EARTHQUAKES VS. FC DALLAS

Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, at Buck Shaw Stadium, Santa Clara

TV/Radio: CSN Bay Area, 1370-AM

Earthquakes update: San Jose has three shutouts in four games but continues to search for an elusive second MLS victory. A team that plays seven of its final 10 games on the road needs to start winning at home if it hopes to make the Western Conference playoffs. The Quakes (1-3-4) sit in eighth place because they haven't mustered enough offense. ... San Jose finally showed life Wednesday in a scoreless tie against the Colorado Rapids. The Earthquakes peppered goalkeeper Chris Irwin with 15 shots, but he had seven saves to frustrate the home team. "Taking the performance, we'll go into Saturday full of confidence," coach Mark Watson said. ... The coach expects center back Clarence Goodson to be available after he suffered an ankle injury last weekend against Vancouver and bruised his shin in practice Tuesday. Watson wasn't sure if midfield star Yannick Djalo could return from a groin muscle strain. The team doesn't want to rush him into action after multiple early-season injuries. But German fullback Andreas Gorlitz is lost for the season after tearing an ACL during the Colorado game. ... Watson's biggest conundrum is the central midfield, where replacements Khari Stephenson and Jean-Baptiste Pierazzi played well Wednesday. "You put those guys in there that haven't played together and it looked like they played 50 games together," Watson said. ... Pierazzi, who played in France's top division last year, found a lot to like about the team's performance Wednesday. "It was maybe one of our best games, with the ball and also without the ball," he said. "We need more time, but I think we are in a good way."

FC Dallas update: After a strong start, Dallas (5-4-1) has dropped four of its past five games, including a 2-1 defeat Wednesday night at Seattle. Adding to the problems is the loss of midfield star Mauro Diaz of Argentina for 6-10 weeks with a right knee injury. ... Dallas enters the game in third place behind Western Conference powers Seattle and Real Salt Lake. It has 16 points in 10 games, having played two more matches than San Jose. ... Unlike San Jose, Dallas has diverse scoring, led by Brazil's Michel with four goals. Blas Perez, Je-Vaughn Watson and Diaz each have scored three times. ... Coach Oscar Pareja is expected to return to a 4-2-3-1 formation after shifting to a 4-4-2 against explosive Seattle.

-- ELLIOTT ALMOND