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Behind Enemy Lines: Scouting the San Jose Earthquakes

FC Dallas will try to keep their unbeaten streak alive against the San Jose Earthquakes.

MLS: Seattle Sounders FC at San Jose Earthquakes John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports

FC Dallas is headed to San Jose to face the Earthquakes on Friday. FC Dallas will try to keep their unbeaten streak alive. Currently, they are one of three unbeaten teams in the 2017 MLS Regular Season.

The Earthquakes Send a Tremor

One of the surprises of the 2017 season so far has been the San Jose Earthquakes. Many had written them off for several reasons. San Jose hadn't gotten a general manager until January. They had lost two designated players last year in Innocent Emeghara and Matias Perez-Garcia, and many expected them to use up at least one of their two open Designated Player slots during the offseason to accompany their lone DP, Simon Dawkins, but that never happened.

Injuries are another issue for San Jose this season, and it will affect how they line up against FC Dallas. They are without one of their main attackers, Quincy Amerikwa, one of last year San Jose's starting fullbacks, Marvel Wynne, and one of the new defenders they purchased over the offseason, Harold Cummings. Their lineup has plenty of new names on it because of this.

After a 2016 season in ninth place out of ten in the Western Conference last year, many expected them to be poor this year, but the San Jose Earthquakes have been decent so far to start the season. They have seven points in five games and have had promising play on the field.

Expected San Jose Lineup:

Bingham, Lima, Bernardez, Jungwirth, Francis, Dawkins, Godoy, Alashe, Hyka, Wondolowski, Ureña

There are four new players in the expected lineup who weren't on the team last year. Rookie fullback Nick Lima and former SV Darmstadt center defender Florian Jungwirth have both helped out the defensive line, and they actually have a goal each already this season. Albanian international Jahmir Hyka appears to have earned himself a starting spot on the wing, and Costa Rican international Marco Ureña has been impressing at forward for them.

Key Matchup

Roland Lamah vs. Nick Lima

Roland Lamah looked poor last week and hasn't done much to get FC Dallas fans excited about him yet, but it is still early in his time in Dallas, and he will have a chance to show what he can do on Friday against a young, rookie fullback. Nick Lima has been excellent for San Jose so far in his first-ever professional season and will of course want to show early on in his career why he deserves to be a starter.

Keys to the Match

Set Piece Defending

One of the few weaknesses of this FC Dallas side is defending set pieces. The backline that is likely to be played has had problems in the past, and San Jose is a team that will punish a team on crosses and set plays. This is also the side of the game of Jesse Gonzalez that is a little bit worrying, and he might be in the net for this game after his spectacular performance against Minnesota.

No Cheap Fouls

No one has scored on FC Dallas so far this season from the run of play. Giving up penalty kicks has been the only issue so far. Also, going back to the other 'key to the match,' the best way to defend a set piece is to not give one up in the first place.