With many better known players sitting it out for San Jose's preseason match with Houston on Tuesday, Earthquakes who didn't get a great deal of minutes last season had a chance to prove their mettle.
"It's an opportunity, and opportunities don't always come along," head coach Frank Yallop advised his players. "So, when you get a chance, take it."
"I saw some great performances today," said Yallop of the two-nil victory over the Dynamo.
Among those players was Jacob Hustedt, who was drafted by the team in 2012 but made no appearances for the full squad in 2012. He didn't have any trouble getting worked up for the match no matter how meaningless it would be on year-end stats.
"Most of the guys that played today didn't get much time last year because the first team did so well," Hustedt said after the match. "It's a chance for people to step up."
Hustedt also acknowledged that although he got scant minutes last year, being on a team full of trialists gave him some responsibilities.
"It's being a leader," he said. "You have to tell some guys that maybe aren't on the same level about spacing and where to run."
Second year player Sam Garza had some looks at goal in the first half, and also acknowledged his responsibilities to the younger players.
"We have to show some leadership," Garza said. "Let them know to give it their all, especially against a team that's been to MLS Cup."
Garza, Hutsdet and the rest of the Earthquakes face Colorado on Saturday in another preseason match in Tucson.