The San Jose Earthquakes return to PayPal Park to host FC Dallas in the season finale on Sunday, Nov. 7, presented by PayPal. Sunday’s match is San Jose’s first season finale at PayPal Park since 2017.
Earthquakes head coach Matias Almeyda plans to field a competitive team for Sunday afternoon as they aim to finish the year with a victory. After falling out of the MLS Cup Playoff race, Almeyda says his goal is to perform, leave a good image in the Quakes’ remaining matches, and build on the positives from this season.
The Quakes have been working towards accomplishing Almeyda’s wish, surprising Real Salt Lake with a thrilling 4-3 win at Rio Tinto Stadium last Saturday and will now take that momentum into MLS’ Decision Day on Sunday.
“It’s important because we are representing the badge,” Almeyda said about Saturday’s result. “This is a young club, founded in 1974. I am older than the club and that has to be respected. What is most important for me is that every player at San Jose has a sense of belonging. For many people, the match was not significant, but we were playing for honor, for our fans, the owner and team staff, and everyone that contributes their grain of sand in playing for a win.”
Almeyda anticipates the same game plan this weekend, expecting the team to show up with a mindset and honor Quakes fans in attendance.
"We try to work with the maturity and seriousness that characterizes us,” Almeyda shared ahead of Sunday’s home match. “We will prepare for this match as if it were a final. We will try to finish the season on a good note. The thought of relaxing never crosses my mind just because this is the final week."
San Jose and Dallas will meet for the third and final time this season, with the Quakes defeating Dallas 3-1 on April 24, and splitting points in a 1-1 draw at Toyota Stadium on Sept. 11. The Earthquakes carry an eight-match unbeaten streak against FC Dallas (4-0-4) and remain unbeaten against the Texan side at PayPal Park since April 14, 2017, holding a 2-0-2 home record.
FC Dallas currently sits in 11th place in the Western Conference standings and have yielded a record of 2-10-4 in road games in 2021. Dallas is led by Homegrown forward Ricardo Pepi with 13 goals. The 18-year-old tallied a single goal in both matches against San Jose in 2021 but has not featured on the scoresheet in his last four matches for FC Dallas. Jesus Ferreira has also aided the Texas club’s offense, tallying eight goals and eight assists this year.
Kickoff from PayPal Park is set for 3:00 p.m. PT and the match will be broadcast on NBC Sports California, KNBR 1050 and 1370 KZSF.