FC Dallas-Earthquakes Preview
San Jose Earthquakes head coach Matis Almeyda insisted his side must play for pride and accept things have not gone their way as they prepare to host FC Dallas.
The Earthquakes will look to make it four straight games with a win as they conclude their MLS season without any hopes of a playoff spot.
But a mid-season struggle of 11 winless games has completely derailed their season. Despite that turbulent period, Almeyda's focus was on the positives of the campaign.
"It's important because we are representing the badge," Almeyda said. "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.
"Even though we're out of the playoff race, there were some positives, such as the young players making progress throughout the year.
"We wanted to make it (to playoffs), we couldn't, and we need to accept when things don't go our way."
The Toros have failed to make the playoffs for the first time since 2017 and winning the Copa Tejas will hardly act as much consolation.
However, interim head coach Marco Ferruzzi insisted that there is a silver lining to the end of the term after his side defeated Austin FC once more to end a 10-game winless run.
"We've been fighting all the way up just to get to this win," Ferruzzi said after beating Austin.
"The players were very conscientious, very aware, very focused on delivering something for the fans, the family and the friends.
"But I did mention to the boys we all know this we go through adversities in life, you go through adversities in your seasons. … I'm happy the fans are out there celebrating."
San Jose Earthquakes - Cade Cowell
Cowell now has five goals - after his screamer against Real Salt Lake - and five assists through 32 games (14 starts) this year, taking a big step forward during his third professional season.
FC Dallas - Jesus Ferreira
Ferreira opened the scoring to secure the Copa Tejas against Austin. He's set a career-high in goal contributions this season with eight goals and eight assists.
●The Earthquakes are unbeaten in eight straight matches against FC Dallas (W4 D4), including a win and a draw this season. The eight-match run is San Jose's longest active unbeaten streak against any opponent.
●San Jose's 4-3 win over Real Salt Lake on Saturday was the third time this season the Earthquakes both scored and conceded at least three goals in a match. Since the start of last season, the Earthquakes have been involved in five such games (including playoffs) while no other team has been in more than three.
●FC Dallas beat Austin FC, 2-1, on Saturday, its third win in the last 17 matches dating back to the start of August. All three wins in that time have come against Austin as Dallas has a record of W0 D6 L8) against all other teams in that time.
●Chris Wondolowski scored his 173rd goal in all MLS competitions (regular season, playoffs, MLS is Back) against Real Salt Lake on Saturday, most in league history, three more than Landon Donovan managed in all MLS competitions (170).
●Franco Jara has been involved in four of FC Dallas' last six goals (3 goals, 1 assist), including scoring against Austin in its last match. Jara had been involved in just five goals in his first 24 appearances this season (4 goals, 1 assist).
Updated November 5, 2021