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Quakes Hoping to Jump through (the) Hoops to Stay on Top

How much has really changed in just a week and a half for the San Jose Earthquakes? This must be a question that FC Dallas must be asking themselves. That is the amount of time that has passed since The Hoops were able to hold the MLS leader to a 0-0 draw in the warm Texas weather.

The Quakes were playing their sixth game in eighteen days, coming off a road loss to Portland four days prior, and found out late that key playmaker Steven Lenhart wouldn’t be able to play in the match due to concussion-like symptoms. But these could be viewed as just excuses for the lackluster performance by the Goonies. Or do we give kudos to the Dallas defenders and goal keeper who never gave up on plays and denied the Golden Boot leader Chris Wondolowski two sure goals off the goal line (Including Hernan Pertuz amazing save that earned him a MLS Save of the Week nomination.

This game also saw MLS All-Star Ramiro Corrales receive two yellow cards in three minutes time rendering the Quakes to just 10 men with ten minutes to play, in which neither team could convert their chances into goals.

So what does a week and a half do for the clubs? Since they last met up, the Quakes came home to Buck Shaw stadium for the first time in 8 weeks and got another win to their name by decimating the second best team in the league (Real Salt Lake) by a score of 5-0. The Quakes were able to bring Simon Dawkins, who went out with an injury against RSL on June 23rd, back into the game to add another goal to his name and bolster his confidence. And Chris Wondolowski proved to the world that he is on fire and shooting for the all time goal scoring record during one season (He’s currently at 17 goals and needs to get 11 more to break the 16 year old record).

But as well as things went in Quakesland this last weekend, life in Frisco wasn’t too shabby for the Hoops either. On Friday, Dallas announced that they had traded 22-year-old forward Andrew Wiedeman for Canadian International Julian De Guzman from Toronto FC. The former Reds’ Designated Player had already notched three assists in 16 matches this year, albeit he has never made an impact when playing the San Jose Earthquakes over the past three seasons. To add to their confidence, FC Dallas are coming to San Jose directly from Colorado where goals from Carlos Rodriguez and Fabian Castillo earned them their first win since April 14th. As if this wasn’t enough for them to feel good, the Hoops now having a record 1-0-2 with their MVP David Ferreira back in the lineup after being out with injury for nearly 15 months.

So let’s look at the records, the Earthquakes are currently number one in the league being the first team to get to 40 points this season with 41 goals scored and a goal differential of +17. FC Dallas are tied with Portland (who have played 2 less games) on points (19) and goals (19) for worst in the West with FCD letting in one less goal to have them at a -9 goal differential. In the San Jose verses Dallas series the Quakes are 21-15-9 with a home record of 12-6-4.  However, if we look at the record since the Quakes were reborn in 2008, they are only 2-2-5 with a Buck Shaw record of 1-1-2; meaning anything can happen.

What we do know is that the game will be at 8:00 p.m. (heard that kick-off might be more around 8:20 p.m. due to TV schedule) and the gates of Buck Shaw will open at 7:00 p.m. for $1 hot dog night.  The weather is slated to be around 64 degrees at time of kick off, so wear your Quakes scarf and SJ jacket. We also know that Steven Lenhart is most likely out due to continuing concussion-like symptoms. Ramiro Corrales should be back after serving his one match suspension from getting those two yellows against Dallas a week and half ago. Ex-Hoops speedster, Marvin Chavez needs to be careful against his old club; otherwise, he might be sitting out Sunday’s Vancouver game due to yellow card accumulation.

So, come out and cheer on the Quakes in hopes that the Boys in Blue and Black continue their undefeated streak at the Buck this year.