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KNOW YOUR ENEMY: San Jose Earthquakes

FC Dallas will look to remain unbeaten at home against the first Western Conference opponent to visit Toyota Stadium in 2016, the San Jose Earthquakes.  Dallas is coming off of a 1-1 draw against Columbus last week, pushing their home unbeaten streak to eight games dating back to August 2015. They enter Week 6 atop the MLS standings with a record of 3-1-1 and 10 points. San Jose will make their first trip out of the state of California this season looking for their first road point, after playing three of their first four matches at Avaya Stadium. The Quakes are in seventh in the West with a 2-1-1 record and 7 points.

SPREADING THE WEALTH

Last season, FCD and the Quakes each saw twelve different players register a goal and both teams have spread the scoring around early in 2016. San Jose’s five goals have come from three players: Chris Wondolowski, Quincy Amarikwa and Adam Jahn. Dallas’ eight goals on the year have come from five different players: Maxi Urruti, Michael Barrios, Mauro Diaz, Fabian Castillo and Tesho Akindele.  

KEY PLAYER FOR SAN JOSE

Chris Wondolowski – The USMNT star isn’t showing any sign of slowing down at 33 years old. Wondolowski has three of the Quakes five goals in 2016 and is a lethal threat up top with his goals coming on just five shots on target. He has 5 shots against FCD in each of the last four meetings, but San Jose is winless in those matches (0-3-1).

KEY MATCH-UPS

Matt Hedges vs. Quincy Amarikwa – With Wondolowski understandably the focal point of San Jose’s attack, Amarikwa presents his own threat – finishing second in team scoring in 2015. Acquired in a mid-season trade last year, the California-native scored the lone goal in FC Dallas’ 2-1 win over the Quakes in the regular season finale.

Maxi Urruti vs. Victor Bernardez – The Quakes have never had to face the full force of the Argentine striker in his first year as a true starter. In five previous games against San Jose over the last two seasons, Urruti has played a total of 49 minutes with one shot.

PROJECTED LINEUP (4-4-2)

Goalkeeper: David Bingham; Defenders: Shaun Francis, Andres Imperiale, Victor Bernardez, Marvell Wynne; Midfielders: Alberto Quintero, Tommy Thompson, Fatai Alashe, Matias Perez Garcia; Forwards: Quincy Amarikwa, Chris Wondolowski.

KEYS TO THREE POINTS

Dallas played a game of two halves last week without the dynamic playmaker Mauro Diaz available. They were able to come out with a point, but against another dual-threat attack, the defense is called upon for another big performance. If the offense can get back on track with a healthy Diaz, FCD should get back into the win column at home – something they are quite familiar with.  

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