SAN JOSE, Calif. -- The San Jose Earthquakes kept their unbeaten streak at Avaya Stadium alive Saturday night with a scoreless draw against visiting FC Dallas.
The Quakes are now 5-0-2 in 7 home games during the MLS regular season. Their overall record was pushed to 5-3-5 with the result, good for 20 points and sixth place in the powerful Western Conference. Goalkeeper David Bingham earned his fourth clean sheet of the season -- all four have come at Avaya Stadium.
The Earthquakes had four key starters unavailable for the game as they will be participating in the 2016 Copa America Centenario that starts next Thursday at Levi's Stadium: leading scorer Chris Wondolowski (USA), midfield maestro Simon Dawkins (Jamaica), commander in the middle Alberto Godoy (Panama), and dynamic winger Alberto Quintero (Panama). The absences forced the Quakes to populate their bench with some of their walking wounded, including forward Innocent and defender Andres Imperiale.
On the bright side, San Jose welcomed back physical forward Quincy Amarikwa to the field for the first time since a hamstring injury forced him out of the Quakes 1-0 victory against Sporting Kansas City on April 24. Seldom used attackers Tommy Thompson and Chad Barrett also earned starting nods.
The line-up did not show much chemistry in the early going, as the Quakes found it a challenge to carry much possession, but their defense was up to the task of slowly down the FC Dallas attack, sitting back in their own half and deftly absorbing those rare moments the visitors put on the pressure. San Jose did have a few nice breaks on goal around the 30 minute mark, but a lack of completion on the plays results in no shots on goal.
In the 43rd minute, the Earthquakes came close, with Shea Salinas shaking free on the endline and squaring the ball into the mixer. The ball bounced out to Matias Perez Garcia, but the shot and follow were not quite on target, and goalkeeper Chris Seitz made a comfortable save.
Halftime couldn't come soon enough for either side, as well as for the fans that filled Avaya Stadium. At the TCL 4K Bar, patrons stood 10 people deep to watch the end of the Golden State Warriors playoff game against the Oklahoma Thunder. Even the big screen showed the game through much of halftime, but the second half started before the Warriors game finished, and irate fans booed the scoreboard operators decision to switch off the NBA. The Warriors would win minutes later, generating the biggest eruption of applause of the night.
In the 57th minute, Barrett collected a ball in the box and cut the ball back across the grain for Thompson, but he missed. Perez Garcia was first to the loose ball, but his shot flashed wide of the far post.
Amarikwa was subbed in the 72nd minute, as expected, for fellow forward Adam Jahn. The Quakes had been on the back heels for much of the previous segment of the match, and the introduction of Jahn gave San Jose a bit of a lift. Jahn had scored once this season, a late game equalizer against DC United earlier in the year. In the 84th minute, Cordell Cato came in for Perez Garcia. It marked the T&T midfielder's first MLS appearance of the season at home.
In the 88th minute, a fine cross from Kofi Sarkodie from the right flank soared to Thompson in the area, but his header was right to Seitz for a comfortable save. Thompson is still searching for his first MLS goal.
One more effort from the Quakes, this time during two minutes of stoppage time, came up short, and referee Juan Guzman blew his whistle to end the game scoreless. The Earthquakes return to action on Wednesday at the Portland Timbers.