BY ADAM SERRANO
Chris Wondolowski continued his MVP-caliber season on Wednesday with a hat trick in the San Jose Earthquakes, 3-0 victory over Chivas USA.
Wondolowski began the match on the bench and came on as a sub late in the first half after Cornell Glen left with an injured hamstring. In his 50 minutes on the field, Wondolowski scored three goals, in the 55th, 59th and 72nd minute respectively. The three goals brought Wondolowski's season total to 17 goals and allowed him to pull even with Los Angeles Galaxy forward Edson Buddle for the MLS Golden Boot.
In the process, the forward broke the Earthquakes single season record of 15, which was set by Ronald Cerritos in 1999. Wondolowski has the Earthquakes last nine goals and has been responsible for more than more than half of the club's goals this season (17 of 33 goals). The last time an Earthquake not named Wondolowski scored was September 5th.
The Earthquakes took the lead in the 55th minute when, Chivas USA defender Michael Umana brought down Wondolowski in the box forcing a penalty kick. Wondolowski easily slotted his effort past Chivas USA goalkeeper Kevin Guppy, who made his MLS debut filling in for starter Zach Thornton. Four minutes later, Wondolowski would score again slotting a low shot past the hapless Guppy.
Wondolowski completed his second hat trick of the season by finishing a Ryan Johnson cross on a volley from eight yards out. By earning the shut out, the Earthquakes set a team record for shut outs in a season with 13. San Jose's final match before the playoffs is Saturday on the road against the Kansas City Wizards. Following the match, Earthquakes head coach Frank Yallop stated that Wondolowski will likely not start against the Wizards, but will play some role in the match.
Chivas USA finish their dismal 2010 campaign on Saturday at home against the equally disappointing Chicago Fire.
Here are the highlights:
Should Wondolowski be considered for league MVP? Can the Quakes jump ahead of the Sounders for the 4th spot in the West?
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