Match Preview: FC Dallas at San Jose Earthquakes

Fresh off their 4-0 Fourth of July home win over Orlando City that sent the club top of both the Western Conference and Supporters’ Shield standings, FC Dallas returns to action on Friday night at Avaya Stadium against the San Jose Earthquakes.

The two sides have already met on two occasions earlier in the 2016 season, the first being a 2-2 draw at Toyota Stadium in April while the most recent fixture was a 0-0 stalemate at San Jose in late May.

This will be the third and final meeting between the clubs in the regular season, and it will be featured on UniMas as the second game in a “Viernes de Futbol” doubleheader.

FC Dallas will be playing on just four days of rest following the Orlando City match, and changes to the starting lineup are to be expected from manager Oscar Pareja as the team heads west for matches in San Jose and Seattle.

With a record of 10-4-5 (W-D-L) through 19 matches this season, FC Dallas’ 34 points lead the Colorado Rapids’ 33 in the race for the Western Conference title, although the Rapids have played two fewer matches. The current two-match winning streak for FC Dallas has featured six goals for and zero goals against, with Real Salt Lake and Orlando City each failing to register a shot on target in their respective trips to Toyota Stadium.

July is set to be the busiest month of the season, fixture wise, for FC Dallas, with at least seven matches slated to take place between MLS and Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup play. With that in mind, Dallas has already been active in the now-open MLS Transfer Window, acquiring defender Aubrey David on loan from Costa Rican club Saprissa and in talks to acquire Brazilian forward Getterson.

David has already spent time training with the first team, although it would be a minor shock to see him included in the Friday night lineup. Midfielder Carlos Lizarazo could make a start in midfield for the likes of Mauro Diaz or Carlos Gruezo with the fixture crunch in mind, while defender Ryan Hollingshead is fresh after being an unused substitute in the Orlando match.

Forward Tesho Akindele looked active in his 19 minutes of work against Orlando and could easily slide in for Maxi Urruti at the top of the FC Dallas attack. Forward Fabian Castillo’s stoppage time goal to cap the win over Orlando should give him confidence heading into the San Jose match, while goalkeeper Chris Seitz looks to repeat the performance he gave on May 28th when FC Dallas drew San Jose 0-0 in California.

Defender Zach Loyd is again unavailable for FC Dallas as he recovers from a concussion.

A record of 5-7-5 (W-D-L) has San Jose eighth in the Western Conference with 22 points after 17 matches, trailing the Vancouver Whitecaps by two points for the West’s final playoff position. Scoring goals has been the problem this season for manager Dominic Kinnear and the Earthquakes, with just 19 goals generated so far.

A 1-0 defeat at the Chicago Fire last time out leaves San Jose without a win in their last seven matches in all competitions heading into Friday night. Their last victory came on May 12th against the Houston Dynamo in MLS action.

San Jose own a 5-3-0 (W-D-L) record at Avaya Stadium this season, making them one of five MLS clubs (including FC Dallas) to be unbeaten at home in 2016. Conversely, they have not won a match in nine road games this season.

The 1-0 loss at Chicago featured the return of striker Chris Wondolowski for the Earthquakes from Copa America Centenario duty with the United States. Wondolowski and his strike partner Quincy Amarikwa should start up top for Kinnear as San Jose looks to re-discover their goal scoring form.

Goalkeeper David Bingham has played every match for San Jose since the start of the 2015 season and has been a big part of their current 13-match unbeaten run at home.

Tonight’s match will kick off at 9:30 p.m. with television coverage provided by UniMas and radio coverage courtesy of The Word at 100.7 FM with Spanish radio coverage on Amor Celestial at 1270 AM.

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