SAN JOSE -- The ailing Earthquakes need a reboot starting Saturday night at Buck Shaw Stadium against Chivas USA.
Last-place San Jose (0-2-3) plays three of its next four games at home, all against Western Conference opponents. The Quakes need to pile up points during this stretch or perhaps face a daunting prospect of trying to win on the road late in the season to make the playoffs.
They have only three home games in their final 10 regular-season matches in September and October.
But it won't be easy Saturday for a team that needs convalescing as much as points.
Chivas (1-3-3) might be considered the West's weakest team, but the Los Angeles-based club has improved from last year. Mexican star Erick Torres leads Major League Soccer with six goals. Torres, on loan from CD Chivas de Guadalajara, has 13 goals in 22 games in his brief MLS career.
Torres has more goals this season than the Quakes collectively. San Jose has scored five times: three by Chris Wondolowski and two by defender Victor Bernardez.
While the defense has begun to take shape despite injuries, the offense hasn't jelled.
San Jose has only two healthy forwards in newcomer Billy Schuler and Wondolowski. The situation might lead coach Mark Watson to revamp the lineup for the foreseeable future.
"We'll look at everything," he said.
Target forward Alan Gordon had to leave the game Saturday at Colorado after aggravating a leg injury. He started only because Steven Lenhart was out because of a knee ligament strain. Gordon is listed as questionable with a hip strain.
Seldom-used Mike Fucito also suffered an injury recently while on loan with Sacramento Republic as part of a recovery. Attacking midfielder Khari Stephenson is questionable with left calf tightness while target forward Adam Jahn is ineligible Saturday after receiving a red card last weekend for violent play.
Most troubling is the status of Portuguese midfielder Yannick Djalo, who left the game Saturday after only 18 minutes as a second-half substitute. The team's most dynamic attacking player suffered a hamstring strain and is questionable against Chivas.
"We've got to get him healthy so he can play for more minutes," Watson said.
The start to the 2014 campaign suddenly is looking eerily similar to last year when a disappointing spring precipitated the departure of then-coach Frank Yallop.
The players know something has to change even if their top threats are injured.
"We always need more movement at the midfield and in front just to have different looks and force the other team to really ask questions," central midfielder Sam Cronin said. "I don't think we've done that enough this year."
Watson's answer is for the players to work through the scoring drought.
"We'll keep plugging away," he said. "We found ourselves in good situations but just lacked a little bit of quality."
At this point, the team-record 72 goals of 2012 looks like an aberration. In the meantime, Watson's team will do what it can to stop opponents from scoring to take pressure off the attacking players.
Although the injury bug also has hit the defense, the backline has shown resilience with a variety of replacements.
Left back Jordan Stewart is close to returning after missing Saturday's game because of a quadriceps strain. He is listed as questionable as is his replacement Shaun Francis (left hamstring tightness). Defender Jason Hernandez is out with a quad strain.
But German right back Andreas Gorlitz, who made his MLS debut Saturday, is ready to play again this weekend along with Brandon Barklage, who missed the Colorado game with a quadriceps muscle contusion.
Chivas (1-3-3) at Quakes (0-2-3), 7:30 p.m., CSN Plus