Tonight's game against the Houston Dynamo offers San Jose a chance to take road points from a struggling team and to enact some revenge for fans of the old Earthquakes who changed their name and city when they moved to Texas four years ago. And after falling last week to the Red Bulls, San Jose will feel pressure to rebound or risk falling further behind in the western conference.
Entering today's game the Quakes are still holding on to the last MLS playoff spot, and they have the luxury of having played two or three fewer games than every team above them in the standings. But those games in hand mean nothing if San Jose does not convert them into points, and that task begins against a Houston team that has lost three of their last four games, all by shut out.
Much of Houston's recent offensive struggles can be linked to the absence of Brian Ching due to a calf injury. With Ching still unlikely to play the offensive burden falls to Brad Davis, who has four goals and six assists in 19 games. Iron man Bobby Boswell anchors the Dynamo defense.
Meanwhile San Jose is planning on giving Geovanni his first start of the season and the designated player has announced that he is ready to play a full 90 minutes if needed. Look for Geovanni to push one of San Jose's struggling strikers to the bench, though there is still the chance he gets used as an attacking midfielder. His ability to create offense will likely decide today's match, as Houston looks unlikely to create much offense of their own.