MLS: Riding high, FC Dallas look to reverse trend vs. Quakes


FC Dallas aim to defeat the San Jose Earthquakes for the first time in more than six years Saturday night when the teams square off in Frisco, Texas.

Since recording a 1-0 road win in San Jose on July 8, 2016, the Toros are 0-5-4 against the Earthquakes

This is the first meeting between the teams this season. Last year, San Jose won once and there were two draws.

FC Dallas (9-7-9, 36 points) figure to have a good shot at ending the drought as they sit third in the Western Conference while the Earthquakes (5-10-9, 24 points) reside in 13th place.

San Jose is technically alive in the playoff race, but a current five-match winless stretch (0-3-2) has sabotaged its chances of making a late run.

Even though the Quakes have dominated the series, interim coach Alex Covelo knows it will be a challenging match.

“Dallas is a team that knows very well the way they want to play, defensively and offensively,” Covelo said. “They like to have the ball to attack with and have so many mechanisms to attack the space behind the lines that can lead in the middle. Defensively, it’s very clear the way that they press.

“But at the same time, we are going to arrive there prepared and knowing where we can be dangerous against them.”

The Toros are coming off a two-game road stretch when they lost to the Seattle Sounders on Aug. 2 and tied the Portland Timbers last Saturday.

While the club has productive scorers in All-Stars Jesus Ferreira (12 goals) and Paul Arriola (nine), FC Dallas recently beefed up their midfield with the acquisition of Sebastian Lletget from the New England Revolution.

Lletget is highly familiar with Dallas coach Nico Estevez, who was an assistant on the U.S. national team for three years while Lletget was on the squad.

“The group has welcomed me with open arms and I can see why the club is doing so well and it’s promising,” Lletget said after making his club debut against Portland. “I know Nico well and what he wants from me, so that makes things easier for me as far as transitioning.”

San Jose star Jeremy Ebobisse is tied for third in MLS with 13 goals while Cristian Espinoza (six goals, nine assists) is also enjoying a strong season.

–Field Level Media

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