Santa Clara, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - The San Jose Earthquakes will return home to Buck Shaw Stadium for a crucial clash with the Colorado Rapids on Wednesday.
San Jose earned its first win of the season with a 1-0 home defeat of Chivas USA on April 26, but it was unable to build upon that momentum last weekend, falling in a 3-2 loss at Vancouver Whitecaps FC.
The 'Quakes enter the midweek tilt level with Chivas at the foot of the Western Conference table on six points apiece, but head coach Mark Watson was proud of how his team came back from a three-goal deficit to nearly find an equalizer.
"I was, in the end, proud of our guys the way they came back," Watson said after the match. "They got one before halftime, which was crucial, I thought. We really had a good time at the start of the second half, played some good stuff and in the end made it a close game."
Chris Wondolowski scored both of San Jose's goals against Vancouver, but the 'Quakes striker, who is in the mix for a spot on Jurgen Klinsmann's United States roster for the World Cup, would have preferred a win for his side.
"I do know that Klinsmann likes winners," Wondolowski said. "So I'd rather win the game and not score, and done things to help the team win, than to score two goals and see the team lose. He takes everything into account, and for sure he wants winners, so it's something I want to fix on Wednesday."
While San Jose continues to struggle this term, Colorado has managed to get off to a flying start. The Rapids, who edged the Los Angeles Galaxy in a 1-0 home victory last weekend, enter Wednesday's match in fourth place in the West with 14 points from eight games.
Perhaps what has been most impressive for Colorado thus far has been first- year head coach Pablo Mastroeni's ability to make changes on the fly and still manage a result.
Mastroeni made five changes to his previous lineup in preparation for a formidable Galaxy side, one of which involved moving regular left-back Chris Klute over to the right side of defense.
"I think Chris did a really good job," Mastroeni said after the match. "He's comfortable on either side and I think he made a few key stops there at the end and really shut down that side of the field. The guys in front of him did a pretty good job making it predictable for him but I think overall that whole back line did a really good job of keeping the game in front."
San Jose and Colorado have met already this season, playing to a scoreless draw at Dick's Sporting Goods Park on April 19. The 'Quakes, though, are unbeaten in their last five meetings with the Rapids, producing a 3-0-2 record dating back to Oct. 7, 2012.