FC Dallas will try to take another step closer to clinching a postseason berth and a home match in the first round of the playoffs when they travel to play the struggling San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday.
Dallas (13-8-10, 49 points) enters the weekend in third place in the Western Conference standings, five points behind second-place Austin FC and three points up on surging Nashville SC with three matches to play.
Dallas is playing some of its best soccer of the season and flies into the Bay Area after a 2-1 win over short-handed Los Angeles FC last Saturday, its second straight victory. Dallas’ 49 points through 31 games are 16 more than the team earned all last season, producing the biggest year-over-year improvement in team history.
“When you work together and are in sync in the decisions, it’s easier to get to where we are right now,” FC Dallas coach Nico Estevez said of the team’s turnaround. “The expectations were that high that we (would be) at this point right now, but I think credit to the players because they have done a fantastic job. ”
Jesus Ferreira scored both of Dallas’ goals against LAFC, the top team in the West. He tied the team record for most goals in a single season with 18. Ferreira has scored multiple goals in a game five times this season, also tying a team mark.
San Jose (7-14-9, 30 points) has dropped seven of its past 11 matches. The Earthquakes’ most recent loss was a 2-1 setback at Colorado on Wednesday, with the loss eliminating San Jose from postseason contention with four matches to go.
Nathan Cardoso scored the Earthquakes’ lone goal in the loss to the Rapids.
“This team is a really strong team, with great players and great mentality and a great kind of unity with everyone,” San Jose midfielder Jackson Yueill said after the defeat. “The results this year are unfortunate and haven’t always gone our way, but I think the team has shown really good faces in difficult moments. And you’re going to continue to see that.”
Dallas snapped a nine-match winless streak against the Earthquakes with a 4-1 home win on Aug. 13.
–Field Level Media