Expect a Close Contest
Over the last several seasons, matches between the Earthquakes and FC Dallas have been tight, even affairs. Three of their last five encounters have finished in draws, while all of San Jose’s last four wins against Dallas were by scores of 2-1. Since 2013, the Quakes have held the reigning Supporters’ Shield winners to no more than one goal in seven of their last 10 matchups. San Jose has surrendered just one goal in FC Dallas’ three prior visits to Avaya Stadium.
In the absence of centerbacks Victor Bernardez and Harold Cummings last week, Fatai Alashe was called upon to jump into the backline and shut down Seattle’s dual threat of Clint Dempsey and Jordan Morris. The impromptu defender filled in ably, and with Bernardez available for selection on Friday, it will be interesting to see if Alashe is kept in the back four for a second time or if he resumes his role in midfield.
United States National Team Players Reunite at Avaya Stadium
Avaya Stadium has been host to several USMNT members over the past month and Friday’s match will continue the trend. FC Dallas midfielder Kellyn Acosta, who was an unused substitute in the United States’ 6-0 win over Honduras in March, returns to Avaya to face off against his fellow teammates Chris Wondolowski and David Bingham.
A Rivalry Across Generations
Earlier on Friday, the Quakes Academy U-12s will be facing off against FC Dallas’ U-12s in their third game of the 2017 Generation adidas Cup. The annual elite youth tournament, which focuses on player development and showcasing the best teams in the country, has been a springboard for players’ MLS careers in the past. One such example will at Avaya Stadium on Friday in the form of FC Dallas midfielder Victor Ulloa.
Speaking of youth, developing local talent has become an important focus for the Quakes that’s already beared fruit in the form of the club’s first two Homegrown Players, Tommy Thompson and Nick Lima, both regular players for the Quakes. On Friday, the promising duo will square off against arguably the best producer of young talent in the league, with a side that features nine Homegrown Players on its roster, including goalkeeper Jesse Gonzalez and midfielders Kellyn Acosta and Victor Ulloa.