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FC Dallas’ struggles continue as they get hammered 3-1 by the San Jose Earthquakes

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A rough first half led to an even worse second half for FC Dallas.

MLS: FC Dallas at San Jose Earthquakes Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

FC Dallas failed to pick up points in a lopsided 3-1 loss to the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday afternoon.

San Jose got goals from Cristian Espinoza, Cade Cowell and a penalty from Oswaldo Alanís, while FC Dallas got a late goal from Ricardo Pepi.

The Quakes earned not one, but two penalty kicks within the first half-hour of the match. In the 19th minute, Espinoza earned the first penalty after a bad foul in the box. Thankfully, FC Dallas keeper Jimmy Maurer made a big save on the ensuing penalty to keep the game level.

Unfortunately for Dallas, Maurer couldn’t keep out the second penalty in the 31st minute after a VAR decision gave the Quakes another opportunity that Oswaldo Alanís slotted home.

Dallas nearly tied the game up moments later from Ryan Hollingshead but the ball was cleared off the line by Carlos Fierro.

Espinoza made it a 2-0 lead right after the start of the second half. Cade Cowell sent a perfect through ball behind the Dallas defense that Espinoza was able to get on the end of and chip a cheeky shot over Maurer.

Cowell added a goal of his own in the 58th minute as he took on three Dallas defenders in the penalty box before firing a shot from his left foot past Maurer.

Dallas got a goal back in the 78th minute from substitute forward Ricardo Pepi. Dallas finally got some numbers forward into the San Jose penalty box as Pepi worked back and forth with Andres Ricarute, who put in a shot that was deflected out to Pepi, who slotted home the first goal for FC Dallas in 2021.

Instant Reaction: Two games in a row with really nothing great on goal. Yes, Hollingshead had a goal cleared off the line but outside of that, it was a rough afternoon in San Jose. Part of that is due to this 3-4-3 (or 5-2-3) type formation just does not give way to finding the attack well enough. And look, Jara isn’t the answer either as the lead attacker right now in this formation either but to be fair, he had very little service on the afternoon too.

Things did improve drastically in the final 20 minutes once Ricarute, Paxton Pomykal, Pepi, and Munjoma came on and the formation switched into a 4-2-3-1 type look. The team had a little more play in the middle of the field and the chances started to finally show, including the goal from Pepi. Better work but too little, too late for the team on the day.

Man of the Match: For the second week in a row, you kind of have to give it to Jimmy Maurer. Yes, he gave up three goals before leaving with an injury but he did save a penalty and he kept things much closer than it could have actually been. If you aren’t feeling that one, then Pepi is a good shout since he got the lone goal for FCD.

What’s next for FC Dallas: Luchi Gonzalez and his squad return home for a big encounter with the Portland Timbers next Saturday night.