MLS game preview

Earthquakes versus Dallas preview

June 6, 2009

Last week, FC Dallas avoided a winless May with a surprising road upset, while the San Jose Earthquakes earned their first win in two months.

The teams will try to build on those victories and start this month off right when they meet Sunday afternoon at Pizza Hut Park.

With a 3-0 win in Chicago last Sunday, Dallas (2-6-3) snapped a five-game winless streak and handed the Fire their first loss of the season, spoiling their bid to match an MLS record.

Veteran forward Jeff Cunningham scored his first goal of the season and 105th of his career, moving within three of third place on MLS' all-time list. Following an own goal by Chicago, forward Kenny Cooper added his team-leading fifth score, and Ray Burse made two saves to earn his first shutout of the season.

FC Dallas' first victory since April 19 pushed it back in front of last-place San Jose (2-7-2) in the Western Conference and prevented the Fire from extending their unbeaten streak to 12 games.

"There are a ton of positives to take away from this game," Cooper told MLS' official Web site "Three goals, a shutout and everyone really played well. We can go home with confidence."

The Earthquakes, who own a league-low eight points, snapped a five-game losing streak and a winless skid that had reached eight May 30 against Real Salt Lake. Cornell Glen scored in his first start for the Earthquakes and first MLS appearance since 2006, and Arturo Alvarez added the eventual winning score in the 2-1 win -- San Jose's first since March 28.

"This is only one match, we understand that," coach Frank Yallop said. "But we needed to win this game tonight, and we won it."

Yallop's squad, however, will have to try for back-to-back wins for the first time since Aug. 3-16 without Glen, who is playing for Trinidad & Tobago this weekend.

"I am a bit sorry to go at this point in time knowing that we need wins to get up on the table," Glen said. "It's a bit disappointing to have to leave."

Midfielders Simon Elliot (New Zealand) and Ramiro Corrales (yellow card accumulation) will also be out of the Earthquakes' lineup, while FC Dallas coach Schellas Hyndman is suspended after his ejection in Chicago for arguing with a fan.

"I had a bottle thrown at my head," he said. "I didn't get hit, but I was close to getting hit. The fourth official said to the other official that I had a conversation with the fans, and I guess that's something we're not supposed to do."

FC Dallas, which has not won consecutive games since Sept. 21-28, played to draws in both meetings last season against the Earthquakes.

After a scoreless match last May, Cooper and San Jose's current leading goal scorer Ryan Johnson (five) each scored in a 1-all tie Oct. 2.


Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press