool, but hopefully we will get a couple more wins."
After conceeding a penalty halfway through the second half, Valeri Qazaishvili equalized in minute 34, following up his own header attempt and cashing in for his second goal of the seaon.
But that would be all San Jose could muster for the majority of the second half.
Graham Zusi scored in the 56th minute on a beauty of a shot.
Felipe Gutierrez will be awarded with the game-winner after a left-footed bullet beat Andrew Tarbell.
San Jose (1-1-0) is winless in its last four against Sporting.
"We came here with ambition to win the game, or second best to leave with a point," Stahre said. "We fought until the end and it was really important for us to score the second goal, but I felt at halftime that we could have won the game. Then we conceded the second goal and we lost the momentum. They are a good team, but I think we can take some positive things with us."
Earthquakes media services contributed to this report.