New Real Salt Lake midfiedler Arturo Alvarez was a key contributor to San Jose's 2010 playoff season, and push to the conference finals.

It was a bright finish to a season that could not have started any worse as RSL beat San Jose 3-0 at Buck Shaw Stadium in the season opener.

"That's kind of one of the memories that was stuck in our head the whole year, the first game of the season last year against Real Salt Lake and losing 3-0 at home," said Alvarez, who made is RSL debut on Tuesday as a substitute in RSL's 2-0 victory over Saprissa.

Alvarez says he's sure his ex-teammates are aware of last year's result, but it's a new year and they're probably thinking only of a fresh start.

In the San Jose Mercury News preview of tonight's match, which kicks off at 8:30 p.m. (MDT) and will be broadcast on KMYU 2.2, the Earthquakes talk about a fresh start.

Alvarez expects good things from San Jose.

"We had a great end to the season last year, so it's going to be a good year for them," said Alvarez.

ESPN soccer columnist Jeff Carlisle previewed the upcoming season for San Jose, and discussed what it will take for the Quakes to get back to the playoffs.

Another former San Jose player, Ned Grabavoy, said nobody wants to lose their home opener and suspects that last year's thrashing will be in the back of the players' minds.

With that said, "I expect that they'll try and start off where they left off last season, I think they had some good momentum finally getting into the playoffs and advancing, and showing everybody that they're a team going in the right direction," said Grabavoy.

Real Salt Lake hopes to spoil San Jose's plans, however, with another road victory to start the season. With three games under his team's belt already in the CONCACAF Champions League, RSL coach Jason Kreis hopes it translates into success tonight.

Will Johnson insists Real Salt Lake won't be overlooking San Jose.

"They made it farther in the playoffs last year than we did," said Johnson. has more insight into the potential mind set and tactics from both teams tonight.

Deseret News prep editor and Real Salt Lake beat writer.