The San Jose Earthquakes were not in action last weekend, but they will face the Colorado Rapids at Dick's Sporting Goods Park on Wednesday rejuvenated by the return of some key players.
Striker Chris Wondolowski, who is tied with Kenny Cooper for the Major League Soccer scoring lead, comes back into the fold after a stint with the United States national team, and he will be looking to continue his positive impact on the club's fortunes to impress Jurgen Klinsmann.
"He said that he's going to be watching my MLS games and just keep doing what I'm doing," Wondolowski said of the U.S. boss.
San Jose will welcome defenders Victor Bernanrdez and Shea Salinas back to the squad as well. Both players were injured in the club's 2-2 tie with Red Bull New York on April 14 and have not appeared in a league match since.
Earthquakes head coach Frank Yallop is looking forward to getting the players back into the swing of things after conceding that their respective injuries slightly derailed the team's impressive form.
"If you look at the Shea-Victor injury situation, both were out eight weeks, and I thought both were having a really good start to the season," said Yallop. "Not just Victor, I think the whole team took a hit, because it was solid and it was playing well."
San Jose could be poised for a strong defensive outing on Wednesday as the club is set to face a Colorado Rapids side that struggled in front of goal last time out.
The Rapids are coming off of a 1-0 loss at Vancouver Whitecaps FC, a match that Hunter Freeman insists the visitors dominated.
"[Saturday] was maybe one of our best games in terms of being intense and dominating," Freeman told MLSsoccer.com. "All those things come around full circle, soccer's not always a fair game.
"It's disappointing to walk out of there with not even a point, I thought we deserved at least a point, maybe three."
Rapids boss Oscar Pareja offered the simple solution on how to take all three points next time out.
"You have to put the ball in the back of the net, that's the way it is," Pareja told MLSsoccer.com Saturday night. "That's how you get points. We were not sharp in front of the goal, we hit the post and you can call that unlucky but we have to be more effective."