Santa Clara, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - The San Jose Earthquakes will attempt to snap a four-game winless skid and climb back into playoff contention in the Western Conference when the club hosts Real Salt Lake on Saturday.
The Earthquakes must turn things around quickly with 11 games to play as the side sits eight points out of the final playoff spot in the West.
San Jose's last match saw the club rally from two goals down against Philadelphia to level the contest at 2-2. However, the Union answered that rally with one of their own as goals from Sheanon Williams and Andrew Wenger seven minutes apart lifted the Union to a 4-2 win.
The result was a disappointment for San Jose head coach Mark Watson, who feels that his side is failing to do the little things required to win games.
"At that point, we felt good, and we wanted to even get more," Watson said of his team's rally to level the match. "It's disappointing to claw your way back into a game and then let it slip away so quickly. . . We've got a tired, frustrated group right now. We just seem to not be doing the little things right now to get results in games."
Salt Lake should have gotten a result in its last game, but the club failed to take advantage of playing up a man for the entire second half and lost 2-1 to FC Dallas, keeping the club three points back of Western Conference leaders Seattle.
RSL head coach Jeff Cassar was obviously disappointed in his side after the match, and he is hoping his team can learn from the game and move on.
"There's two ways FC Dallas scores on you - set plays and counter attacks," Cassar said. "We went over it and over it [in training]. And we couldn't deal with a corner kick, and they got us on a counterattack. It was a little bit naive of us, and hopefully we'll learn from it and move on."
Goalkeeper Nick Rimando felt that, in a way, Dallas benefited from playing down a man based on their style of play, and he hopes his team will be a bit sharper against San Jose.
"Sometimes it's even harder to break down a team when they go down a man because they're all behind the ball instead of two forwards hanging high and trying to play when they win the ball," Rimando said. "But we weren't sharp enough. We weren't patient enough."
The loss was the first for RSL in seven games, but the club will be hoping to get back on track quickly to stay in the race for the top spot in the West.
08/29 19:55:28 ET