The Dynamo has struggled to collect points in recent games, claiming only one in its last three matches, while the Earthquakes snapped a club record 13-game winless streak last time out, beating the Chicago Fire, 2-0.
Houston squandered a great chance at three points on Wednesday when the club needed a late goal from Calen Carr to snatch a 2-2 draw with the Columbus Crew.
Crew midfielder Emmanuel Ekpo was sent off after 11 minutes, and although Houston took a one-goal lead into the second half with a man advantage, it conceded two goals on penalty kicks before rallying late.
"We've got to learn how to not get in these positions, to not do this to ourselves," said Dynamo midfielder Brad Davis. "It's kind of weird the way things are falling for us but the only thing we can do is keep plugging away. We still have five games left, so no matter how bad things are we're not out of it so we've got to keep fighting away. It doesn't matter how you get into the playoffs, as long as you get in anything can happen."
At the moment, Houston occupies one of the four wild card places, but Davis acknowledged that every game the rest of the way will be big.
"Every game from here on out is very important for us," said Davis. "We're coming home against a San Jose team who won on the weekend and we always tend to have good games against them."
San Jose coach Frank Yallop has been frustrated with his team's lack of results during its winless streak, but he has also felt as though they have played well enough to win.
"I think the word would be relief," Yallop said when asked to describe what it meant to get a win. "We played well tonight and deserved the three points. As a coach, I don't look at runs, I look at performances, and I think we've performed very well the last six games. Hopefully we can go to Houston with a fresh attitude, and if we can win there, we'll be right back in it."
The 'Quakes have the chance to make a late playoff push by stringing a few wins together as they sit just five points back of D.C. United for the final playoff berth.
San Jose's win over Chicago also marked the first clean sheet for the club in eight games, and they will try to duplicate their result against Houston from the first time the two sides met in June as the Earthquakes claimed a 2-0 win over Houston at Buck Shaw Stadium.