By IVES GALARCEP
FC Dallas Stadium has been a fortress of sorts for the top team in MLS this season, with only the Portland Timbers succeeding in escaping Frisco, Texas with so much as a point.
The San Jose Earthquakes came into Saturday night’s match still looking for their first road win of the season, and while they pushed FC Dallas for most of the night, they never could find a way to beat Peruvian goalkeeper Raul Fernandez.
The FC Dallas goalkeeper made six saves, including some important stops late in the match, to help Dallas hold on for a 1-0 victory over the Earthquakes.
Fabian Castillo provided the game’s only goal in the 33rd minute when he bent a left-footed finish past Jon Busch after David Ferreira found him with the incisive pass after a speedy FC Dallas counterattack.
Castillo’s goal was one of the few moments of skillful brilliance on a night where there were far more ugly and physical clashes. From Victor Bernardez inadvertently kicking Kenny Cooper in the head and forcing him out of the match, to George John bloodying Steven Lenhart’s nose with raised arm as both went up for a ball in the penalty area, there was plenty of rough stuff to keep the referee busy.
Fernandez was the star of the show for FC Dallas, saving his best save for late in the match, when he denied Chris Wondolowski from close range.
The victory improved FC Dallas to 8-2-3, keeping them five points ahead of the Timbers for first place in the Western Conference. The loss dropped San Jose to 3-5-6, with just one victory in their past 10 matches.
Here are the match highlights:
What did you think of the match? Impressed with Fernandez’s performance? Surprised by how badly the Earthquakes have struggled?
Share your thoughts below.
Thank you Peru for producing such a great goalkeeper!!
i like the play by play commentator from the feed. he’s great.
Not a bad effort at all on the road. Yallop still trying to figure out the best place to play Martinez and ultimately find some continuity at ACM. He changed from his 4-4-2 to a 4-3-2-1 with Gordo up top with Jahn and Wondo underneath…Martinez and Chavez on the flanks with Cronin as Dmid. I like the formation, but it is very susceptible to counters, which is how Dallas scored a would have scored 1-2 more if Busch didn’t come up huge on breakaways. With that many players up for the Quakes they should of had better possession up field, but player chemistry and ball control was lacking. It’s musical chairs at ACM right now…big problem. In search of more offense, Yallop has tried Martinez, Wondo and now Jahn. I don’t Like Martinez on the flank at all. As much as Salinas drives me nuts, I’d rather see his speed on the flank. Ultimately, what’s killing the Quakes right now is giving up a ton of early soft goals. They’ve been chasing the game all season. They need another high level CB to pair with Bernardez. Seems the back line players are behind Hernandez due to his experience and ability to communicate and lead, but he really struggles with his 1 v 1 defending…big problem when a long term leader can’t take care of his own business and set the defensive tone. Castillo beat him easily for the lone goal in Dallas and last week he was marking Sturgis when Sturgis scored near post in a 1-1 tie at home. Quakes are in a bit of a transition right now at two critical positions, Yallop has his work cut out for him…we’re starting to dig a hole.
Doesn’t help, SJ players keep finding ways to be suspended… The challenge on Cooper will be reviewed by the DC, he’ll be lucky to not be handed a few games.
I think the DC will give him the benefit of the doubt and rule it accidental. As far as what I think, I’ll plead the fifth. I agree, the Quakes are making things difficult on themselves with some real boneheaded suspensions.
The Goons were in standard form last night, wasting energy on gamesmanship and forgetting there was a soccer game to be played. If this were WWE the Goons would be the undisputed champs.
+1 its amazing how they can turn any soccer game into a wrestling match. They are the one team in MLS I consistently root against
Here here! They look like a team in need of a coach. It’d be humiliating for the quakes if they continue to play like this when that sweet new stadium is finished.
Any update on Kenny Cooper? He looked woozy.
Not making the trip to Ft. Lauderdale for the USOC game.