Western Conference leaders FC Dallas will attempt to avenge their most surprising defeat of the season when they visit the last-place San Jose Earthquakes on Wednesday night.
Dallas (13-5-7, 46 points) holds a one-point lead over Sporting Kansas City atop the West after earning a 1-1 draw in Houston last Thursday.
However, Dallas is still only 3-3-2 over its past eight matches after storming to the top of the standings earlier in the season. And that stretch includes the club’s only home loss, a 3-1 defeat to San Jose on Aug. 4 that made shockwaves around the league.
“No matter what kind of season they’ve been having, we definitely have a bad taste in our mouths from that home defeat,” FC Dallas goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer said. “We’re ready to go up there and get three points on the road and kind of earn some of those points back that we feel like we lost at home.”
Meanwhile, for San Jose (3-14-8, 17 points), the victory at Dallas was a rare positive blip in what has been a miserable season. The Earthquakes saw their troubles continue Saturday when they allowed a two-goal halftime lead to slip away in a 3-2 home defeat to the Vancouver Whitecaps.
“I don’t think words can quite describe it right now,” San Jose striker Chris Wondolowski said of the defeat. “It’s a gut punch. We played so well for so long, and then just 15 minutes of complete letdowns. We’ll try to fix it, try to go over it, try to work on things that led to it. But all in all, from top to bottom, the mentality is just not strong enough right now.”
San Jose has gone 0-2-1 since that win over Dallas, twice giving back leads and allowing a winning goal in the fourth minute of second-half stoppage time in their other loss.
Although the Earthquakes have not yet been mathematically eliminated from playoff contention, they now sit 21 points beneath the playoff line with nine matches remaining.
Wondolowski sits at 141 career MLS goals, four shy of the all-time MLS record held by Landon Donovan. He potentially could make his first start in six games on Wednesday after playing the final 21 minutes of Saturday’s defeat.
—Field Level Media