The San Jose Earthquakes have joined the party.
With the win, San Jose jumped above the playoff line – from seventh to fifth – in the congested Western Conference with a month left to play. Houston, Dallas and Portland sit one point behind with 38 points apiece.
- 33' – SJ – Danny Hoesen WATCH
- STEPPING UP: Playing without Anibal Godoy (yellows) and Darwin Ceren (red), the Quakes showed tonight that they may have the necessary depth needed for the final stretch. Consider that seven starters had started 11 or fewer games entering the night. And the goal-scorer, Hoesen, was making only his 14th start, and just his second since July 23.
- EVEN BATTLE: In the end all that matters is the final score and three points gained or points lost. But the game was fairly even throughout, with each side getting 15 shots off and basically splitting possession. Houston's Erick Torres nearly tied the game in the 63rd, but his header hit the right post. San Jose's Marco Urena had two golden chances to ice the game late but couldn't do so.
- PLAYOFF LINE: At least for a week, San Jose can look down instead of up. And though two of the trailing teams have a game in hand, San Jose's 11 wins could prove vital as the top tie-breaker when it's all settled. Another possible factor: home games. The Quakes and Dynamo are among the best home teams, though the road has presented a different story, especially for Houston which has only one road win all year. San Jose have three home games left while Houston close out with four of six games at home.