EARTHQUAKES VS. MONTREAL IMPACT
When/Where: 7 p.m. Tuesday at Buck Shaw Stadium.
TV/Radio: Fox Sports 2.
CONCACAF Champions League: The tournament features 24 teams from North America, Central America and the Caribbean region. They are playing in eight first-round groupings, with the winners advancing to the championship rounds scheduled for March and April 2014. San Jose qualified for the tournament by winning the 2012 Major League Soccer regular-season title whereas Montreal advanced as the Canadian champion.
Earthquakes update: San Jose (0-2-0, CCL) finds itself in a similar situation as with the end of the MLS season: It must win to remain in contention. After losing both Group 5 road games, the Quakes need a victory to avoid elimination. Star Chris Wondolowski said games such as this one are "what defines a season." Goalkeeper Jon Busch sounded at peace with his team's dire situation. "It's another game we have to win," he said after San Jose's disappointing 0-0 tie against Vancouver on Saturday. "It's not a tough transition. We want to try to win every trophy that we can." Interim coach Mark Watson, who is battling to make his job permanent, finally will have plenty of roster options against the Impact. Because of a suspension, central midfielder Rafael Baca didn't play Saturday. He could return Tuesday and still be fresh enough to face Real Salt Lake in MLS action Saturday. Watson has defenders Jason Hernandez and Justin Morrow ready to spell the starters on the back line, whereas forward Steven Lenhart, who also was suspended for the Vancouver game, is rested and available. The Earthquakes have a 16-game home unbeaten streak in all competitions this season. But after losing at Montreal 1-0, San Jose needs a decisive, two-goal victory for a real chance to advance in the Champions League. And for a team that has scored only once in its past four games, that might be asking a lot. "This team does a good job of putting its head down and just playing," forward Alan Gordon said. The CCL match "will give us a game to work on things offensively." But time is running out for 2013.
Impact update: The Impact (1-1-0, CCL) is enjoying an impressive year in MLS. It is tied for second place in the Eastern Conference with a 13-8-6 record. A victory at Buck Shaw would put Montreal in perfect position to win Group 5 as leader CD Heredia of Guatemala still has to play twice on the road. The Impact features designated player Marco Di Vaio, who got his MLS-leading 18th goal Saturday in a 2-1 defeat to the Columbus Crew. Montreal is in the middle of playing four games in 10 days.
-- ELLIOTT ALMOND