SAN JOSE, Calif.—The FC Dallas players were still in various states of getting dressed when the scores started ricocheting around the visiting locker room at Avaya Stadium on Saturday night.
All in all, it was about as good a post-game report as could be for FC Dallas, who battled the San Jose Earthquakes to a scoreless draw to retain their spot in second place in the Western Conference standings, just one point behind leaders Colorado.
“We’ll take the road shutout for us,” said center back Matt Hedges. “We’ll take it, especially the way the other results went … We’re looking to gain points on teams ahead of us and put points between us on teams behind us. We’re always looking if the [other] results went our way.”
It was a solid return to the lineup for Hedges, making his first appearance since April 13 after undergoing surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee. Hedges paired with Walker Zimmerman to successfully bottle up San Jose forwards Quincy Amarikwa – himself coming back from injury – and Chad Barrett, who started in the absence of Quakes captain Chris Wondolowski.
“[Quincy is] quick, he moves well,” Hedges said. “I think it was a good test for me and my knee, just to see how it felt and how it would move. I thought it felt as good as it has in a long time.”
FC Dallas limited San Jose to just two shots-on-goal, and held the Quakes scoreless for the first time in their last 15 home matches, a stretch dating back to Aug. 2, 2015.
“This is another [match] that I feel pleased with, especially tactically, the way our defenders played today,” said FC Dallas coach Oscar Pareja. “Getting a point today in San Jose is very valuable for us. Both teams had some absences, but we’ll take the point.
"It’s a very difficult place. San Jose has done a terrific job here at home and we were able to control it. Not giving goals away today was a big assignment, and the boys did a great job in that part.”
Hedges almost came up with a late game-winner at the other end of the pitch. Mauro Rosales’ 90th-minute free kick from deep on the left wing swung in menacingly and slipped just over Zimmerman’s head before clattering off Hedges’ leg. That gave San Jose goalkeeper David Bingham a chance to pounce on the ball.
“It seemed like Walker had a pretty wide-open header, so I was just trying to block my guy and go for the rebound,” Hedges said. “And then, all of a sudden, it was going right by his head. He kind of missed it, I wasn’t expecting it to come through and it just hit my shin guard. It was a chance that went away, but that kind of stuff happens.”