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MATCH PREVIEW: Quakes with opportunity to jump above playoff line tonight vs. Houston

The San Jose Earthquakes will enter Avaya Stadium on Wednesday evening with a major opportunity in front of them: to surge ahead of Real Salt Lake and Minnesota United FC and into sixth place in the Western Conference. RSL, who is one point ahead, and Minnesota, who is two points ahead, do not play again until Saturday.

Although just June, it’s never too early to peek in at the MLS standings. A league generally built on parity, teams often find themselves regretting one or two missed opportunities that costs them at the end of the season.

The Quakes are currently in the midst of a four-match unbeaten streak (2-0-2) and a five-match home unbeaten streak (4-0-1). Chris Wondolowski is back to his form as the G.O.A.T. and the team is slowly getting healthy after a rough patch in recent weeks. Unfortunately, the team is still without several key players, including U.S. National Team defender Nick Lima and Panamanians Anibal Godoy and Harold Cummings.

Houston heads to San Jose in a bit of a funk. After beginning the season 6-1-1, including a 2-1 win over the Quakes on April 13, the Dynamo have won just one of their last six (1-3-2). The club has lost four consecutive away from home and hasn’t scored on the road since April 19 – a span of 307 minutes.

Regardless, the Dynamo should be respected as their roster is capable of competing with anyone in the league. Houston is led by Honduran Alberth Elis, Colombian Mauro Manotas and Homegrown Memo Rodriguez, who have combined for 16 goals this season.

Elis, Rommel Quioto and Maynor Figueroa closed out their Gold Cup run with Honduras last night and will likely meet up with the team here in the Bay Area. It’s unlikely they will play tonight, however, after each played just 24 hours earlier.

Kickoff takes place at 7:15 p.m. and the match will be broadcast live on NBC Sports Bay Area, KNBR 1050 and 1370 KZSF.

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