SANTA CLARA -- Opportunity knocks for the Earthquakes' fresh-faced target man, Adam Jahn.
The rookie is poised to start alongside Chris Wondolowski against the red-hot Montreal Impact in a rare Saturday matinee at Buck Shaw Stadium at 1 p.m.
Suspensions to Bash Brothers Steven Lenhart and Alan Gordon -- who will sit out the two-game homestand -- injuries and missed scoring opportunities have dogged the Quakes (2-3-4), who are riding a five-game winless streak.
But the team's psyche appears strong.
"We've been training well," coach Frank Yallop said. "We're in good spirits, and we're looking forward to the game."
While Gordon and Lenhart are proven commodities, Jahn, a 6-foot-3 former Stanford star, is coming on quickly. He has two goals in seven appearances, including three starts, since being plucked from the supplemental draft.
"I see it as an opportunity to help the team," Jahn said of his role. "Obviously, they are unlucky with the bans, and I'm going to step in. I've learned a lot from them, and I feel we won't have too big of a void going forward."
The Quakes, who also host Toronto FC on Wednesday night, think their quality play is not reflected in the standings. A Canadian sweep could vault them into contention.
Wing Shea Salinas had both assists in last week's 2-2 draw with Chivas USA. The team's modus operandi remains the same, with speed on the flanks, Wondolowski lurking up front, and beef in the back.
"We've been playing well and doing a lot of the good things, and it just hasn't bounced our way yet," Jahn said.
The stingy Impact (5-1-1) presents a formidable challenge. Montreal has allowed five goals and is coming off a 6-0 midweek thrashing of Toronto FC in a Canadian tournament after a 2-0 MLS win over Chicago. Marco Di Vaio, the Impact's lone designated player, scored his fourth goal in the last five games against the Fire.
"They've got some steam, but we're at home and we've got something to prove," Jahn said. "It should be a good game."
Other Quakes forwards in the mix are 20-year-old Trinidadian Cordell Cato, journeyman Mike Fucito and Marcus Tracy, who continues to make strides after battling knee and ankle injuries since 2009.
Cato, 20, who made eight appearances for Seattle last season, scored his first MLS goal to force the tie against Chivas USA. He and Jahn have a good rapport.
"It's good to see another new player on the team that's doing well," Cato said.