San Jose Earthquakes vs. FC Dallas | 2017 MLS Match Preview
San Jose Earthquakes vs. FC Dallas
2017 MLS Regular Season
Avaya Stadium • San Jose, California
Friday, April 14 • 11 p.m. ET
WATCH: UniMás in US, Facebook.com, MLS LIVE in Canada
Two sides prone to spectacular goals and late drama will lock horns in the Bay Area for a national-television nightcap on Friday, as the San Jose Earthquakes try to knock off undefeated FC Dallas and climb up the Western Conference standings. Dallas have rolled up a 3-0-1 start to their league campaign despite the distraction of their run to the CONCACAF Champions League semifinals. Meanwhile the Quakes have been Jekyll and Hyde thus far, winless on the road but undefeated at their Avaya Stadium home.
San Jose Earthquakes
A 2-0-1 mark at home looks decent for the Quakes, but they were seconds away from losing to Seattle on Saturday night, only for Chris Wondolowski to conjure up a return of the old "Goonies" magic with a last-gasp equalizer. Coach Dominic Kinnear will want to bank all three points this weekend, mindful that four of his team's next five games are on the road.
He has impressive options with which to pursue that goal, thanks in large part to San Jose's TAM-fueled offseason shopping. Albanian international Jahmir Hyka and Costa Rican striker Marco Ureña are competing for minutes with the likes of Homegrown Tommy Thompson and Designated Player Simon Dawkins, while Darwin Ceren, Anibal Godoy and Fatai Alashe provide depth and flexibility in central midfield.
- Suspended: NONE
- Int’l Duty: NONE
- Injury Report: OUT: F - Quincy Amarikwa (knee surgery 9/29, out 9 months), D - Marvell Wynne (heart abnormality), M - Marc Pelosi (left knee injury), D - Harold Cummings (leg surgery, 3/30, out 4-6 months)
Projected starting XI (4-4-2): David Bingham – Nick Lima, Florian Jungwirth, Victor Bernardez, Shaun Francis – Jahmir Hyka, Fatai Alashe, Anibal Godoy, Simon Dawkins – Marco Ureña, Chris Wondolowski
Notes: Homegrown rookie Lima has been a locked-in starter at right back despite his inexperience, starting and logging a full 90 minutes in all five Quakes games to date ... Godoy has chipped in with two goals thus far from his central midfield spot, both of them spectacular strikes that earned MLS Goal of the Week nominations ... Wondo's goal vs. Seattle pushes his MLS career total to 123; he currently sits fourth on the league's all-time scoring chart and is now 10 goals back of Jaime Moreno in third.
Dallas' attacking strength is well known, with coach Oscar Pareja's fleet of fleet-footed wingers flanking a solid engine room and Urruti and DP newcomer Cristian Colman one of a few options up top. Their resilience and strength in depth was underlined by last week's defeat of Minnesota United just a few days after their CCL heartbreak in Pachuca, Mexico.
But their defense has been stellar in MLS play to date, conceding just two goals (both of them penalty kicks) in their first four games. They'll need to be sharp for 90 minutes to contain the Quakes' Ureña-Wondo strike duo. One key element of the FCD back line is less than certain this week: With Jesse Gonzalez stepping in for Chris Seitz at goalkeeper to good effect last week, the competition for the No. 1 job between the pipes appears to be wide open again, as it was for much of 2015 before Seitz took control last year.
- Suspended: NONE
- Int’l Duty: NONE
- Injury Report: OUT: Mauro Diaz (torn Achilles tendon)
Projected Starting XI (4-4-2): GK: Jesse Gonzalez - Hernan Grana, Walker Zimmerman, Matt Hedges, Maynor Figueroa - Michael Barrios, Kellyn Acosta, Carlos Gruezo, Roland Lamah - Maxi Urruti, Cristian Colman
Notes: With his goal vs. MNUFC, veteran playmaker Javier Morales became the 17th player in league history to score 50 goals and deliver 50 assists in regular-season play ... Dallas concede 0.9 goals per game in the regular season when Hedges and Zimmerman start together; when one of the two does not start, the team concedes an average of 1.6 goals ... FC Dallas are unbeaten in nine consecutive MLS regular-season games (5-0-4), with five clean sheets on that run (stats via Opta).
San Jose enjoyed the advantage in the early years of this rivalry, which dates back to the league's inaugural campaign in 1996. But FC Dallas are unbeaten in their last seven games against San Jose (4-0-3), outscoring the Quakes 11-3 and keeping five clean sheets over that time.
- Overall: Earthquakes 25 wins (4 shootout), 89 goals; FC Dallas 20 wins (3 shootout), 70 goals; 14 draws
- At San Jose: Earthquakes 15 wins (4 shootout), 49 goals; FC Dallas 8 wins (2 shootout), 32 goals; 7 draws
Referee: ARMANDO VILLARREAL
Assistant Referees: Ian Anderson (bench side), Apolinar Mariscal (far side)
Fourth Official: Alejandro Mariscal