Earthquakes fall to FC Dallas in MLS debut

Despite a strong performance, San Jose lets precious points slip away in the final minutes of the opening match of the 2024 Major League Soccer season
San Jose Earthquakes v FC Dallas
San Jose Earthquakes v FC Dallas / Omar Vega/GettyImages

In an exciting match that marked the beginning of the 2024 Major League Soccer (MLS) season, the San Jose Earthquakes suffered a bitter defeat to FC Dallas by 2-1. The game, held on Saturday night at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas, was marked by moments of intense competition and dramatic twists, culminating in a stoppage-time goal that sealed the final result.

From the opening whistle, the San Jose Earthquakes showed their determination to start the season on the right foot. Just six minutes into the game, forward Benji Kikanović capitalized on a rebound in the box to open the scoring, showcasing his ability in precise finishes. However, the visiting team's joy was short-lived as FC Dallas responded at the 26th minute with a goal from midfielder Asier Illarramendi, leveling the score.

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The remainder of the match was characterized by intense balance, with both teams seeking the winning goal. San Jose Earthquakes continued to press and had several opportunities to regain the lead, notably through Kikanović's efforts, who came close to scoring his second goal of the night. However, FC Dallas' solid defense and crucial interventions from goalkeeper Maarten Paes prevented Earthquakes' attempts from succeeding.

The decisive moment of the match came in the final minutes when FC Dallas found an opening in San Jose Earthquakes' defense and scored the winning goal in stoppage time. A fortunate play resulted in a goal from Dante Sealy, sealing the victory for the home team and leaving San Jose Earthquakes devastated with the loss in the dying moments of the match.

Despite the unfavorable result, San Jose Earthquakes' coach, Luchi Gonzalez, highlighted the positive aspects of his team's performance. Gonzalez praised the pressure exerted by the team on FC Dallas and the opportunities created in attack, emphasizing the players' hard work throughout the 90 minutes. However, the coach expressed his disappointment with the team's disorganization in the final moments, which ultimately cost them the three points they desired in the season opener.

The loss to FC Dallas serves as a reminder for San Jose Earthquakes about the importance of maintaining concentration until the last second of the game. In a league as competitive as the MLS, every point earned can make a difference at the end of the season. The challenge now for San Jose Earthquakes is to learn from the mistakes made in this match and focus on recovery in the next encounter, which will be against LA Galaxy.

Despite the initial setback, San Jose Earthquakes showed potential and determination to compete toe-to-toe with any MLS team. With the support of the fans and hard work in training, the team has all the conditions to bounce back and pursue a successful campaign in the 2024 season.