The Montreal Impact's Marco Di Vaio and the San Jose Earthquakes' Chris Wondolowski are among the league's leading goal scorers, but their clubs have experienced vastly different starts to this season.
While Di Vaio tries to keep the Impact atop the Eastern Conference, Wondolowski hopes to help the Earthquakes snap a five-game winless skid Saturday.
Di Vaio and Wondolowski's four goals have them tied for fourth in the league, and Di Vaio's have all come in the last five games. His strike in the 76th minute last Saturday against Chicago capped a 2-0 victory.
That win snapped a two-game winless stretch for the Impact (5-1-1), who are two points ahead of three teams in the East.
Montreal will try to keep that lead while dealing with a grueling travel schedule. After visiting San Jose, the Impact have a short turnaround before Wednesday's game at the New York Red Bulls.
Montreal could head into that two-game trip with some confidence after routing Toronto FC 6-0 on Wednesday to earn a place in the Canadian Championship final. Di Vaio had two goals and two assists.
"That's a game that no one's going to forget," defender Jeb Brovsky said. "I'm proud of all the boys. They put in a gutsy effort against a good team at home."
Di Vaio also scored in a 3-1 home victory over San Jose on Aug. 18, the only previous matchup between the clubs. Wondolowski registered his team's lone goal on a penalty kick, one of the reigning MVP's league record-tying 27 in 2012.
Wondolowski tallied the opening goal in last week's visit to Chivas USA, but the Earthquakes needed Cordell Cato's first MLS score for a 2-all draw.
San Jose (2-3-4) is 0-2-3 in its last five games but has collected eight points in its last four at home, going 2-0-2.
The Earthquakes, though, will have to play this game without Steven Lenhart. The forward was suspended two games for hitting Chivas defender Mario de Luna twice in the face with his foot in last week's game.
Lenhart had no goals in four games this season after scoring a career-best 10 times in 2012.
"I'm 100 percent behind (Lenhart), but he has to change," coach Frank Yallop told the league's official website. "And I think he knows it. I know it. The team needs him to change."
Yallop, however, could get veteran midfielder Mehdi Ballouchy back from a knee injury as early as Saturday's game.
The Impact, meanwhile, are hoping to have defender Matteo Ferrari back from a calf injury, but they likely will be without captain Davy Arnaud, who sustained an apparent head injury in Wednesday's victory.
- Sports & Recreation
- Ice Hockey
- San Jose Earthquakes
- Marco Di Vaio
- Chris Wondolowski
- Montreal Impact