SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Even a return to the cozy environs of Avaya Stadium was not enough to fix what ails the San Jose Earthquakes’ offense.
The Quakes were shut out for a second Friday running, suffering a 1-0 loss to FC Dallas that pushed their winless streak to seven straight league matches. And although there were more signs of life than in the previous week’s defeat at Chicago, there was never that one magical moment to send the 18,000-strong Avaya Stadium crowd into delirium.
Instead there was a wonder strike from Dallas forward Maximillano Urruti early in the second half and a quiet San Jose locker room where easy answers could not be found.
“Right now, we’re just not scoring enough goals,” San Jose coach Dominic Kinnear said. “We’re lacking goals right now, and to win games, you need to score. That’s going to be the emphasis as we head to the game next weekend [at home against Toronto FC].”
It was San Jose’s first defeat at Avaya Stadium since Sept. 5, a stretch of 12 unbeaten matches, and the Quakes are now on their first losing streak of 2016. Perhaps most ominously, the Quakes haven’t even held a lead since completing their 3-1 win against Houston on May 11; all four of their goals since then have come in the 85th minute or later -- testimony to San Jose’s persistence, certainly, but also emblematic of a team that’s been on its back foot for the better part of two full months.
“We’re playing from behind,” Kinnear said. “It’s easier said than done to go out and score the first goal. It’s a frustrating period for us right now. I think we’re a little bit disappointed in ourselves.”
San Jose forced FC Dallas goalkeeper Chris Seitz into three saves, including a point-blank deflection on Shea Salinas’ half-volley in the 42nd minute and a diving stop on Simon Dawkins in the 82nd. Anibal Godoy also hit the upper V with a 25-yard delivery in the 32nd, a free kick that appeared to have Seitz beaten, if it could have only been a few inches lower. Team captain Chris Wondolowski, playing just his second game since returning from US national-team duty, got a nick to a 24th-minute ball rolled across the face of goal by Alberto Quintero, but it went inches wide.
“I think we’re getting chances,” Salinas said. “This game, we had a lot of chances. We hit the post. We had a bunch of other times where we were in on goal and it’s just not falling our way. If we weren’t getting chances, it’d be something we’d be worried about, but we’re getting chances. I think inevitably, goals will come.”