Wondolowski ties season goal record in Earthquakes draw at Portland

After putting together one of the best seasons in MLS history, Chris Wondolowski could be forgiven if the final goal he scored during this dream 2012 campaign was a penalty kick.

Though Steven Lenhart certainly appeared to embellish on his way to earning a valuable penalty, it isn’t likely to be remembered for long that a questionable call helped draw the penalty Wondolowski buried to give him a league record-tying 27th goal on the season. After a year that saw him lead San Jose to a dream season and Supporters Shield, it was tough to begrudge him a spot kick for a piece of immortality.

Bright Dike converted a penalty of his own to help the Timbers earn a 1-1 draw at Jeld-Wen Field, but the story of the night was Wondolowski, who ties the record held by Roy Lassiter since the inaugural MLS season of 1996.

Lassiter was on hand in Portland to witness Wondolowski tie his MLS goals record.

With the match scoreless in the 24th minute, Steven Lenhart drew the penalty after going to ground following a challenge from Timbers goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts. Lenhart appeared to sell the contact, and referee Mark Geiger bought it, pointing to the spot and setting up Wondolowski to make history.

Wondolowski obliged stroking his penalty into the low left corner of the net.

Dike worked hard to earn the equalizer for the Timbers, pouncing on a rebounded save of his own shot to beat Jon Busch in the 67th minute. The goal was Dike’s fifth of the season.

San Jose will now turn attention to the playoffs, where the Earthquakes will take on the winner of the Los Angeles Galaxy-Vancouver Whitecaps wild card game in the West semifinals.

Here are the match highlights:

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24 Responses to Wondolowski ties season goal record in Earthquakes draw at Portland

  1. Michael says:

    Congratulations to Wondo on the record! His personality and approach to the game make him an easy person to root for. Not many all-stars in any league are the last person to leave the field every home game while shaking hands with fans and signing autographs.

    • AzTeXan says:

      For what it’s worth, Lassiter still had a higher goals per game average (.8437 to Wondo’s .7941), though it would probably be better to use their minutes per goal scored instead (110.85 minutes per goal for Wondo to ??? for Lassiter). It also might make sense to adjust for the number of penalties taken by each player that they didn’t draw themselves. However, the biggest tie breaker is probably the fact that MLS is so much better now than it was in 1996, so Wondo’s 27 had a higher degree of difficulty in regards to overall competition.

      • AzTeXan says:

        Correction: Lassiter played in only 30 games in 96 not 32 so that’s .9 goals per game. Also, he scored a goal every 95.56 minutes.

        • JRP says:

          Watching Wondo collect these goals has been a treat. Can’t wait for the montage putting them all in one 5 minute video. I don’t care whether his talents transfer to the USMNT or some league on the other side of the pond. He has made the MLS more exciting.

  2. AzTeXan says:

    I really wanted Lenhart to try to step up to take the kick then act all confused when Wondo tried to stop him.

  3. MCM says:

    Nice that San Jose brought their own ref with them to make sure he could get the record. Portland has 0 pk’s this season. Don’t really care about the results of that game, went away happy, but 0 pk’s? We have had some crappy officiating.

    • Nick says:

      The number of PKs given in a season is so small its hard to say that there is a pattern. For example last season Chivas got zero PKs while DC got 10. Did the refs issue a memo last season saying lets eff Chivas and then this year decide to go after Portland? I doubt it.

  4. LiquidYogi says:

    “Lenhart appeared to sell the contact, and referee Mark Geiger bought it…”

    Are you serious? You’re going to say that horrifically stupid and clumsy challenge needed Lenhart to sell the contact in order to get the PK. Ricketts didn’t even argue, only Horst argued because it was soo friggin obvious it was a joke. Everywhere in the WORLD that would be called a PK and Intelligent people would rightly look at Ricketts for 1. Coming out into no mans land to make a dumb play and 2. For simply lunging at the player in the box when he should’ve fouled him outside of it if anything.

    Ricketts made a dumb play, and because Lenhart is a diving cheat everyones blaming Lenhart? I’ll bet you anything Ricketts keeper coach thinks otherwise, he’s showing him the tape and asking him what he was thinking. Lenhart is a punk, doesn’t mean this wasn’t a PK, it clearly was.

    • skyman says:

      I was at the game, rarely do I watch MLS games at all – I am a self confessed Euro snob. That should not have been a penalty: Rickets did make a horrible decision by coming out, but made a slide tackle and clearly won the ball.

      • LiquidYogi says:

        It’s obvious on the replay that it’s a foul. He hits the ball and then trips the player, that’s a foul according to US Soccer. You don’t like it fine, but it’s still a foul.

        • Slyboy says:

          like Yogi said, it doesnt matter if he got ball, he went right through Lenhart. Just because Lenhart is a douche doesn’t mean it wasnt a foul.

        • Falsify says:

          ^ Nice try, referee!

        • Steve says:

          ” He hits the ball and then trips the player,”

          You said it yourself-ball first=no foul

          • solles says:

            even if you get ball there can still be a foul, this is one of the most misunderstood parts of the rules.

        • Rob says:

          From all the angles I saw on replay, Ricketts got to the ball first, touched it toward the side line, and Lennie goes down like a sack of potatoes WITHOUT being touched. He is falling while on his left leg, the outside one, the one away from the keeper while his inside leg is up in the air away from Ricketts feet. For him to fall that way, he would have to get tripped from the left side.

          Full disclosure: I am a Seattle fan and hate Portland and Horst, but Horst came up big against Wondolowski. Props to Portland with the tie.

    • solles says:

      stop being so defensive, it was at best a bordeline call, to my eyes it looked like Lenhart fell over like he was being beat by a little old lady with a handbag.

  5. peterjh says:

    I thought it was obvious throughout that whenever San Jose was in attack they were looking to get the ball to Wondo…which I think in a twist of irony may have hurt his chance to get the record goal by making their attack more easy to disrupt than normal.

  6. chris_thebassplayer says:

    Happy for Wondo, if Dawkins is on instead of Salinas, he probably gets one more. Except for one nice cross, i wanted to throw my boot through the TV every time Salinas coughed up the ball with Wondo opening up.

  7. Travis says:

    When doesn’t Lenhart embelish and dive?

  8. x says:

    Is Wondo going to Europe?

    • AzTeXan says:

      The boy is too old to begin the training. He does have exceptional skills but the council is confident in its decision.

      • solles says:

        Dunno, McBride was over 30 when he started playing for Fulham, granted he’d played for a couple of other English clubs (and one German) before then but 29 is not necessarily too old. He’s a GREAT finisher, though he’s not athletic or fast, he could probably play somewhere overseas if he really wanted to and the opportunity came.

  9. WorldCitizen says:

    Congrats to Wondo, who’s a classy fellow. Saying that, though, I find it very difficult to be overly impressed with any player (and to be fair, Wondo is far from the lone example) who tears up MLS for fun but, despite being supported by superior talent, can’t even score against weak CONCACAF opponents for the U.S. national team. Which, sadly, is more an indictment of where MLS (whatever its strides forward) is at in quality terms than a knock on Wondo’s abilities.

  10. FCA says:

    Am I the only one thoroughly unimpressed by the majority of Wondo’s goals? He doesn’t have exceptional talent. He doesn’t create chances for himself. He requires service to score. However, he is a great pure finisher. How many of the 27 goals came from outside the 6 yard box? How many were chances he created for himself? How many times do we see him dribbling at players from outside the area, drawing in pressure and then releasing?

    Bottom line is that the guy will finish anything that falls to him inside of the area and has taken full advantage of MLS’ poor defending and soft refereeing.