FCD aim to get on winning track against 'Quakes
Frisco, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - A pair of Western Conference rivals will tangle on Saturday when FC Dallas welcomes the San Jose Earthquakes to Toyota Stadium.
FC Dallas return home after a two-match road trip which saw the club fall to the Los Angeles Galaxy, 2-1, on May 21 and follow that result with a scoreless draw against Real Salt Lake three days later.
FCD head into Saturday's clash in third place in the Western Conference with 18 points from 14 games, but they desperately need a victory having not claimed three points since a 2-1 result over Toronto FC on April 19.
It was a physical battle against RSL last time out and the closest either team came to scoring was in the 55th minute when RSL defender Nat Borchers nearly put in a header in, only to see it cleared off the line.
RSL goalkeeper Jeff Attinella was called upon to make three saves to extend his club's long undefeated run, while FC Dallas goalkeeper Chris Seitz made just one save.
Despite coming away with just one point, FC Dallas head coach Oscar Pareja praised his team's effort.
"It has been one of our best performances as a team. The discipline, character, and the fight the boys showed today just made us feel like we won more than one point," Pareja said. "We want credibility for ourselves after the struggle we had during the week. We have played three games in seven days, we came out big."
San Jose, meanwhile, comes into the match riding a nice wave of positive momentum after cruising to a 3-0 rout of the Houston Dynamo on Sunday at Buck Shaw Stadium, extending their unbeaten streak on home soil to five matches.
The 'Quakes took the lead in the 38th minute thanks in large part to a mental error by Houston goalkeeper Tally Hall, who picked up a back pass from defender David Horst, which resulted in an indirect free kick.
Shea Salinas nudged the ball into the path of Khari Stephenson, who hammered a low strike past Hall to the back post.
The lead was doubled just before hour mark as Steven Lenhart went down in a collision with Houston fullback Corey Ashe after being playing in by Yannick Djalo, and referee Geoff Gamble pointed to the spot. Stephenson coolly converted the penalty for his second goal.
It was 3-0 in the in the 70th minute via another mental blunder by Hall, who was beaten to a 50-50 ball on the edge of the box by Atiba Harris. Harris nodded the ball off the post, but coasted in alone to tap home the rebound.
"It's a great feeling. It's the first time in my career that I've scored two goals in a game, so tonight's match is up there," said Stephenson. "At the same time, I don't think I had a very good game, but it was important for the team to get the win and that's what really matters."
The will be the second meeting of the season between the clubs. San Jose claimed a 2-1 win over FC Dallas on May 10 thanks to a Cordell Cato tally in the 23rd minute and an FC Dallas own goal.
05/30 17:20:30 ET