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Keeping Score: Tafari stoppage time goal saves FC Dallas, salvages draw against San Jose

We've got your one-stop shop for FC Dallas match coverage! Match analysis, food concession reviews and more!

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Welcome back to Keeping Score: Your complete FC Dallas match day experience. 

San Jose, like Vancouver, is another one of those clubs that just seem to have FC Dallas' number. Despite finishing in toward the bottom of the league in recent years, San Jose has resurged back into playoff contention position this season and held a home unbeaten streak against FC Dallas that dated back to 2017 (two wins and four draws). Furthermore, San Jose had only lost one game in its last 11 meetings total against FC Dallas (four wins and six draws).

FC Dallas was able to get over the hump this season against Vancouver ... could they do the same versus the Earthquakes?

FC Dallas led San Jose in every category in the first half and easily had the most dangerous chance: a Jesus Ferreira shot that hit off the right post. Generally, though, the first half featured ... not a ton of action. The teams went into half tied 0-0.

Very similar to the equalizer against Houston, San Jose got their first goal of the match on a ball that bounced off the post and barely crossed the line. Ema Twumasi looked to allow the headed cross by, thinking it would go out of bounds, and in turn stood in the way of Jimmy Maurer. The ball crossed the goal line my mere inches.

With six minutes of stoppage time added on, Nkosi Tafari saved the day and headed home an Alan Velasco cross in the 94th minute. 

Immediately after the final whistle, San Jose's Judson sprinted over to the bench area and a scuffle between both teams ensued. Multiple coaches from both clubs had to separate players. A red card was shown to Judson after the match.

FC fit check

"Love Unites FC Dallas" in rainbow, Pride-themed colors.

Comfy, casual T-shirt for the road and a great fit! Y'all means all!

Frisco Foodie Fun

Nothing this week with as the team is on the road. We'll get back into this section for the next home match.

In the meantime, here's my Toyota Stadium new concession rankings this season:

  1. Hot Chicken Mac N Cheese 
  2. Monster Taco
  3. Vegan tenders
  4. Birria Grilled Cheese

#DTID Man of the Match

Nkosi Tafari.

The center back played the hero role, saving the club from dropping points in San Jose.

What they said

Head Coach Nico Estévez

On what happened after the match between the teams…
“Soccer is a passionate sport and it was a difficult game where it was heated. We are not proud of what happened. We’re a team that wants to talk about soccer, about playing, and not what happens after. In the locker room we addressed what happened with our players and staff and we’ll try to be better. When things get heated, we have to calm down and help the referees to make sure everything goes okay. We know we didn't do well. We want to learn from this and get better. We have to make sure that when we talk about FC Dallas, we talk about what an amazing game they played today.”

On the team’s perseverance to earn the draw…
“I think the team played with a lot of personality today. We controlled the game totally, had the (majority of) possession and made good chances. We were controlling the game and this is why we have to give credit to this group. If you want to be a top team, it’s not easy. It’s not easy to get wins. Even though the team did a lot of good things today and deserved more than we got, we conceded a goal in a very unlucky way. It was a weird call, it wasn’t clear if (Marco) Farfan touched the guy, I’ll have to double check. There was a strange bounce, too, in front of Ema (Twumasi). Even with that, our team has that belief and that mentality. Until the final whistle, we fight to get something. I told Nkosi (Tafari) in the 89th minute to go forward. Teams that are brave and take risks get rewarded. I’m really happy that our player got at least a point because they put everything into this game to get more.”

On San Jose’s goal…
“Sometimes it's difficult when a type of ball like these, kind of spinning, when it bounces you don't know. I think that the best way is to try to hit it before it bounces. I have to review it. Ema (Twumasi) had a good distance on it. But, one bounce, you don't know where it's going to go sometimes. As you said - go wide and sometimes it gets in. We weren't lucky enough. I would also like to see the replay to see if it’s a clear and obvious goal through the line because as we don't have the technical software to see it, that is difficult. Once they call a goal, it is difficult to take it off but I I like the response that we had as a team.”

On handling substitutions while dealing with so many injuries…
We have planned other options for other players in case they get tired and we didn't expect that Tsiki (Ntsabeleng) would get injured that soon. We thought to bring Jesus Jimenez earlier but he's coming off an injury. It was too early in the game, we didn't know if we maybe had to take him off. 

I think we created enough clear chances to score a couple goals but we created a lot of situations to create clear chances. The problem was that our last pass today wasn't very good. And the calmness and the composure that we had in the middle, we didn’t have in the last half there. I think this is the next step. We talk about how to improve from the game against Houston and have confidence, composure, come to disorganize the opponent and we did it. Now it's about can we move this forward to create more clear chances.”

On Nkosi’s role later in the match... 
“I think Nkosi’s a big guy and to have good crosses it’s better to have a guy like him. He has a good agility that helps him move in tight spaces. He has a good shot. He’s also a little bit crazy, you know. It’s good to send these guys up top and do crazy things as he did - scoring a goal.”

Defender Nkosi Tafari
On the game-tying goal…
“When you score on the road, it’s nice to see the home crowd get deflated and quiet down, I like that. I would have preferred to earn a shutout, but getting the goal is great. As a center back, getting the shutout is the most important thing, while we rescued the point on the road, it will help us in the final stretch.”

On the team’s preparations for the rest of the season…
“We need to get our guys back and healthy. At the moment we have a handful of guys out with injuries, and this is a massive time for us. Summertime is coming up and that is when we tend to struggle, we need to approach it better and be mindful along the way. We need to maintain our high positioning in the table and continue to push for first place.”

On being a key part in the locker room for the team…
“I am a goofy guy, that is just how I am. I like to make people smile because I feel like everyone tends to be serious all the time. Being able to show up and make someone smile is something I aim for every time.”

Defender Sam Junqua
On returning to play in California…
“It’s been great to see friends in the crowd. It always feels home when I come back here, especially when I got to play 70 minutes as well.”

On his feelings about the match and result…
“The game could have gone either way. We had some good moments and they were dangerous at times. We’re a bit disappointed about the goal and the way we conceded. But the response was great and it was a tight game anyways.”

On his goals for the rest of the season…
“I want to keep getting more minutes like this. I’d like to play my part. Today, it maybe wasn’t what I expected it to look like but whatever it may be, playing more and helping the team more is what I’d like to do.”

Injury update

Here is who was missing:

  • Paul Arriola (right thigh)
  • Sebastian Lletget (right thigh)
  • Maarten Paes (thorax injury)
  • Tarik Scott (season ending injury)
  • Geovane Jesus (hamstring)
  • Paxton Pomykal (left quad)

Tsiki Ntsabeleng exited the match in the 10th minute due to an injury, as well. Twumasi got knocked in the second half and limped off of the field when he was subbed for in the 83rd minute.

What's next/8 ball prediction

FC Dallas has a short break and go on the road quickly to take on Sporting KC at Children's Mercy Park on Wednesday, May 31. 

TV information: Apple TV+ – MLS Season Pass – 7:10 CST.

"8 ball" bold prediction tracker:

FC Dallas will have three players score 12-plus goals this season: Jesus Ferreira, Paul Arriola and Alan Velasco.

  • Ferreira: 8/12
  • Arriola: 0/12
  • Velasco: 2/12

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