Last season proved to be a struggle for both sides, with Dynamo finishing second from bottom and the Earthquakes claiming 16th position.
Having once been regarded as one of the top clubs in the MLS, Houston Dynamo's decline continued in 2020 as they finished in their lowest-ever position.
While the team has failed to qualify for the MLS playoffs on six of the last seven occasions, everyone associated with the Texas outfit will be more concerned with ending the campaign with four wins from 23 fixtures.
Head coach Tab Ramos has been busy in the transfer market, bringing in eight fresh faces in a bid to improve the club's fortunes.
Big things are expected from new signing Maximiliano Urruti, who has arrived from Montreal Impact after contributing five goals and two assists from just 15 appearances last season.
As far as the Earthquakes are concerned, there is optimism that this side can continue on an upward trajectory under the guidance of Matias Almeyda.
The Argentine has guided the club to finishes of 15th and 16th, respectable achievements after taking charge when the team had ended the 2018 campaign down in 23rd.
Almeyda looks to have made some shrewd additions during the off-season, reuniting himself with players in Javier Lopez, Eric Remedi and Luciano Abecasis, who have all played for him at his previous clubs.
However, the Earthquakes posted the worst defensive record during the 2020 campaign, and they will inevitably have to improve on conceding 51 goals in 23 games if they want to challenge for the mid-table spots.
Ramos is expected to hand an immediate debut to Joe Corona, who has linked up with Dynamo after a couple of years with Los Angeles Galaxy.
Lopez, Remedi and Abecasis are all in contention for a first start for the Earthquakes, but Benji Kikanovic is likely to be named on the substitutes' bench at best.
Houston Dynamo possible starting lineup:
Maric; Valentin, Parker, Figueroa, Lundkvist; Corona, Vera, Rodriguez; Picault, Lassiter, Quintero
San Jose Earthquakes possible starting lineup:
Marcinkowski; Thompson, Jungwirth, Alanis, M.Lopez; Judson, Yueill; Espinoza, E.Lopez, Fierro; Wondolowski
We say: Houston Dynamo 1-1 San Jose Earthquakes
Given their disappointing efforts last time around, both teams will be focused on avoiding defeat in their opening game. With that in mind, we expect a low-scoring draw to play out on Friday.