Santa Clara, CA – Two teams heading in opposite directions meet in an inter-confernce clash on Saturday when the San Jose Earthquakes welcome the Montreal Impact to Buck Shaw Stadium.
Montreal enters the matching riding high after posting a 2-0 win over the Chicago Fire last weekend to move into first place in the Eastern Conference with 16 points.
After a hard-fought but scoreless first half, Montreal found a breakthrough in the 57th minute through Andres Romero and Marco Di Vaio made it 2-0 for the home side with 14 minutes to play to wrap up the Impact's fifth victory in league play.
"Coming off a tie here in our last home game, we knew we needed to win this game," captain Davy Arnaud said. "We knew it was going to be tough, but it's a very good result for us."
The Impact also qualified for a berth in the Canadian Championship final on Wednesday after posting a 6-0 thrashing of Toronto FC to win the two-legged semifinal by a 6-2 aggregate score.
"To come back from a game in which we suffered like we did in the first leg, we showed the high level at which this team can play," said head coach Marco Schallibaum. "Tonight, we wanted to win without a doubt, I am very proud to be the coach of this team and very proud of the guys tonight."
San Jose, meanwhile, earned a point in a 2-2 draw with Chivas USA after second-half substitute Cordell Cato scored an equalizer in the 76th minute, but the 2013 version of the Earthquakes has severely under performed in comparison to the 2012 side the won the Supporter's Shield with 66 points.
The Earthquakes currently sit in sixth place in the Western Conference with 10 points and have not taken a full three points since a 1-0 win over Seattle on March 23 -- a span of five matches, which is their longest winless run since a since their 13-game streak from June 17-Aug. 27, 2011.
"Obviously conceding two goals is never good. We had enough chances to win this game. It was a frustrating night and disappointed for the guys. They put the effort in to get the three points and we could not quite do it. We played well but we have to do better on their goals, and it is something to look at."
Saturday's task will be even tougher for San Jose as forward Steven Lenhart will miss the match after being suspended for two games by the MLS Disciplinary Committee for a violent challenge on Chivas' Mario De Luna.
In the clubs' only all-time meeting last season, Montreal claimed a 3-1 victory behind goals from Di Vaio, Lamar Neagle and Patrice Bernier.