By IVES GALARCEP
FC Dallas has made a habit of late of picking up red cards, so when Oscar Pareja’s team was on the positive end of a first-half red card for once it seemed like the team’s recent run of bad results would end.
The San Jose Earthquakes had other plans though, overcoming Shea Salinas’ 45th-minute red card to post a 2-1 victory over FC Dallas at Buck Shaw Stadium on Saturday night.
An own goal by David Texeira in the 73rd-minute proved to be the winning goal, and while Michel struck a beautiful 76th-minute free kick to make things interesting, FC Dallas couldn’t find an equalizer on a night when Earthquakes goalkeeper Jon Busch made several top saves.
The Earthquakes jumped out to the early 1-0 lead when Cordell Cato ran onto a flicked Clarence Goodson pass and finished past Raul Fernandez in the 25th minute.
San Jose nearly made it 2-0 later in the first half, but Michel cleared a pair of San Jose chances off the line to keep FC Dallas in the match.
The match threatened to swing completely in FC Dallas’ favor when Salinas was sent off just before halftime for a studs-up challenge on Zach Loyd. The clear-cut red card left San Jose with little choice but to settle in and defend the 1-0 lead.
FC Dallas created chances in the second half, but couldn’t beat Busch, who stopped a Blas Perez chance in the 57th minute after a Victor Ulloa shot hit off the left post.
The Earthquakes made it 2-0 with the help of FC Dallas, a floated Earthquakes free kick wound up hitting Texeira in the back and beating Fernandez in the 73rd minute.
Michel cut the Earthquakes’ lead in half with a quality free kick goal, but FC Dallas got no closer on their way to a third straight loss.
The Earthquakes improved to 2-3-4 on the season, earning a very important win ahead of the departures of several players for the World Cup. Clarence Goodson and Chris Wondolowski are expected to join the U.S. Men’s National Team training camp while Victor Bernardez will be joining up with Honduras soon.
The loss drops FC Dallas into a tie for third place in the Western Conference with Vancouver, though a home match next week against struggling Chivas USA could be just what the team needs to end its current stretch of four losses in five matches.