When you look at their two previous meetings this season, FC Dallas has actually played San Jose better than just about anyone else in the Western Conference. Both games between FCD and San Jose have been fairly open and aesthetically pleasing encounters. Let's take a look at the two previous matches between these Western Conference foes.
FC Dallas 0 San Jose 0 - July 7, 2012
The first time these two sides met this year was most notably marked by David Ferreira's long-awaited return to the starting lineup after 15 months out due to injury. Dallas rode their luck in this one a bit with Chris Wondolowski having goals stolen from him multiple times while FCD failed to make a man advantage in the last 15 minutes pay off.
Still, looking back at this game it remains the only time the Earthquakes have been shutout on the road this season and it seemed, at the time, like a game that gave Dallas a lot of confidence with Ferreira back.
San Jose 2 FC Dallas 1 - July 18, 2012
One of the most memorable games of the season, this road trip to San Jose had everything. Despite completely outplaying the 'Quakes on their home pitch, FCD looked down and out as Marvin Chavez scored a goal that he probably puts in the next 1% of the time and Alan Gordon scored a backbreaking goal just before halftime.
Things looked over as Wondolowski buried a PK past Hartman midway through the second half, but things started to turn as the penalty was called back due to encroachment with Hartman saving the re-take brilliantly.
From there, however, everything went HAM. Brek Shea had his well-documented blow up with Schellas Hyndman on national TV but FCD staged a furious late comeback. Hernan Pertuz scored his first and only goal on and 89th minute header and 90 seconds later Zach Loyd was taken down in the box giving Dallas a golden chance to earn a miracle point. We all know what happened, though, as Jair Benitez skied the PK and FCD went home to lick their wounds.
There's certainly going to be quite a few storylines heading into Saturday's crucial encounter.