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Match Preview: Quakes vs. Dynamo

San Jose kicked off its three-game roadie with a draw against the New England Revolution, now the Quakes prepare to face off against the Houston Dynamo.

MLS: San Jose Earthquakes at New England Revolution Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

After playing the Revs to a scoreless draw at Gillette Stadium on Wednesday, San Jose heads into the Lone Star State for a pivotal contest against its conference rival and familiar foe, the Houston Dynamo.

Houston welcome San Jose to BBVA Compass Stadium with an unscathed 3-0-1 record on home field, the club played Minnesota to a 2-2 draw last Saturday to keep the unbeaten streak alive. Houston and San Jose are neck-in-neck in the MLS’s Western Conference, with the Dynamo currently sitting at No. 4 and the Quakes at No. 5.

The match implications for Houston are not as dire, this early in the season, as they could be for San Jose — a loss for the Dynamo might not even drop the club below the red line, but a win could help the club shake the anxiety of two consecutive subpar performances. For the Quakes, who stormed out of the gate by winning their first two games of the season, have since gone 0-2-3 in their last five.

The Dynamo have showcased one of the league’s most potent offensive attacks thus far this season, paced by Romell Quito, Mauro Manotas, Alberth Ellis and Erick Torres, all of whom have tallied scores this campaign. Torres — who currently leads all MLS goal-scorers with six — has racked up a goal or an assist in ever game his team has scored in this season, so he’ll be a player to keep a close eye on. What’s more, his six tallies have been delivered from seven total shots on target (15 attempts at goal).

The Quakes, mired by the aforementioned five-game winless streak, have managed draws in their last three outings. San Jose have combined for just two goals in the same span.

San Jose counts on its usual list of suspects to account for its goalscoring and defense, but newcomer Danny Hoesen, who has come off the bench for the majority of the still-young season, earned his first MLS start in Wednesday’s contest against the Revolution. He could have come away with a goal in that match, if not for the goalpost. Hoesen has proven to be a spark for San Jose’s offense in his inaugural campaign, he’ll be the man to watch on the Quakes side.

Overall, Houston holds a 9-7 advantage all-time in MLS play against San Jose, five of the wins have come in the Bayou City.