SANTA CLARA, Calif. – On a night when the MLS’ playoff chasers failed to apply any pressure, San Jose and FC Dallas – two of the teams currently sitting among the league’s top eight – were both able to be satisfied with the single point from a 0-0 draw Saturday night at Buck Shaw Stadium.
Although Dallas won the majority of play on the evening, they seemed happy to simply extend their unbeaten streak to 14 matches with another road draw. Since their May 20 defeat to Los Angeles, Dallas are 2-0-6 away from home.
Quakes forward Eduardo nearly stole three points for the hosts in the 86th minute, when he got a touch-volley on fellow Brazilian Geovanni’s chipped pass, but the attempt slid wide of FC Dallas goalkeeper Kevin Hartman.
Hartman didn’t have to do much to lower his league-leading GAA to 0.58, as the Quakes generated little in the way of offensive pressure in the absence of midfielder Khari Stephenson, out with a sprained left ankle.
The teams spent the initial 45 minutes doing much in the way of probing, but precious few serious scoring chances, with a combined total of four shots, only two of those on goal. It felt like two technically sound fighters circling each other, jabbing away in a futile attempt to find weakness in the other’s defensive shell.
The Quakes’ best opportunity to gain an early lead came off the head of Dallas left back Jair Benitez. Benítez intercepted a cross from Geovanni and turned it into a long, looping back header to Dallas ‘keeper Kevin Hartman. But Hartman didn’t field the ball cleanly, and it bounced on the line – or over it, in the minds of the Quakes – before the he could control it.
Cornell Glen came through in the ninth minute, beating one defender after a nice lead pass from Geovanni, but a sliding Hartman parried that attempt easily. The Quakes didn’t get another shot inside the penalty box until Eduardo’s last-minute try.
Brek Shea laid out for a diving head in the 15th minute but couldn’t sneak it inside the back post, and Daniel Hernandez’s low, well-struck free kick from 40 yards out was scooped up at shoetop level by Jon Busch in the 28th minute.
Dallas took eight shots in the second half, but none of them required a save from Busch.
FC Dallas -- Kevin Hartman, Heath Pearce, Jackson Goncalves (Kyle Davies 69), Zach Loyd, Jair Benitez, Atiba Harris (Marvin Chavez 62), Eric Alexander, Daniel Hernandez, Brek Shea, Jeff Cunningham (Ruben Luna 83), David Ferreira.
San Jose Earthquakes -- Jon Busch, Chris Leitch, Jason Hernandez, Brandon McDonald, Tim Ward, Arturo Alvarez (Ryan Johnson 81), Geovanni, Brad Ring, Bobby Convey, Cornell Glen (Eduardo 70), Chris Wondolowski.
DAL -- Eric Alexander (caution; Reckless Foul) 42
SJ -- Eduardo (caution; Reckless Foul) 88
Referee: Ricardo Salazar
Referee's Assistants: Thomas Supple; Eric Boria
4th Official: Ramon Hernandez
Time of Game: 1:50