These two teams are riding the western conference playoff line - although it may be a bit too early for either to care. It's hard to separate the two, but if Houston's defense can show up, as they usually do, it should be too much for San Jose. Then it will all come down to whether or not Houston's offense can put it in the back of the net.
Both of these teams have been struggling as of late, and San Jose is enjoying their second of three consecutive away games which will only make things more difficult.
Not much is given by either teams home/away form, but it is enough to note that San Jose concedes 1.6 goals away from home, while Houston averages 1.5 goals for at home.
Tyler Deric - Goalie
Two weeks ago I would have argued that Houston's Tyler Deric was one of the best goalies in the league. In my defense, he won the MLS Save of the Week three weeks in a row and Houston hadn't conceded more than a goal a game. That is, until their goal-for-goal performance against Sporting KC... and again just this weekend when FC Dallas handled them.
Regardless, look for Taylor and Rodriguez to hold that back line together. If they can do that, it will be tough for San Jose to do what they need to do.
Giles Barnes - Forward
Barnes is right up there with MLS leading goal scorers and scored Houston's only goal against FC Dallas this weekend. He also scored two against Sporting KC the week before. The attacking third is where Houston has struggled the most this season, so there will be a lot of pressure on Barnes to put one away.
Chris Wondolowski - Forward
Wondolowski has been important for the Quakes the past couple of weeks and scored 14 goals for San Jose last season. Unfortunately, Wondolowski's goal in the Quakes tie at Real Salt Lake was his first since their loss at New England at the end of March. Wondolowski will have to beat Houston's back line if he plans on putting points on the board for the Quakes.
Victor Bernardez- Defender
Another player who has been shaky the past couple of weeks. He'll have to forget about the own goal against Real Salt Lake. He made a couple of key tackles in April and will be a key factor against Houston.
The team looks to be healthy; Garcia was out 4/25 against Sporting KC, but appeared in the 55th minute against FC Dallas this weekend, replacing Alexander Lopez.
PROBABLE: Jordan Stewart is set to make his MLS debut against the Dynamo after a calf injury.
If Houston does what they need to do they should be able to put this one away. I expect a low scoring game, but if San Jose are able to put a goal away Houston are going to need to be able to respond.
Bold Scoreline Prediction: 1-0 or 2-1 Houston.