If you didn't watch the Earthquakes' 1-1 draw against DC United last week, you could be forgiven for thinking it was more of the same from a San Jose squad that has struggled to generate offense all year.
That would be an incorrect assumption.
Despite not putting the ball in the back of the net until the 88th minute, San Jose's offense pressured DC United's back line consistently throughout the game.
Quincy Amarikwa in particular was excellent, creating a number of scoring chances for himself and his teammates. Amarikwa has been mostly a non-factor since his "golazo" against Portland in Week 2, so seeing him and Chris Wondolowski working together to create opportunities is a very encouraging sign.
All told, the Quakes still have growing to do if they want to contend. Generating chances is an important part of the equation, but all the chances in the world don't make a difference if no one can capitalize on them.
Adam Jahn, who has played a total of eight minutes this season, is currently in a two-way tie for second on the team in goals -- a fact that, while comical, is also a very stark reminder of the issues San Jose has had scoring this season.
The Quakes, as currently assembled and coached, are never going to lead the league in goals, but that's OK. San Jose doesn't need spectacular on offense; they need steady.
The final result last Saturday may not have shown it, but the Quakes offensive performance was an encouraging one. If the chances created against DC United really are the start of a budding chemistry for San Jose's offense, it won't take long before the benefits start becoming obvious on the scoreboard.
BEHIND THE STANDINGS
Real Salt Lake had the most impressive win of the week, going on the road and taking down a Sporting KC team that came into the game with the best record in MLS.
RSL is the only undefeated team left in the Western Conference, however no team has established themselves as a juggernaut out West yet. First place and seventh place are currently separated by a mere three points.
GOAL OF THE WEEK
Orlando's Brek Shea takes the volley and hammers it home with his left foot
SAVE OF THE WEEK
Doubling down on Orlando this week, as their keeper Joe Bendik denies Portland's Fanendo Adi on the penalty kick
GAMES TO WATCH
The Quakes head to Texas for a match against Western-Conference leading FC Dallas before returning home a midweek clash with the New York Red Bulls back at Avaya. Dallas was looking unbeatable at home this season until a puzzling draw against a weak Columbus squad last week.
Are you the kind of soccer fan who just wants to see as many goals as possible? Then try to catch the match between DC United and the Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday afternoon. Both teams have allowed an MLS-high nine goals already this season.