Chivas USA picked up a rare three points in its return to action over the weekend, but not much has gone its way against the San Jose Earthquakes.
Chivas tries to snap a seven-game winless funk against the short-handed Earthquakes on Wednesday night at Buck Shaw Stadium.
After a three-week hiatus from league play due to the World Cup, last-place Chivas (3-7-5) snapped an 0-2-2 stretch with Saturday's 1-0 victory over Real Salt Lake. Erick Torres provided the offense with a spectacular volley and Dan Kennedy made two saves as Chivas posted its first shutout.
"It's positive, but we don't have time to celebrate," coach Wilmer Cabrera told the club's official website. "We have to prepare for a very tough game away against San Jose. We just have to be focused. We feel good that we've won, we got three points, but we are still in need of continuing getting points against our Western Conference opponents. It's important."
Chivas has been outscored 13-3 during an 0-5-2 stretch against the Earthquakes, falling 1-0 at San Jose on April 26 in this season's first meeting on Yannick Djalo's 66th-minute goal. Chivas has dropped three straight in the series by a combined 4-0 margin.
"We know it's a tough game but the last time we went over there, it was a close match and hopefully we can continue pushing," said Cabrera, whose club sits two points behind San Jose.
The Earthquakes (4-6-4) are looking to avoid a third consecutive loss in MLS play for the first time since 2011 after falling 1-0 to Los Angeles on Saturday. Playing without star forward Chris Wondolowski due to U.S. national team duty, San Jose was shut out for the sixth time this year.
The Earthquakes were also missing Honduran center back Victor Bernardez, who was still recovering from World Cup play. Shea Salinas was held out with a lower abdominal issue, and Clarence Goodson couldn't play after pulling his groin during warmups.
"It's a team game. Who's ever in, you've got to perform," midfielder Cordell Cato said. "There's not a lot more pressure than before, it's the same. You have to perform."
Chivas, meanwhile, could be getting World Cup participants Oswaldo Minda and Marvin Chavez back. Chavez's two goals are second on the team behind Torres' 10.
With Saturday's tally, Torres surpassed legend Cuauhtémoc Blancobecame to become the league's all-time leading scorer among Mexican-born players with 17 goals.
"Cubo (Torres) is a player that wants to score and works hard every day to try to score," Cabrera said. "He loves to be around the goal. He tries all these possibilities and he's been scoring a lot this year. It's good for him and good motivation for the rest of the team to have him."
Torres is seeking his first goal in four matchups against the Earthquakes, who are 3-1-1 in their last five home matches.
Chivas is 1-0-2 on the road in MLS play after an 0-14-5 stretch.