LONDON (AP) – Seven weeks ago, the San Jose Earthquakes scored a season-best four goals and their playoff outlook seemed bright after a victory in the nation's capital. They haven't won since, totaling four goals in their last eight games.
The struggling Earthquakes hope facing D.C. United at home, where they haven't lost in the series in more than 13 years, can help ignite their offense and snap the winless drought Saturday night.
San Jose (5-7-9) defeated D.C. 4-2 on June 11 as Steven Lenhart notched his first career hat trick. Lenhart also assisted on Simon Dawkins' goal in the 49th minute for the Earthquakes, who won for the fourth time in five games.
At the time, San Jose had 19 points and occupied the eighth playoff seed. It has gone 0-3-5 since, falling six points back of the postseason cutoff.
The offense has been the biggest culprit for the slump, having been shut out six times. All-Star forward Chris Wondolowski, who leads the team with eight goals, has tallied two of San Jose's four during the winless stretch.
The Earthquakes had an especially embarrassing performance in last Saturday's 4-0 loss to Real Salt Lake, getting outshot 24-3.
Although San Jose has gone nearly a quarter of the season without a victory, it has earned at least one point in each of its last seven matches at Buck Shaw Stadium (3-0-4).
The Earthquakes have enjoyed far greater success against United at home, going 5-0-6 against them since a 4-0 loss June 3, 1998.
Meanwhile, D.C (5-6-9) has been solid on the road lately, going 2-0-3 away from the nation's capital since losing at Houston on April 29.
"Unfortunately we haven't been the greatest at home, but on the road we've done fairly well," forward Blake Brettschneider told United's official website. "We're going to take our road mentality - be tough defensively, try to create plenty of chances and hopefully finish some of them. It's going to take a complete team effort."
Like San Jose, D.C. has had a rough summer, going 1-2-5 since the start of June.
United, which lost to Everton of the English Premier League 3-1 last Saturday, hasn't played an MLS match since losing 1-0 to New England on July 20. D.C. had a good opportunity to get on the scoreboard in the final moments of the first half against the Revolution when it drew a handball, but Charlie Davies missed his first penalty kick in five tries, sending the ball over the middle of the crossbar.
Davies leads United with eight goals.
Brettschneider, who scored his first and only MLS goal against San Jose in June, hasn't played since being kicked in the face at New York on July 9. He has returned to training, however, and hopes to return for this match.