FC Dallas extended their unbeaten streak to four games on Saturday night but drew a blank in a goalless draw away to a depleted San Jose Earthquakes team. SJ, who already drew Dallas in Frisco last month, were missing as many as six starters with Clarence Goodson and Marc Pelosi out injured while Anibal Godoy, Simon Dawkins, Alberto Quintero, and Chris Wondolowski are all on international duty for the Copa America Centenario with their respective national teams.
The result keeps FCD second in a Western Conference that produced no wins this weekend which means little was altered for the team's standing with the points dropped here, but the performance was hardly an inspiration to many in what was an uneventful outing in California. FCD will now host Houston in the Texas derby on Thursday night before signing off on a two week Copa America break.
The comeback of captain Matt Hedges to the lineup after missing the previous seven games was one of the biggest positives to take out of this game, as were the returns of Mauro Diaz and Maximiliano Urruti who sat last week's game out. With the re-installment of this trio to the starting eleven, FCD are now close to a clean bill of health for the first time since early March but aren't quite there yet with Jesse Gonzalez, Carlos Gruezo, Michael Barrios, and Alex Zendejas all still currently injured, although most of them are expected to be available again soon after the Copa break.
Aside from extending the unbeaten streak in the league and doing so by earning a point on the road, Dallas also extended its clean sheet streak to 356 minutes now, which is close to six hours of soccer, without conceding a goal from open play since Diego Valeri's early strike for Portland on May 11. New England did score two goals last week, yes, but they were from two set pieces and not from open play therefore the stat holds. This run is actually FCD's longest run of minutes without allowing a goal from open play in Oscar Pareja's 2.5 years as manager here and the longest since the five game clean sheet streak and run of 531 minutes under Schellas Hyndman in May 2011.
Considering that most of this run was done with the defensive leader Hedges out on the sidelines, it's an impressive achievement and is a testament to the improvement the team has made at the back in his absence after a rough start defensively to the season.
A tame Kellyn Acosta effort from long range that was easily dealt with by David Bingham was the only shot on target in what was a very disappointing night for Dallas on the offensive side of things. SJ, unsurprisingly, set up to defend well first and try to score on the counter and while they didn't manage to do the latter, they were impressive with the former and were tough to break down even without so many regulars. They were a tough nut to crack ultimately but the attacking display was as insipid as it could probably get from an FCD perspective.
Carlos Lizarazo got a chance to make his first start for Dallas since arriving on loan in the off-season and he had an absolute nightmare of a performance throughout his time on the pitch. He looked like he was behind the pace of the game every step of the way, lost many balls, misplaced many passes, and generally seemed like he just wasn't aware or in sync with the game going around him. On the basis of this display, it's easier to see now why Pareja said when Lizarazo arrived that he'll need time to regain his fitness and get up to scratch with the rest of the team and from what we saw here, that time has not come yet.
Overall, it wasn't a pretty game to watch but it wasn't the worst result in the world to leave with either. Four points from a two-game road trip is a certain improvement on the zero picked up in the three-game road trip a few weeks ago and it leaves FCD in good stead ahead of Thursday evening's visit of Houston where they'll look to avenge that humiliating defeat down south back in March.