PREVIEW: San Jose vs. FC Dallas

Dallas gunning for top-3 in West to avoid wild card play-in

SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES vs FC DALLAS
BUCK SHAW STADIUM, Santa Clara, Calif.

9:30 p.m. CT (FSSW+)
October 22, 2011 (WEEK 32; MLS Game 305)

There is still much to play for when the San Jose Earthquakes conclude their 2011 season against FC Dallas on Saturday evening at Buck Shaw Stadium. Earthquakes striker Chris Wondolowski is one goal off the lead in a bid for a second consecutive MLS Golden Boot, after scoring in last week's 2-1 loss at Seattle. FC Dallas have secured a postseason spot, but will know before the first half is over what they must do if they are to have any chance of avoiding a midweek wild card game.

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REFEREE: Kevin Stott. SAR (bench): Adam Wienckowski; JAR (opposite): Brian Poeschel; 4th: Yader Reyes
MLS Career: 212 games; FC/gm: 25.8; Y/gm: 3.4; R: 58; pens: 43

INJURY REPORT: SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES - OUT: MF Andre Luiz (L knee injury); DF Ike Opara (L foot injury); FW Alan Gordon (surgery); FW Steven Lenhart (family leave); MF Bobby Convey (R knee inflammation); DOUBTFUL: MF Anthony Ampaipitakwong (L groin strain); QUESTIONABLE: DF Nana Attakora (L hamstring strain); FW Scott Sealy (R quadriceps strain); PROBABLE: DF Ramiro Corrales (R ankle sprain) ... FC DALLAS - OUT: DF Edson Edward (R knee ACL tear); MF David Ferreira (R ankle); MF Andrew Wiedeman (groin); GK Josh Lambo (jaw)

INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none

SUSPENDED: DAL: Jackson Goncalves (caution accumulation; through Oct. 23)

HEAD-TO-HEAD

  • ALL-TIME (43 meetings): Earthquakes 20 wins (4 shootout), 69 goals ... FC Dallas 15 wins (3 shootout), 47 goals ... Ties 8
  • AT SAN JOSE (21 meetings): Earthquakes 11 wins (3 shootout), 36 goals ... FC Dallas 6 wins (3 shootout), 18 goals ... Ties 4
  • In their first meeting this year, Chris Wondolowski scored both goals to pick up right where he left off the year before, leading the Quakes to a 2-0 win on March 26 at Pizza Hut Park.
  • It was the first victory for the Earthquakes against Dallas since returning to the league for the 2008 season. FCD had won twice (including a 2-0 win last June 5 at Pizza Hut Park), with four draws, since San Jose's return.
  • The Quakes last defeated Dallas at home on Aug. 21, 2004, a 3-0 win at Spartan Stadium.
  • Coaches record: Frank Yallop vs. DAL: P23 W12 L7 D4 ... Schellas Hyndman v SJ: P6 W2 L1 D3
PREVIEW: SJ vs. FCD

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LAST MEETING (MLS)

  • 3/26: DAL 0, SJ 2 (Wondolowski 5, 23)
  • In the fifth minute, Chris Wondolowski opened his 2011 account after chesting down a Chris Leitch pass just inside the Dallas 18-yard box. He spun to his left and hit a side-winding volley past a diving Kevin Hartman.
  • Wondolowski completed his double in the 23rd minute. A half-cleared ball into the box fell to Joey Gjertsen on the left edge of the area. Gjertsen then floated another cross to the 2010 MLS Golden Boot winner, who had no trouble flicking a header past Hartman.
  • FC DALLAS (4-1-4-1): Kevin Hartman - Jackson Goncalves (Ruben Luna 74), George John, Zach Loyd, Jair Benitez - Daniel Hernandez - Ricardo Villar (Fabian Castillo 57), Eric Alexander (Eric Avila 62), David Ferreira, Marvin Chavez - Milton Rodriguez.
  • SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES (4-4-1-1): Jon Busch - Chris Leitch, Jason Hernandez, Brandon McDonald, Ramiro Corrales (Brad Ring 89) - Joey Gjertsen (Ellis McLoughlin 73), Sam Cronin, Simon Dawkins (Ike Opara 83), Bobby Convey - Chris Wondolowski - Ryan Johnson.

SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES

The San Jose Earthquakes weren't able to make it back-to-back wins, Seattle Sounders FC scoring twice late for a 2-1 win Saturday evening at CenturyLink Field. The Quakes have 35 points from 33 games on the season, sitting in eighth place in the Western Conference.

LAST MATCH

  • The Earthquakes took the lead after 24 minutes. Rafael Baca sent a perfect through ball from his own half and Chris Wondolowski ran onto it, racing unmolested into the area before beating Kasey Keller with a well-placed shot into the lower left corner.
  • But Sounders FC hit for a deserved leveler in the 82nd minute when Mauro Rosales found substitute Sammy Ochoa with a long through ball, and he stroked a low shot past Earthquakes goalkeeper Jon Busch for his first goal since joining Sounders FC.
  • Five minutes later, Sounders FC took the lead. Lamar Neagle found Fredy Montero after the Colombian barely beat the offside trap, and Montero calmly beat the defenseless Busch for the winner.
  • Earthquakes boss Frank Yallop made one change to the team that got a late winner for a 2-1 victory against the New England Revolution at Gillette Stadium. Brad Ring came back into the midfield for Ramiro Corrales.
  • SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES (4-4-2): Jon Busch - Steven Beitashour, Jason Hernandez, Bobby Burling, Justin Morrow - Rafael Baca, Brad Ring, Sam Cronin, Simon Dawkins - Chris Wondolowski, Khari Stephenson.

TEAM NEWS

  • The loss in Seattle put an end to a four-game unbeaten run, which featured three draws before the victory in New England.
  • "If we get the second goal, that changes everything," Earthquakes head coach Frank Yallop said. "The way that the unit played tonight, I was happy with that. Obviously very disappointed we didn't get at least a point out of it, if not three. It's upsetting to play that well and not get a result."
  • If was the fourth loss of the season for the Earthquakes after scoring the opening goal, the most in MLS this year.
  • "It is the story of our season; we had good ball movement and created some chances to score the second one. ... (W)e have to play as mentally strong as we can in those late stages. It is frustrating to play well and to get nothing out of the game," said Yallop.
  • Chris Wondolowski enters the final week tied for D.C. United's Dwayne De Rosario for the MLS Golden Boot. Wondolowski has scored seven goals in the last eight games, after scoring in San Jose's 2-1 loss in Seattle. A year ago, he scored 10 goals over the final eight games of the season to win the Golden Boot, finishing with 18 goals.
  • "He started the season out well and had a little bit of a dry patch in the middle of the year," said Yallop. "He is a goal scorer; he has 15 goals this season, no penalty kicks. That is a good tally for anyone in any league, not just this one. He is a good player. He is dangerous around the goal and when he gets a good chance he usually scores."
  • Wondolowski has scored each of the last five goals the Earthquakes have scored, over the last four games.
  • "As a striker you go through hot spells and cold spells. I just happen to be at this time on a hot streak and I just have to go as far as I can," Wondolowski said.
  • No player in MLS history has won the goalscoring title outright in back-to-back seasons; in 2003, Carlos Ruiz tied for the overall lead with Taylor Twellman after winning the honor in 2002, and Stern John finished in a three-way tie in 1999 after scoring the most goals in 1998. If two players are tied, the winner of the Golden Boot is the player with more assists (De Rosario has 12; Wondolowski has three).

FC DALLAS

FC Dallas made it two wins in a row, defeating Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2-0 on Saturday evening at Pizza Hut Park. FCD has 52 points from 33 games on the season, now in a tie for third place in the Western Conference.

PREVIEW: SJ vs. FCD

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LAST MATCH

  • FC Dallas went ahead in the 35th minute. A clearance from Dallas goalkeeper Kevin Hartman found the head of Brek Shea near midfield, and he redirected the ball into the path of Marvin Chávez. The Honduran international dribbled toward goal, cut inside Vancouver captain Jay DeMerit and curled a shot to the back post for the opener.
  • Then FCD put the game out of reach in the 54th minute. A free kick was headed around in the box before falling to Shea, who volleyed home from close range.
  • FC Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman made two changes to the team that defeated the Chicago Fire 2-1 at Toyota Park. Daniel Cruz came back into the team in place of Andrew Jacobson, and Brek Shea returned to the side for Fabian Castillo.
  • FC DALLAS (4-2-3-1): Kevin Hartman - Zach Loyd, George John, Ugo Ihemelu, Jair Benitez - Daniel Hernandez, Daniel Cruz (Andrew Jacobson 70) - Marvin Chavez (Fabian Castillo 70), Ricardo Villar, Brek Shea - Jackson (Maicon Santos 79).

TEAM NEWS

  • FC Dallas put an end to a three-game league losing streak at Pizza Hut Park in the win against Vancouver. Earlier in the week, they put an end to a four-game losing streak overall in a 2-1 win at Chicago.
  • "In the first half, we were giving the ball away a little bit too easily. In the second half, I thought we did a much better job with that. I think their guys got a little tired chasing. I'm real pleased with the win, scoring two goals and getting a shutout," said FCD head coach Schellas Hyndman. "I thought it was a chippy game, but I thought we created some nice opportunities for ourselves and seemed to be playing with a little bit more confidence."
  • FC Dallas have 52 points on the season, tied for the most points in a season in club history, also achieved in 2006.
  • "I think when you look at the number of games we've played this year and you look at all of the traveling we did and suspensions and injuries, I think it was very normal for us to kind of hit a wall. When we hit the wall, it was when things were really starting to heat up in the month of September and October, because everybody is really positioning themselves to get into the playoffs," Hyndman said. "We just didn't have the energy. The ball didn't bounce right. Things weren't going well for us. So I don't think it's abnormal for teams to hit that wall. The thing I am really proud of the boys for is being able to recover at the right time. We're sitting now with 52 points, and we would have taken that in the beginning of the year."
  • Brek Shea scored his 11th goal of the season of the season, his first since Aug. 13, and also added his fourth assist of the season. He recorded a goal and an assist in the same game for a second time, also doing it on April 17 vs.Portland.
  • "I didn't feel that good last month. Even though I played a lot of games and worked with the [U.S.] national team, I feel rejuvenated. I feel good again. I am happy about that," Shea said.
  • If FC Dallas and Real Salt Lake finish tied for third in the Western Conference, RSL will advance ahead of FCD after their win and draw in the two matches between the teams this season, and FC Dallas will face a wild card game at midweek.
  • "We need a win against San Jose to have a chance at third place and that's our goal," Hyndman said. "We'll do all we can to avoid the wildcard playoffs so we can be rested and ready for the next part [of the playoffs]."
  • On Tuesday, FC Dallas were dumped out of the 2011/12 CONCACAF Champions League after a 3-0 loss to Toronto FC at Pizza Hut Park.
  • Here's the FCD team: Kevin Hartman, Jeremy Hall (Ruben Luna 69), Ugo Ihemelu, George John, Zach Loyd, Brek Shea (Bruno Guarda 87),  Andrew Jacobson, Daniel Hernandez, Ricardo Villar (Daniel Cruz 46), Marvin Chavez, Jackson.
  • "I don't like to use the words 'we weren't prepared' or use the words 'we came out flat.' I just don't think we were as committed to this game as they were or as much as we needed to be," said Hyndman. " ... We really didn't have a lot of quality chances except for the free kicks. They were just completely terrorizing us and winning a lot of balls in the midfield. And if you say we're tired, yeah, we looked tired. We haven't played any more games than they have. That's the reality. They've had as many games as we've had, and they didn't look tired tonight."
  • Midfielder Ricardo Villar was forced off at halftime with an injury. "Without [Ricardo] Villar, there just really isn't that connector in the attacking third to create opportunities for players. He goes across and tried to hit a shot and drives his foot into somebody else's foot. That's the foot that's been bothering him. He wanted to go in the second half, but I thought he really struggled there since he was injured," said Hyndman.