Wondolowski scores twice in return as Earthquakes defeat 10-man Chivas USA

ChrisWondolowski (USA Today)

By JUSTIN FERGUSON

After watching their defending MLS MVP notch five goals for the U.S. Men’s National Team at the recent CONCACAF Gold Cup, fans of the San Jose Earthquakes hoped Chris Wondolowski would bring some of that scoring prowess from the Americans’ title run back to Buck Shaw Stadium.

On Saturday night, the Wondolowski of the Gold Cup showed up and ended his lengthy MLS scoring drought.

Wondolowski scored a brace in his return to the Earthquakes, his first MLS goals since May 8, in a 2-0 victory over a Chivas USA side that lost USMNT veteran Carlos Bocanegra to a red card midway through the second half. The win marked San Jose’s third straight victory, a crucial three points in the ultra-tight playoff hunt in the Western Conference.

The two sides went back and forth for most of the first half with Wondolowski and Erick Torres leading their respective offenses. The San Jose defense, featuring the debuting Clarence Goodson, stood tall for the shutout as Chivas USA only managed one shot on goal.

Seconds before the halftime whistle, Wondolowski opened the scoring with a fine header. Defender Steven Beitashour sent a booming pass up the middle of the field, finding the head of Victor Bernardez in the box. Bernardez nodded the ball across to Wondolowski, who beat Dan Kennedy from close range.

Chivas USA, who have now gone 10 straight road matches without a victory, thought they had an equalizer early in the second half, but Mario de Luna was whistled for offside.

Moments after Wondolowski was denied by a de Luna clearance, the visiting Goats went down a man. In his third appearance as a member of Chivas USA, the 34-year-old Bocanegra saw red for a dangerous tackle on San Jose’s Shea Salinas.

The Earthquakes controlled the match after Bocanegra’s red card, but Dan Kennedy kept the Goats in it with a few big stops. However, the goalkeeper could do nothing about Wondolowski’s second. After Kennedy saved a Salinas effort, the forward lifted a 87th-minute rebound into the back of the net to seal the victory for the hosts.

San Jose (8-9-6) will try to keep up their winning ways this Wednesday in a CONCACAF Champions League match at Montreal. Chivas USA (4-13-5) are back home a week from Sunday as they will take on the Colorado Rapids.

Here are the match highlights:

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10 Responses to Wondolowski scores twice in return as Earthquakes defeat 10-man Chivas USA

  1. Dennis says:

    Interesting that the top 6 goal-scorers in MLS this year were not even in the top 10 last year. Wondo will definitely have to pick up his scoring if he is to get the leading total for a 4th year in a row. Magee can make catching him very tough.

    • Chupacabra says:

      Wondolousy will need to play against teams like Chivas every week to do crack the top 10.

  2. Phill says:

    What class on that second goal. No doubt he’s a poacher 90% of the time, but that doesn’t mean he can’t show those small flashes of brilliance.

  3. EspinDOHla says:

    Beautiful chip by Wondo on that second goal.

    Carlos, Carlos, Carlos….not gonna get back on the USMNT with those tackles.

  4. Bill says:

    Lenhart should have been carded for his challenge on Kennedy just before Bocanegra got ejected. Lenhart is dangerous in a bad way

    • WK says:

      You’re probably right about the late challenge on Kennedy. Though Dan wasn’t his usual sure-handed self giving up a couple of costly rebounds.

  5. ex_sweeper says:

    I had to laugh at the first play of the game, where Lenhart bundled Bocanegra over with no foul called. Welcome back to SJ, Carlos. Amazing that either Lenhart or Cronin made it through the game without a yellow card.

    Were the announcers mispronouncing Jaime Alas last name? Shouldn’t the accent be on the A?

  6. WK says:

    Glad to see Wondo get back to his goal-scoring ways, even if he’s missing the comparatively easy ones still. Stewart and Goodson have dramatically improved the D, and Alas may be the answer to losing Dawkins we’ve been searching for.

  7. chris_thebassplayer says:

    Glad to see Goodson get the start. I was a little surprised to see Stewart get the start at LB, since he can also play left mid. The defense had a few lapses with their line, but that will improve with familiarity. I got a little nervous when Vic roamed out of the center. Goodson isn’t exactly fast, and can be beaten over the top if isolated…still miles ahead of Hernandez.

    Alas is a very solid player, I was impressed with his vision and passing ability. It will be interesting to see if he ever slides into ACM if we need to push the game for a goal.

    ….Wondow…..Lenny…..

    Stewart……Alas……..Chavez
    ………………Cronin…………..

    We’re on the upswing, if can keep playing steady D we’ll be right in the thick of it.