STANFORD -- Earthquakes forward Alan Gordon has warm memories of Stadium Stadium and soccer.
No, not those long ago recollections when the United States played eventual champion Brazil in the 1994 World Cup in front of a crowd of 84,177.
Gordon was talking Friday about last year's game at Stanford, in which he scored the game-winner in stoppage time of a thrilling 3-2 victory over the Los Angeles Galaxy.
For the past two years, the Quakes and Galaxy have experienced some of the most dramatic games in Major League Soccer in front of big crowds at Stanford. They renew their heated rivalry Saturday in another expected sellout to end the World Cup break. San Jose officials said they've sold 47,000 tickets for the 50,000-seat stadium.
Last year's result was surreal, given that the Quakes scored twice in stoppage time to overcome their disadvantage. They also rallied in 2012 for a 4-3 victory.
"It brings out the best in us," Gordon said of Stanford -- and the Galaxy. "Hopefully we can put on a good show tomorrow."
About that groundbreaking July 4 game 20 years ago in which Brazil defeated the United States 1-0 in the round of 16?
Gordon, 32, has no memory of it.
"Twenty years ago, I wasn't even a soccer fan," he said. "I was probably playing baseball somewhere."
Gordon will be focused on nothing but soccer Saturday as the Earthquakes (4-5-4) try to break out of an early-season funk that puts them in eighth place in the nine-team Western Conference.
The Galaxy (4-3-5) is in a similar position as the Quakes and hopes to jump-start the season behind the scoring tandem of Landon Donovan and Robbie Keane. The Galaxy won't have central defender Omar Gonzalez, who like the Quakes Chris Wondolowski is playing in the World Cup in Brazil.
"Any game would be important, but this is a special event," Gordon said. "We've had special moments here."
San Jose is at the beginning of a three-game homestand. It plays host to Chivas USA on Wednesday at Buck Shaw Stadium and D.C. United on July 11.
The Earthquakes play five of the next six in the Bay Area. Based on their home vs. away history, the MLS season could come down to these games through mid-August. They end the season playing only three of the final 10 games at home.
One of the biggest concerns involves left wing Shea Salinas, who has suffered from a lower abdominal muscle issue this season. Team physicians figured the two-week break would solve the problem, but Salinas is questionable against the Galaxy.
"He's not at the point where he is healthy enough to play and play for the rest of the season," coach Mark Watson said. "It's something that we want to take care of completely and not carry for the rest of the season."
Salinas leads the team with five assists. He's the only Quakes player with more than one assist.
While Salinas is suffering, outside midfielder Yannick Djalo of Portugal finally appears healthy. Watson, who declined to reveal his starting lineup, said Djalo is likely to play Saturday.
Djalo makes the Earthquakes dynamic on offense because of his ability to possess the ball, break through defenders and create scoring chances.
A lack of scoring has been the main theme this season. San Jose has scored 14 goals in 13 games. Five of those scored were courtesy of Wondolowski.
"We have to make sure we can give the strikers better service," fullback Jordan Stewart said. "Ultimately, we haven't been playing to the standard we know we can."
Contact Elliott Almond at 408-920-5865 and follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/elliottalmond.
Los Angeles (4-3-5) vs. Earthquakes (4-5-4) at Stanford Stadium,
7:30 p.m. NBCSN