While the San Jose Earthquakes continue on another unbeaten run, the Houston Dynamo have had trouble winning matches overall of late, and certainly on the road.
With a chance to avenge an earlier-season loss to Houston, the Earthquakes aim to extend their unbeaten stretch to a season-high five matches while looking to push the Dynamo's winless streak to four games and hand them a fifth straight road loss on Wednesday night.
San Jose (5-6-4) is a far different side than the one that lost its first four games of 2019. The 'Quakes have lost just once in nine matches, but also have drawn their last two. They'll return to an MLS pitch for the first time since a 2-2 draw with FC Dallas on June 8.
A Daniel Vega own goal put San Jose down 1-0 in the 27th minute of that contest. However, Earthquakes All-Star Chris Wondolowski equalized in the 47th and they went ahead on 54 minutes via Magnus Eriksson, who assisted on the first goal. The home side, though, was unable to hold the lead as FCD tied it in the 65th.
During the break, the 'Quakes beat Sacramento and lost to Los Angeles FC in the U.S. Open Cup. So the focus now falls simply on MLS, where San Jose is trying to move over the playoff line in the Western Conference.
"We're not scared of anyone anymore," Wondolowski, who has scored all of his team-leading eight goals over the last four MLS matches, told the Earthquakes' official website.
"We're not changing our way. We're going to be who we are, and we have an identity now, and we're going to continue that."
San Jose moves on looking for some payback after falling 2-1 at Houston on April 13. Mauro Manotas assisted on both goals for Houston (7-4-3). Following a scoreless first half, Alberth Elis opened the scoring in the 52nd minute for the Dynamo. San Jose's Jackson Yueill equalized four minutes later, but Tomas Martinez delivered the go-ahead goal on 60 minutes.
The Dynamo are amid a 5-1-1 stretch against the Earthquakes, and can use a victory to end an 0-2-1 overall rut in which they've managed just one goal. Houston, which has totaled five points its last six league games, needs a much better effort following Saturday's frustrating 4-0 loss at Portland.
"This is a professional environment, we have to get ready for Wednesday," coach Wilmer Cabrera, whose side has lost four straight on the road and been shut out in each of the last three, told the Dynamo's official website.
"We need to be sure we put the right guys (on the pitch) and have a good mindset. I'm confident the guys are going to respond well."
Houston, which will try to avoid losing five straight road games for the second time in three seasons, last went four consecutive matches away from home without a goal in 2014.