FC Dallas

FC Dallas Wins Season Opener 2-1 Against San Jose Earthquakes

February 24, 2024 - Major League Soccer (MLS)
FC Dallas News Release

FRISCO, Texas - FC Dallas (1-0-0, 3 points) defeated the San Jose Earthquakes (0-1-0, 0 points) by a score of 2-1 courtesy of a 94th-minute winner from Dante Sealy.


Head coach Nico Estévez was able to test his new formation in an official game following several months of experimentation through the preseason. The 3-4-3 formation saw newcomer Logan Farrington play up top with Bernard Kamungo and Paul Arriola on either side. The back-three of Nkosi Tafari, Sebastien Ibeagha and Sam Junqua was flanked by wingbacks Herbert Endeley and Dante Sealy. In the middle, veterans Asier Illarramendi and Liam Fraser protected the backline. The new lineup resulted in 22 shots and nine on target, more than in any match during the 2023 season.


Wingback Dante Sealy's goal in the 4th minute of extra time in the second half helped FC Dallas earn three points to open the 2024 campaign. That is Sealy's second career goal for FC Dallas. He scored his first goal against Portland Timbers on May 1, 2021.


Midfielder Asier Illarramendi scored his first FC Dallas goal to equalize in the 25th minute of the match. Illarramendi collected a bouncing ball on the edge of the box and volleyed it home with his left foot to tie the game at 1-1.


FC Dallas now holds an 8-1-6 overall record in season openers since 2010. Dallas' only two losses in season openers were versus the Chicago Fire in 2009 and Minnesota United in 2023.


FC Dallas debuted its 2024 primary home kits in front of a sold-out crowd of 19,905. The Afterburner kits were first revealed on February 15 at the club's annual Cocktails & Cleats fundraiser at the Gallagher Club in the National Soccer Hall of Fame.


This year's third overall MLS SuperDraft pick, forward Logan Farrington, made his professional debut by starting and playing 90 minutes for FC Dallas.


FC Dallas will remain at home for its second match of the 2024 MLS Regular Season. Dallas will take on Canadian rivals CF Montréal. The matchup between FC Dallas and CF Montréal is set to kickoff at 7:30 PM CT on Saturday, March 2 from Toyota Stadium in Frisco presented by UnitedHealthcare. The match will air on MLS Season Pass on Apple TV, the FC Dallas app, and Talk Radio 1190AM.


FC Dallas - Maarten Paes; Nkosi Tafari, Sebastien Ibeagha, Sam Junqua; Dante Sealy, Asier Illarramendi, Liam Fraser (Sebastian Lletget - 84'), Herbert Endeley (Ema Twumasi - 61'); Paul Arriola, Logan Farrington, Bernard Kamungo (Eugene Ansah - 84').

Substitutes not used - Jimmy Maurer, Omar Gonzalez, Patrickson Delgado, Nolan Norris, Tomas Pondeca.

San Jose Earthquakes - Daniel; Paul Marie (Vitor Costa - 66'), Tanner Beason, Rodrigues, Carlos Akapo; Carlos Gruezo (Michael Baldisimo - 85'), Jackson Yueill, Jack Skahan (Alfredo Morales - 73'); Cristian Espinoza, Jeremy Ebobisse (Preston Judd - 66'), Benji Kikanovic (Amahl Pellegrino - 74').

Substitutes not used - Ousseni Bouda, Tommy Thompson, Daniel Munie, William Yarbrough.

Scoring Summary:

SJ: Benji Kikanovic - 6'

DAL: Asier Illarramendi - 25'

DAL: Dante Sealy - (90'+4')

Misconduct Summary:

SJ: Carlos Gruezo (caution) - 21'

SJ: Rodrigues (caution) - 45'

Weather: Clear, 70ºF

Attendance: 19,096


Head Coach Nico Estévez

On tonight's match...

"The first ten minutes, it took us a bit to get in the game and find the right way to press them. They took their chance and scored early on. But the team's response was very good and very positive, and we are capable of not only tying up the match but also creating goal-scoring opportunities. I think we had 22 shots, nine on goal. The team was able to score that second goal, and we know that with it being the first game of the season, the score can quickly change, especially when it's tied up. And well, it could've gone either way in the end, but I think the quality of our attack was an essential component in this win."

On the team's performance...

"It's the first game, and evidently, there is a lot for us to work on. But we have the whole season to work and to keep improving. We've shown that when we're calm and have possession, we've created great opportunities, some of which have resulted in a goal. On the other hand, we've had moments where we pressed the other team well and forced turnovers. That gives us the opportunity to counterattack like we have. And well, it's good that these younger players who, many of them, played with us last year have that experience in these games because in the end, this season is very long, and we need everyone in order to have a good season."

Forward Dante Sealy

On tonight's match...

"Obviously it was a rough start going down one goal. But we stuck with it, kept going, and kept pushing. Resiliency was a big part of our preseason and I feel like that was the case today as well."

On scoring the game-winning goal in added time...

"It's a crazy feeling. You can't describe it, but being there with my guys and with the fans, it doesn't get any better than that."

On the team's preparation leading up to the season opener...

"It's a good feeling having a successful preseason as a team. We took it day-by-day and step-by-step, and that showed today."

Winger Paul Arriola

On scoring goals at home...

"Yeah, it's great. I think that was kind of our theme last year, especially at home, being able to only get one goal on the score sheet at times, with a lot of ties. So this one feels really good to be able to get the win, it makes it even sweeter when it's at the very end of the game. You got a guy like Dante who's been on fire, who scored a great goal. It's obviously a great start for us. But this is a process and we really just have to focus on what's to come next. Next week, we have another game at home. And hopefully we'll do the same."

On Dante Sealy...

"It just shows a lot of maturity that he has, he wasn't too involved in a lot of action today and Neither was I. But just to have that resilience and the mentality to continue to get into the box and be ready for the one opportunity that you get, and he was able to do that. Obviously, it's great for him to carry that confidence. And, you know, I'm really proud to be his teammate to watch him grow. He's done a fabulous job, and hopefully he continues."

Midfielder Asier Illarramendi

On the match tonight....

"Despite not starting the match well, we were able to shift and start league play the right way. Despite the first goal, we were resilient and we should have scored earlier on in the second half. We did not want to continue our ways from last year where we would not be able to get wins."

On his first MLS goal with FC Dallas...

"It was a ball I found following a corner kick rebound, I knew I had to finish the opportunity and thankfully it hit the back of the net. I am very happy to score my first goal in MLS but I am happier because we were able to get our second goal and get the three points."

On how the team was able to come back...

"We had been working all preseason as a team, we were eager to start the regular season the right way, we knew the stadium was going to be packed and that the fans were excited to kick the season off, it was important to start off with a win."

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