The Quakes play FC Dallas tonight at Avaya Stadium. While not a “must win” game yet, earning points against the Western Conference’s first place team might help turn around an eighth place San Jose team which is struggling to find its form.
FC Dallas has a versatile and potent offense. Dallas is tied for the MLS lead in goals scored (30), and boasts three players which have five or more goals this season (Tesho Akindele, Michael Barrios, and Fabian Castillo). 11 FC Dallas players have scored at least one goal this season.
The Quakes defense is patchwork at best. Fatai Alashe and Clarence Goodson are out. Sarkodie is questionable. Victor Bernardez is coming off a knee-knock and may not be 100%. The Quakes defensive starters will have their work cut out for them. The good news is that Andres Imperiale and Jordan Stewart should be available.
Line Up Predictions
The Quakes have to run a formation which can contain the FC Dallas offense, so I would expect the double-pivot 4-4-2. Wynne at RB, Imperiale and Bernardez as the centerbacks, and Jordan Stewart at leftback. Anibal Godoy and Matheus Silva should slot in as the defensive midfielders, with Alberto Quintero and Simon Dawkins on the wings. I would surprised if Quincy Amarikwa is still in the starting XI. In 13 games, Quincy has one goal, three assists, and eight shots on goal. His conversion rate is 23.5%, which is not good. Chad Barrett has had a great series of games, and could get the start to rejuvenate the offense. I also wouldn’t be surprised to see Dawkins at forward as he seems to thrive in a central position, which could mean MPG gets the start on the right wing.
Dallas will probably start Castillo, Akindele, Barrios, and Max Urruti on the attack. Chris Seitz will be in goal, along with former Quake Atiba Harris, Walker Zimmerman, Mat Hedges, and Maynor Figueroa on the defensive line. Kellyn Acosta and Carlos Gruezo should start as the central defensive midfielders.
The Quakes play well at home (5-0-3), but the Dallas attack just seems to have too much bite. In their previous two matches this season, both teams have taken away draws, and at this point a draw would be as good as a win. However, I don’t expect Dallas to play for the draw on Friday, nor do I expect the Quakes to maintain a shutout. Stats say a 3-1 Dallas victory, and I can’t really argue with that result.