SAN JOSE -- No one is defending the Earthquakes' unsatisfying performances as they open a vital two-game homestand Wednesday night against the fourth-place Colorado Rapids.

"Our performance has to be much better," general manager John Doyle said of the first two months of the Major League Soccer season. "The players know this week is extremely important."

San Jose (1-3-3) also faces third-place FC Dallas on Saturday night, giving it a chance to make up much-needed ground in the Western Conference with consecutive games at Buck Shaw Stadium.

The Quakes also are getting healthier by the week, giving coach Mark Watson more options to find the chemistry that will lead to playoff contention.

So far, little has worked for a team that has scored only eight goals in seven games. San Jose had only seven shots Saturday in a 3-2 defeat at Vancouver. The week before, the Earthquakes took a paltry three shots in defeating Chivas USA 1-0.

Doyle and Watson would not say whether they are looking at the soccer transfer window from June to the end of August to boost the team's prospects. The window is a designated period when players can move from one country to another.

"Performance kind of dictates moods," Doyle said. "If the performance isn't at the level we expected, you don't second guess, but you start to say we have to make some adjustments here and there."

The Earthquakes might not have reached the breaking point yet. Doyle strongly endorsed his personnel, saying they simply need to play better.

Perhaps the biggest frustration is the continuing health issues of Yannick Djalo, on loan from Portuguese club S.L. Benfica of Lisbon.

When healthy, Djalo dramatically changes the Quakes' offense. But he went down against Vancouver with a groin strain and was replaced in the 14th minute. The injury came as the Whitecaps went on a 20-minute scoring spree of three goals.

Watson said his goal is to get Djalo ready to play a full game.

"We have to be a little more cautious and pragmatic with what we do before getting him on the field," Watson added.

The coach lamented how Djalo seems to recover quickly from muscle strains only to suffer another one during games. He has continued to play the midfielder because Djalo passes pre-game medical testing.

"It's pretty simple," Watson said. "Can you twist, turn, jump and sprint fully? He's always come through before the game."

The Earthquakes enter the stretch this week in good shape despite Djalo's questionable status.

Right back Andreas Gorlitz didn't play at Vancouver while dealing with what his coach described as "niggling injuries." But Watson said the German defender might be in the lineup against Colorado (4-2-2), which tied the Quakes 0-0 two weeks ago.

San Jose could make other adjustments considering it is playing three games in eight days. Jean-Baptiste Pierazzi might return to the central midfield to spell Stanford rookie JJ Koval.

No matter who starts, the Quakes have to come out fighting, goalkeeper Jon Busch said.

"It's about us walking out of that locker room ready to go," said Busch, who reached the 1,000-save milestone at Vancouver.

He has 1,001 saves for seventh on the MLS all-time list. But Busch was not celebrating the achievement after the poor showing against the Whitecaps.

"It was embarrassing the way we started the game," he said. "We did not do anything right in the first 30 minutes. We are an older, experienced team, and that 30 minutes is unacceptable."

Contact Elliott Almond at 408-920-5865. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/elliottalmond.