The San Jose Earthquakes will be without midfielder Simon Dawkins and center back Ike Opara when they host FC Dallas on Saturday, head coach Frank Yallop confirmed on Friday. Opara did not appear on the most recent injury report, but his absence is not a major concern as he has only started seven games this season. Dawkins' absence is more likely to have a significant impact.
The 24-year-old is in the midst of a breakout season, scoring eight goals and adding an assist to provide the Earthquakes with a legitimate scoring threat from the wing. Against the Seattle Sounders last week, Dawkins showed off that threat by scoring on a 20-yard blast in the 2nd minute.
Helping mitigate the loss of Dawkins is the expected return of Marvin Chavez, who has missed the past three games with a hamstring strain. He has one goal and nine assists, although he has mostly played on the left. He came to the Earthquakes in a preseason trade from FC Dallas.
FC Dallas is in desperate need of points, as they chase the Vancouver Whitecaps for the final playoff spot in the West. FC Dallas is currently two points behind with four matches left to play.