FC Dallas-Earthquakes Preview
The San Jose Earthquakes avoided matching their longest winless
streak of the season with their most lopsided victory of 2012 last
week. Now they’ll look to solidify their MLS lead when they take on
an FC Dallas club that’s played strong defense during a four-game
The Earthquakes face Dallas for the second time in three games
as they try to continue their home dominance in the series
San Jose (12-4-4) played Dallas to a scoreless draw July 7,
failing to break through as Dallas twice cleared the ball off its
goal line and Kevin Hartman made spectacular saves on Shea Salinas
and Chris Wondolowski in the final 10 minutes.
That left the Earthquakes on the verge of tying their season
high of three straight games without a victory, but they
convincingly averted that Saturday. Wondolowski recorded a hat
trick to give him a league-best 17 goals as San Jose defeated Real
Salt Lake 5-0.
Wondolowski, held to three goals in his previous seven games,
earned MLS player of the week honors.
The victory moved the Earthquakes four points up on Salt Lake in
the Western Conference. San Jose can further expand its lead
Wednesday in advance of Salt Lake’s next contest this weekend, but
the league’s highest-scoring team will take on a Dallas club that
has been tough to crack defensively of late.
Dallas (4-7-9) has given up two goals in going 1-0-3 in its last
four and earned its first victory in 14 games Saturday, 2-1 over
Colorado. Fabian Castillo’s goal in the 81st minute put Dallas in
the win column for the first time since April 14.
“Once we start collecting more wins then we can start thinking
about celebrating,” said Castillo, who also assisted on Carlos
Rodriguez’s tying goal in the 60th.
Hartman has only faced 12 shots over the past four games after
opponents put 36 on goal in the previous six. Dallas went 0-5-1 in
that stretch as Hartman allowed 12 goals.
“We’re a group that really works hard and it has been
disappointing to put together a winless streak as long as it was,”
Hartman said after the victory. “There hasn’t been a lot of
rewarding ourselves lately, so to have gotten a win in a very
difficult environment tonight, it means a lot to us.”
San Jose has proved to be a challenging environment for Dallas
to earn victories, going 1-2-4 in its last seven there. The
Earthquakes won 4-2 on Oct. 22 in the last matchup at Buck Shaw
Stadium, with Simon Dawkins scoring twice for San Jose.
Dallas has been shut out in four of those last seven road
meetings and is 1-1-7 away from home this season.
Wondolowski had recorded three goals in the previous two
matchups with Dallas before he was denied by Hartman on July 7. One
of the shots Dallas cleared off the goal line also came from