Mikael Stahre - on sideline - in August

With 10 games remaining in the season and the playoffs reduced to an improbable dream for some time, San Jose Earthquakes head coach Mikael Stahre believes now is the time to prove better days are ahead.

"Obviously, now we are rock bottom in the league," Stahre said after San Jose dominated long stretches of Saturday's match, but earned only a 1-1 draw against a shorthanded Toronto FC side. "We will try to win as many games as possible and get as many points as possible. so that also the last 10 games matter. So we can also win games but we can improve and show everyone: ownership, the fans, all of us, you guys, that we have a future. And that’s the aim right now.”

HIGHLIGHTS: San Jose Earthquakes vs. Toronto FC | August 18, 2018

There is some proof to that claim, however incremental. The Quakes are 1-1-2 over their last four matches with a +1 goal differential in a stretch that included a 3-1 upset win at FC Dallas on August 4.

Their -10 goal differential is that of a team that has rarely been played off the pitch and is actually only fourth-worst in MLS, ahead of Minnesota United (-12), the Chicago Fire (-15) and Orlando City SC (-20).

HIGHLIGHTS: FC Dallas vs. San Jose Earthquakes | August 4, 2018

But playing not quite well enough translates in fewer moments for the Avaya Stadium faithful to cheer about. The Quakes have taken only eight of their 17 points at home, without a victory there since a 3-2 opening weekend win over Minnesota.

For Stahre, a dominant first half against a Toronto side resting some players following their Canadian Championship victory is reason to hope.

"Our first half from my perspective is the best 45 minutes this season," he said. "We faced a really good team, an organized team that could play as well even if they rested some players. They have a pretty good lineup. We created five really big chances and if we score in the first half, in my opinion we win the game.”