San Jose Earthquakes vs. FC Dallas Prediction, Preview and Odds - 4/24/21
The San Jose Earthquakes play their second game of the 2021 MLS Season on Saturday as they play host to FC Dallas from PayPal Park in San Jose. San Jose is coming off of a tough 2-1 loss on the road to the Houston Dynamo last weekend after bowing out of last year’s MLS Playoffs in the first round. On the flip side, FC Dallas fought their way to a scoreless with the Colorado Rapids in their opener last weekend, after making it to the quarterfinals of last year’s MLS Playoffs. San Jose is a mixture of young and experienced players to show the future is bright, while FC Dallas continues to be one of the most consistent regular season squads in the league, but have struggled to make noise in the postseason. Which team will get the points in week two and continue to show fight in the Western Conference standings?
San Jose Looking To Build Off Opener
The year of 2019 saw San Jose finish 8th in the Western Conference and 16th overall despite a strong start to the year that saw them fall off a little at the end. Last week’s 2-1 loss to Houston was a tough pill to swallow to open up the season, but had to spend most of the game fighting from behind. A 74th-minute goal from Paul Marie brought them closer, and they controlled the possession 60-40, but couldn’t generate much at all on the offensive end of things. The Earthquakes were outshot 17-8 overall and 6-4 in shots on goal and a Chris Wondolowski missed open net proved to be the difference when it was all said and done between one point and zero points. San Jose will need to ensure their finishing is much more clinical against FC Dallas if they want any chance at coming away with as many as three points on Saturday.
Wondolowski has led the team in scoring in four of the last five years and is coming off a nine-goal performance last year to lead the team. The veteran might be approaching the end of his career, but will need to continue to be a strong locker room presence to help bring along the young cast of characters. San Jose has seven current homegrowns on the roster, as well as two players on loan from Chivas Guadalajara, who need the veteran’s experience to continue to grow and mold into seasons MLS players eventually. JT Marcinkowski has grown into a strong starter in the league at goalkeeper and his youth national team experience should carry over into his continued strong career. The forward core is still raw and goals might be hard to come by as the season starts.
In January’s SuperDraft, San Jose used their first-round pick on Tommy Williamson, who likely won’t be an instant impact contributor, but hopefully can adjust to the professional game after spending time at Cal-Berkeley last year. While a second-round pick, George Asomani is an interesting player who can play box-to-box as a midfielder. San Jose made some of the fewest moves of all the teams in the league and will look to really build off last year’s experience to propel themselves forward into 2021.
Dallas Dealing With Roster Moves
FC Dallas is known as having one of the best youth academies in North America, but one downfall of that is constant roster movement that many of their colleagues don’t have to deal with. FC Dallas has three players that would likely be starters playing in Europe right now, with Brandon Servania with St. Polten, Justin Che with Bayern Munich II, and the most notable being Bryan Reynolds signing with Roma in the off-season. Reynolds, who has been a youth national team mainstay and one of the best right-backs in the league the last few years, has been more difficult than anticipated to replace. Last week saw FC Dallas control possession 55-45, but the shots basically being even at 11-11 overall and Colorado leading 6-5 in shots on goal. FC Dallas has consistently struggled to find offense, which is one reason why they’ve struggled in the postseason of late, and finding a consistent goal-scoring threat would go a long way to solving some of their woes.
One issue that hurt FC Dallas last week was the injury sustained by Thomas Roberts, who is still unsure if he’ll be available this weekend. Roberts has infused some energy into the midfield over the last few years and has partnered with Hondorun-international, Bryan Acrosta, to form a dynamic duo in the midfield. Paxton Pomykal and Tanner Tessmann are two other homegrowns to keep an eye on after finally breaking through with the senior national team recently. Last year saw Franco Jara lead the team in scoring with seven goals and the former European standout should be able to continue to find the back of the net at the MLS level. Jesus Ferreira, who has led the team in scoring in 2019 and has two goals for the USMNT, is still with the team, giving FC Dallas one of the more experienced duos up front in the league.
The winter’s SuperDraft saw FC Dallas go the midfield route in the first round and it’s not expected for Nicky Hernandez (SMU) to get much run, but his depth could be useful if injuries or transfers continue to be the norm. Much like their counterparts across the league, the draft has lost its luster to FC Dallas, who have now shifted their focus to their academy, developing local and regional talent and then signing them to homegrown deals, as shown by the nine homegrown players on their active roster.
Side Pick: FC Dallas (+200)
FC Dallas has definitely had more roster turnover than San Jose this year, but San Jose’s lack of offense behind Wondolowski makes it hard to see them scoring many goals this year. FC Dallas still has their two leading scorers from 2019 and 2020 respectively, and while they didn’t score any goals last week, have the firepower to change that and put pressure on San Jose. FC Dallas will be able to absolutely control the midfield and San Jose will be chasing far more than they’re used to in this one. The Earthquakes were lucky not to lose by more considering how badly they were outshot last weekend, and FC Dallas won’t be as forgiving up front as they take care of business on the road on Saturday.
Total Selection: Over 3
In the last four games played between the two teams, over three goals has hit in three of four of the games and Saturday will make it four out of five hitting. Between Ferreira and Jara, FC Dallas will hold up their end of the bargain and San Jose has enough experience in the midfield and Wondolowski up top to probably find a way to get one of their own. San Jose’s stats from last week, in terms of how many shots they took and how many shots allowed, would lead to more goals than the three scored last week on a typical night, and the goals won’t take much time to start filling up the scoreboard on Saturday.