Against the Dynamo on Friiday night at Avaya, Houston managed to snap a six-game winless streak, as well as their first road win of the season. The 2-1 loss surely translates to a crushing blow in San Jose's postseason aspirations.
Houston, under the guidance of interim manager Wade Barrett, got things started early in the match — after San Jose failed to clear its line in the sixth minute, newcomer Darwin Ceren was unable to dispatch Cristian Maidana's return ball. An unmarked and streaking Ricardo Clark smacked it home past Quakes goalkeeper David Bingham.
Looking to combat their rough start, San Jose assumed the majority of control of possession and shots in their pursuit of an equalizer. Bringing legitimacy to the old bad luck adage, David Horst found a way to double Houston's margin in the opening stages of the second half.
Victor Bernardez, after an assist from Alberto Quintero, managed to find a tally for San Jose, but it would be their only in the match.
The game was one of just two San Jose had in hand over the reigning MLS Cup champion Portland Timbers, who currently sit just one point ahead in the sixth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. A loss against the last-place Dynamo in the heat of the playoff hunt on their home turf is surely something nobody saw coming.
Luckily, San Jose will be faced with an opportune chance to capture another three points, again on home field, against the New England Revolution on Wednesday. The Revs currently sit eighth place in the Eastern Conference with just 26 points.
New England are arriving in San Jose fresh off a 2-0 shutout loss to the Columbus Crew on their home field. For the second straight week, the Revs conceded during the opening stages of each half — Ethan Finlay scored in the eighth minute of the first, Federico Higuain in the 49th.
"It's unacceptable, quite frankly," Revolution manager Jay Heaps said of his team's performance afterward to ESPN FC. "There are points in the game in which you have to be solid. We talk about being solid and be aggressive, but he smart-aggressive."
New England were thrashed the week prior in a 4-0 loss to the Philadelphia Union.
Last season, on a snow-filled pitch in Foxboro, the Quakes fell 2-1 to the Revs. All time, San Jose carry a record of 20-14-15 against the Revs in regular-season play. Spanning a five-season stretch from 2001-05, the Quakes didn't concede a single match in 12 contests against New England — they posted a record of 9-0-3 while at the same time outscoring them 27-11.
Another promising statistic from the series history: Since 2010, no match between the clubs has ended in a draw.
Three points available for the taking.