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FC Dallas vs San Jose Earthquakes: Highlights, stats and quote sheet

All the stats from the draw in San Jose.

MLS: FC Dallas at San Jose Earthquakes Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

FC Dallas picked up one point on the road yesterday in San Jose.

FC Dallas head coach Luchi Gonzalez

Overall thoughts on today’s match…

Mixed because we’re going into the half with a goal, I know it was an unfortunate goal, but the goal was a real result of us trying to put some pressure on them, so a goal is a goal. [San Jose] responded really well first 10 minutes of the second half and we were reacting to that. They put a lot of pressure on us, they got in behind us, they transitioned quickly on us and they turned the game around. All of the sudden, we are facing them 2-1 down in a 10-minute spell and it was really disappointing. So we have to be honest with ourselves that that’s not good enough. It’s a moment where it’s not good enough. But again, the group responded. We made some adjustments. I thought the pieces that came off the bench gave energy and left everything on the field. And it was a great goal from Francis. I know he was hungry to get on the end of it.

As the game went on, San Jose then started to respond but the game settled more and we were able to find our footing and get some confidence back with the level of the scoreline and create some transition counters. The game was open, we could have made it 3-2, so could San Jose, but it’s an important point. Disappointing to give up the lead, but at the same time we were down and had to respond, so something to grow on. This is a hard place to play, but we will move forward and we have to be ready for the next game which is the [Lamar Hunt] U.S. Open Cup game on Wednesday.

On Francis Atuahene’s debut…

It’s a day. It’s a given day and he was excited and showed energy in the opportunity he had. We felt we needed a piece to stretch [San Jose] vertically and work, and he responded to that responsibility. Congrats to him and to the team in the way he helped the team earn a point today.

Our words to him were “go in there and be aware of this defensive duty, look to have these habits when we get the ball in terms of movement, but he needs to be him.” He earned the opportunity and showed a lot of courage and excitement to take a player on, cut inside and take the shot. If we don’t shoot, we don’t score and he took that opportunity really well and I’m very happy for him.

On Chris Wondolowski…

He’s the top scorer in the history of the league so we definitely were prepared to try to neutralize him and make sure there was a tight mark on him especially when there is service because he is a very smart reference in the box. Congrats to him and the career he has had and I hope he keeps going. But our idea was to make sure there was pressure on him and give him less time and less space on service. He still got one in there early in the second half which is disappointing on our part but that’s what he can do if given the time and space.

FC Dallas forward Francis Atuahene

Reactions after his goal...

It’s a big day. It’s been almost two years for me to get my debut so, obviously, energetic and vey excited. But I was more excited that we were back in the game and we created a lot of opportunities. The ultimate goal is always to get three points so I was happy that I was able to contribute immediately when I came in.

I’m very very excited because this place is not an easy place to play. We came in with the attitude that we were coming for the three points. It didn’t go the way we wanted but I was very excited that we were able to get one point out of it and now we go home and get ready for the next game.

On if he knew was debuting today...

I did not know but [head coach] Luchi [Gonzalez] always tells us to always be prepared and always be ready for when the opportunity comes, and I’ve always been ready and always keeping my head up getting ready for the moment...and I wanted to show that I’m ready to take the opportunity.

On his celebration...

It’s been so long since I’ve actually played like this. It’s been a very long time, I’ve been through a lot of injuries, so when I scored that goal I pointed at the back of my jersey just to let people know my name and I was just excited and I was at a moment where I was like, ‘yeah, just remember I’m here’ but I’m just excited that we were able to get a point out of here and thankful for the point and hopefully, if we stick together, we can come up with the three points next week.

On what he saw during the play...

As a forward, as a winger, my instict, when I get a ball in that kind of position, is to score. So when I got the opportunity and I saw the goalie moving and then I just didn’t think, I knew what I needed to do, so I just hit the target and I was very excited that it ended up being a goal.

Did you see Vega leaning to one side?

Yeah, a little bit but I was not focused on the goalie, I was more focused on myself so the minute I got the ball I created space for myself and I thought if I hit the target it’s going to be hard for the goalie to get to it.

On finally being able to come in after setbacks...

It’s very very exciting. I’ve been through a lot of tough times growing up in Ghana and coming to the States, but this is one of the hardest things, coming in all of a sudden... two surgeries in less than almost a year. It was very brutal. This required mental toughness and I had good teammates and a good coaching staff that was able to help me go through it. Ultimately, I was able to gain fitness and gain confidence and I was just excited that I was able to get an opportunity today and I was able to make good use of the opportunity that was given to me today.

FC Dallas forward Jesus Ferreira

On Francis Atuahene’s goal…

Everybody is happy for him. He’s been working hard for many seasons now and he hadn’t had many opportunities and now he got an opportunity where he made the best out of it. He scored in his birthday, so everybody is happy for him.

On the team’s energy following Atuahene’s goal…

It shows that we still have some energy that we can go out there and score. It helps us build confidence and pushes us to go “oh snap, he just scored, let’s keep this up and go for another one” and let’s go after the game.

On needing to stay sharp in the second half…

We knew it was going to be a hard game. We knew that we needed to learn from the mistakes back home. We came out here and improved those mistakes, but now we have to stay focus every single time we come in for the second half because the first five minutes we were down. So we have to make sure every time we come out for the second half that we are sharp.