FC Dallas flips coasts this weekend as they head to San Jose to face the Earthquakes on Saturday night. Dallas (8-4-2) is riding a three-game win streak after a 4-2 defeat of New England last Saturday, while the Quakes (5-3-4) are looking to remain near perfect at home, holding a 5-0-1 record with just three goals allowed at Avaya Stadium in 2016. The two sides played to a 2-2 draw on April 9th in Frisco. FCD is unbeaten in five-straight games against the Quakes, outscoring them 10-3 in that time.
Both sides will be missing key players this weekend on international duty, mainly around the upcoming Copa America Centenario. Dallas will be without defensive midfielder Carlos Gruezo (Ecuador), who has started all but two matches for the club this season, and Maynor Figueroa (Hondurus friendly), who has started all but one. San Jose will be without top scorers Chris Wondolowski (USA) and Alberto Quintero (Panama), as well as key players Simon Dawkins (Jamaica) and Anibal Godoy (Panama). Forward Quincy Amarikwa has also not played in over a month with a hamstring injury.
KEY PLAYER FOR SAN JOSE
Fatai Alashe – The midfielder will be called upon in a big way on Saturday. With players accounting for 12 of the Quakes’ 16 goals out of the lineup, his two goals and defensive presence will be even more important.
Tesho Akindele vs. Marvell Wynne – Having already matched his goal total for all of 2015 through the first three months, Tesho is tied for Dallas’ lead in scoring while only starting in half of the games. No matter where his plays, the Canadian international has shown flashes of his lethal 2014 Rookie of the Year campaign – in which he scored a hat trick against the very same Earthquakes.
Walker Zimmerman vs. Chad Barrett – Zimmerman welcomes the physical challenge that Barrett is sure to bring at 5-foot-11. The defender leads the league in aerial duels (48) and wins over 80 percent of challenges through the air. If the Dallas defense is to continue their strong form, Zimmerman will once again play a big role.
PROJECTED LINEUP (4-4-2)
Goalkeeper: David Bingham; Defenders: Shaun Francis, Victor Bernardez, Marvell Wynne, Kofi Sarkodie; Midfielders: Shea Salinas, Tommy Thompson, Fatai Alashe, Matias Perez Garcia; Forwards: Chad Barrett, Quincey Amarikwa.
KEYS TO THREE POINTS
Dallas will look to ride the wave of their three-game win streak into the Bay Area this weekend and maintain their five-game unbeaten streak against the Quakes. If the back line can continue their solid performance, allowing just three goals in the run of play over the last four games, while the offense continues to fire, with eight goals scored in the same span, they should complete their current road swing in a polar opposite form of their last.