Santa Clara, CA – Major League Soccer's two most in-form teams will square off at Buck Shaw Stadium on Wednesday as the San Jose Earthquakes get set to host D.C. United.
San Jose has not lost since March 17 when it fell to the Houston Dynamo, 1-0, at home. Since then, the 'Quakes have gone on a 5-0-1 run to climb to the top of the Western Conference with 19 points through eight games.
United started the season with two straight defeats but it is unbeaten in seven games since, moving up to second place in the Eastern Conference with an overall record of 4-2-3 this season.
D.C. is coming off a 3-2 defeat of Houston in which Chris Pontius and Maicon Santos combined for two goals and an assist.
"That is why we are doing so well, because those guys are doing what they do best," D.C. United captain Dwayne De Rosario told the club's official website. "Chris is getting in behind and Maicon is holding up the ball and getting into good areas. At times when they have to pull out a big play, they are pulling it out."
Wednesday's match against San Jose will see De Rosario face a former team for the third consecutive match. The Canadian featured in the club's 4-1 dismantling of Red Bull New York on April 22 before Saturday's win over Houston.
The 'Quakes will have their work cut out for them on Wednesday in trying stop a budding United attack, but they will be buoyed by their own stout offensive unit that saw the club earn a dramatic win over the Philadelphia Union in their last match.
The Union took the initial lead in the affair but Steven Lenhart made the most of his substitute appearance to score twice, including the game-winner in second-half stoppage time to lift his side to a 2-1 victory. It was enough to earn the striker Player of the Week honors despite only playing 30 minutes.
"I've had some dramatic ones, but that was a good win, a good goal," Lenhart said of his stoppage-time strike. "Whether you start or whether you come in [as a substitute], you're still competing and trying to score."
San Jose's head coach was full of praise for his influential striker after the match.
"He's hard to handle in the box, he's very good in the air, he's tough," Frank Yallop said. "After we go a goal up and then concede one pretty late in the game, to come back and score the winner, especially away from home, is very good. We're happy as a club, and very pleased for Steven Lenhart."
The Earthquakes also feature one of the league's leading scorers in Chris Wondolowski and one of the leading assist men in the league in Marvin Chavez. Wondolowski sits second on the scoring chart with eight goals on the year, one less than New York's Thierry Henry, while Chavez's three assists ties him for fifth-best in the league.