Discover more from Big D Soccer
Behind Enemy Lines: Scouting San Jose Earthquakes 🔎
Former manager Luchi Gonzalez comes back to Frisco for the first time.
After the postponement of Wednesday night’s game against the Colorado Rapids, FC Dallas is back in action tomorrow night when they host the San Jose Earthquakes.
This will mark the first time that former manager Luchi Gonzalez has come to Frisco with the Quakes. Earlier this season, the two sides met in May, with Nkosi Tafari scoring a stoppage-time goal to end that match level at 1-1.
San Jose is coming into this match a point ahead of FC Dallas in the standings following a 1-1 draw in Minnesota last weekend.
Let’s dive into how FC Dallas can pick up three important points this weekend over a potential playoff foe.
Key Player: Cristian Espinoza
We highlighted Espinoza back in May, and he’s still the main threat for San Jose here in October. His assist against Minnesota last Saturday was his 12th assist of the season to go along with 12 goals.
Key Matchup: Carlos Gruezo vs Asier Illarramendi
On paper, this feels like a pretty epic matchup between two veteran midfielders. Gruzeo may end up being targeted to track Alan Velasco more, but if Velasco starts on the wings (which he probably will this weekend), this matchup will really be on full display.
Out: Nathan (ACL)
Questionable: Jack Skahan (lower body)
On Loan: Oskar Agren
International duty: none
Solid on the road: San Jose has lost only three of its last nine regular-season away matches (W2 D4) dating back to late May. The Earthquakes have held opponents to fewer than two goals in six of those nine matches after doing so just four times in their previous 29 road games.
Recent run against FC Dallas: Six of the last eight meetings between FC Dallas and San Jose have ended in draws (W1 each). Going back to the beginning of the 2017 season, the Earthquakes have lost only one of 12 meetings with FC Dallas, a 4-1 home win for Dallas in August 2022.
Gonzalez has been using a couple of different formations as of late but has been using a 4-2-3-1 a bit more.
Daniel; Paul Marie, Rodrigues, Tanner Beason, Miguel Trauco; Carlos Gruezo, Jackson Yueill; Matthew Hoppe, Caden Cowell, Cristian Espinoza; Jeremy
Keys To Three Points over San Jose
Control the pace - Both teams will be looking to push this one with so much on the line for the playoff race. Dallas will want to keep the pace of this game in their control in order to frustrate the Quakes into mistakes and bad giveaways in the midfield.
Hit the counters well - We know LuchiBall well here, and that means they’ll be looking to have possession out of the back. If FC Dallas can work the turnover game in the middle of the field to hit the likes of Jesus Ferreira, Paul Arriola and Jader Obrian on the counterattack, it will go a long way in getting chances on goal in this one.
Be smart defensively - San Jose may be one of the quickest teams in their attack with guys like Cowell, Espinoza and Ebobisse. All three can hit you at different points in the attack, and if you give up cheap turnovers in the midfield, they will make you pay for it. Dallas also has to be careful of those three in and around the penalty box on set pieces and in open play. Basically, they cannot give up anything cheap.