The Hoops are currently eight points behind the Earthquakes with a game in hand and nine games remaining on the schedule. Each of the first two meetings between these two sides ended with the points being shared following a 0-0 draw in San Jose on May 14 and a 0-0 draw at the Cotton Bowl on July 2.
Dallas has not defeated San Jose at home since the 2002 season and would snap a current franchise record eight-game winless streak if it could collect all three points on Saturday. However, that task has been made that much more difficult as defenders Chris Gbandi and Clarence Goodson will miss the match through suspension as a result of yellow card point accumulation.
If you are unable to support the team at Pizza Hut Park this Saturday, the match can be heard live on English Radio (KFCD - 990 AM with Ray Canevari) and on Spanish Radio (Radio AYO - 1540 AM with Carlos Alvarado and Jesus Padilla) and is also available through the MLS Direct Kick package.
Wednesday, August 31: 9:30 a.m. @ Pizza Hut Park
Thursday, September 1: 9:30 a.m. @ Pizza Hut Park
Friday, September 2: 9:30 a.m. @ Pizza Hut Park
Saturday, September 3: FC Dallas (10-7-6, 36 points) vs. San Jose Earthquakes (12-4-8, 44 points) at 7:30 p.m. (CDT)
RUIZ TIED AT THE TOP: With his 44th minute goal against CD Chivas USA on Saturday, FC Dallas forward Carlos Ruiz vaulted himself into a three-way tie for the league's top-spot in goals scored this season with 11. Ruiz, who scored each of the Hoops first four goals at Pizza Hut Park, has now tallied either a goal or an assist in all five of the home matches in which he has appeared for his side.
Colorado's Jeff Cunningham entered the weekend with sole possession of the MLS goal scoring lead, but the Rapids were off. He was joined on 11 goals by New England's Taylor Twellman whose injury time header was the game-winner for his team before Ruiz got his to create the three-way logjam at the top.
NUNEZ COLLECTS FIRSTS: There were a series of firsts for FC Dallas midfielder Ramon Nunez on Saturday in the 2-2 draw with CD Chivas USA. In the 67th minute, he pounced on a failed clearance from Ezra Hendrickson and fired a right-footed shot past Brad Guzan to level the score at 2-2. The goal, which has been nominated for MLS Sierra Mist Goal of the Week, was the first of the former SMU player's MLS career and helped earn him MLSnet.com Man of the Match.
Nunez's strike was also the first by a FC Dallas player other than Carlos Ruiz at Pizza Hut Park, and the first by any home player in the South goal.
CASSAR KO'ED: FC Dallas will be without goalkeeper Jeff Cassar for this weekend's game and may be without him for six to eight weeks after he suffered a separation of the AC joint in his right shoulder in Saturday night's 2-2 draw with Chivas USA at Pizza Hut Park. Just before the hour mark, Chivas defender Ezra Hendrickson tapped home an Arturo Torres flick-on to give his side a 2-1 lead. Cassar bravely dove to his right in an attempt to make the save, but he was unable to and fell awkwardly on the shoulder, causing the injury.
Scott Garlick, who started the first 19 games of the year in goal for Colin Clarke's side and was an MLS All-Star, replaced Cassar in the 63rd minute and played the final 27 minutes, making two saves.
Prior to suffering the injury, Cassar had appeared in and started four matches with a 1.89 goals against average and 13 saves.