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Wondolowski scores two more as Earthquakes steamroll DC United

DeRoWondo (Getty)

In a battle of two teams riding lengthy unbeaten streaks, D.C. United looked poised to knock off the San Jose Earthquakes when they delivered the first blow courtesy of a Dwayne DeRosario goal just eight minutes into their match on Wednesday night.

Then San Jose responded. And responded. And responded some more.

The Earthquakes responded to DeRosario's opening goal with a three-goal flurry in 12 first-half minutes to take control, then added two more after D.C. United scored as second, in an eventual 5-3 triumph at Buck Shaw Stadium in San Jose.

Chris Wondolowski and Steven Lenhart scored two goals apiece to lift the Earthquakes to a seven-match unbeaten streak, while snapping D.C. United's own seven-match unbeaten run. Wondolowski's two goals helped him take the league lead in goals scored with ten.

Jon Busch pulled off one of the saves of the season in the first half to deny DeRosario a beautiful second goal of the night, while Justin Morrow added a tally for the Earthquakes, who saw their lead atop the Western Conference extended to three points. The victory also edged San Jose ahead of Sporting Kansas City for most points in MLS with 22 to Kansas City's 21 points.

The loss dropped D.C. United to 4-3-3. United returns to action on Saturday against winless Toronto FC, while the Earthquakes face another tough test on Saturday in Vancouver.

Here are the match highlights:


What did you think of the match? Starting to take San Jose seriously as a title contender? Think Wondolowski has earned another U.S. national team call-up? Surprised D.C. United's defense struggled so badly?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. In Wondo’s defense, in his minutes with the national team to date he has forced some fantastic saves from the opposing ‘keepers. He was arguably our most dangerous player in the last couple of friendlies and he only played part of those games as you already noted.

  2. He has to finally get a goal or two at the national team level – even in a friendly – before people will think he can get the job done. It’s just the way it is.

    I’d like to see him get more chances for sure.

  3. Ummm, he’s leading MLS in goals for the third year running. That’s never been done by anyone, American or otherwise.

    But yeah, I get your point, it’s all luck and bad defending. He’s clearly a no-talent hack. Good post.

  4. James,
    While you wait for the next version of Ronaldinho, this time with an American passport, think of what Wondo does bring to the table. Is he a holding target forward like Jozy? Of course not. He’s the exact type of guy to play off a player like Jozy though. My first lineup for the MNT would be Jozy as target with Dempsey playing off him. But, if you move Dempsey to an attacking mid Wondo is the type of player that could work well there. He FINDS space when another player is CREATING the space. See? Players can compliment each other. He has a knack for being in the right place, attacking the ball and finishing. Has he done it for the MNT so far? No. But he’s had very little playing time. Personally I’d love to see Jozy and Wondo up top with Dempsey in attacking mid during WC qualifying as most of the teams we play are going to sit back and hope to hold us scoreless. We need guys with a nose for the goal and Wondo has that more than anyone else I can think of outside of Dempsey.

  5. He was playing against a third string CB and Robbie Russell as a makeshift CB, of course he was going to get goals.

  6. All right. Now we are getting somewhere. I think I understand your point. San Jose plays wide and feeds Wondo with tons of crosses. USMNT maybe isn’t set up that way. I would agree USMNT isn’t very wide.

    But what I do think Wondo does very well, which maybe you agree with, is find space. On the most recent evidence, our USMNT strikers do not tend to do this well. I think Altidore was very static but now is learning to move, move, move. That’s what makes a striker good, in addition to scoring. Find those spaces, make the defender wonder where you are. Wondo is very good at that.

    I can see the argument about Gomez and Wondo being interchangeable on this grounds, and while I disagree with it, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to think it.

    But am I also having trouble bring “back-ups” that can’t score. Or at least haven’t proven they can. If the forwards go down injured at a tourney, you can’t call anyone else in.

  7. I love Wondolowski. All he does is score goals. And people literally “hate” him for his success. Unbelievable.

    Let’s not pretend Wondolowski has had a prolonged shot with the national team. Here are the facts. He’s had three starts and was subbed out after 60, 64 and 55 minutes. He’s been subbed in four times and played 45, 25, 12 and 28 minutes. He’s never played a full 90. It’s not like he’s Maurice Edu with 32 caps and a single goal…

    As for his performance, I thought he actually played well in his few chances. Unfortunately the offensive struggles of the team during the time he was with team seemed to rub off on him as he missed on a number of quality chances.

    There are a lot players I think deserve a shot with the national team and I think he’s one of them. But there are simply not enough spots for all of them. I am also one who thinks Gomez should be getting a look…

  8. Not Gomez, he has had about 3 hot streaks in the last 5 years, none lasting over half-a season. The rest of the time he is invisible. When he was in the MLS, he hardly set the scoreboard afire. He has no more dribbling skill than Wondo and is arguably not as good a finisher.

    You are right, Boyd, Bunbury, Buddle, Agudelo, Gyau and Wooten are not better and mostly it is because they have not yet learned how to be in the right spot to be free from defenders, available to make a pass to and have feet (or head) ready to receive the ball and score.

  9. boyd isn’t even a professional player yet, and gyau plays a different position. i thought you knew TONS about the beautiful game???

  10. no, what’s amazing is how right every fan thinks they are when they don’t share the same opinion as someone else (same problem with politics in today’s world). it’s called a difference of opinion and it’s a healthy thing to have. i know a TON about this game and guess what, i still do not think, at his age, Wondo is going to bring anything to the USMNT that is going to make a major difference.

    would i be upset if Wondo got called up over Buddle or Bunbury? absolutely not. but, it is in my opinion that there are better options assuming we have LD, Dempsey, Jozy and Gomez in the same camp. not because those other options (e.g. boyd, gyau, wooten) are better than Wondo, but because, in my opinion, Wondo does not bring anything different than Dempsey, LD or Gomez.

    to me, it makes more sense to have Gomez and a young striker be the back up rather than two guys who are both not going to be around in 2014 (unless the young guy is Bunbury…). really, to me, it comes down to Gomez or Wondo. pick one, but i do not think picking two is the brightest idea. i can certainly see why people like Wondo, but i would choose Gomez. but i’d be happy with either, just not both.

  11. its amazing that so many US fans know so little about the beautiful game. saying wondolowski has no skills…he has a skillset that no one in our forward group even comes close to possessing, but you guys will never admit it, because you would rather stubbornly stand by your own blind stupidity. have fun being ignorant lads!

  12. Buddle and Bunbury getting call ups were a joke. Wondo would be the better option than either of them. i think people, like me, who don’t want Wondo called up also don’t want Buddle or Bunbury.

    but like i said above, if Wondo was called up, i wouldn’t argue it. he certainly deserves it.

  13. it is not baseless, it is just of a different opinion than you.

    1. yes, maybe “plenty of times” was not the right combo of words. But for 29, yes, to me, it is plenty.
    2. correct, we don’t, but i don’t think he is going to translate that into USMNT goals. he’s also on a team built around him, on the USMNT, he would not have that luxury.
    3. fine, i’ll concede on the third point about goals. goals are goals are goals. but i still think, as far as technical ability goal, his brings nothing another player does not have. he, unlike a lot, is actually doing something with that ability on a team built around him. IMHO, i do not think it’ll translate to the USMNT.
    4. not to use him as an option in qualifying wouldn’t be stupid. but i do agree that it sends the wrong message regarding playing time and form to other players. so in that regard, if JK calls him, i would not be surprised. but what i don’t like reading is that Wondo is going to solve all our offensive capabilities. it’s so much more than that and since he’ll never have the team built around him, like in SJ, it won’t work out the same. but yes, he certainly would not be a terrible option off the bench.

    again, i wouldn’t bring him because i don’t think he would start, and if he did, i’d rather have Gomez (this is just a personal opinion) as the older option. and if we have Dempsey, LD, and Gomez as options up top, than instead of Wondo, i’d like to see Body, Wooten or Gyau as the back ups. but that’s just me.

    i don’t hate the guy at all, he is a good player who could certainly help us. but i don’t think he is going to as effective on the US as he is on SJ, IMHO.

  14. Your post is totally baseless.

    You said “we’ve seen him plenty of times for the nats.” You are wrong. Wondo has been capped exactly six times. Compare that to TT who got like 35 caps, and Jason Kries. In those six times he did well.

    You said “he’s not going to bring anything we don’t already have.” But we don’t have anyone in the line up that has scored 44 goals in the past three years. He is on a torrid pace. I mean it’s a striker’s job to score goals. Consistently. That’s all Wondo’s done for the last three years.

    You said “his goals weren’t even all that good.” Except that all goals are good. And his were exceptionally well taken. He’s outscoring everyone’s favorite cheating Frenchman. Besides the fact that, as I say, all goals are good. He’s scored with his head, his left, his right foot, holding off USMNT Jay DeMerit to left foot chip over Cannon, slotting calmly last night, one touch volleys, diving headers. You are mistaken if you think his goals haven’t been good this year.

    To not use him as an option would be stupid. Klinsman, is not stupid. He will be called in. Just watch.

  15. It blows my mind that anyone could be opposed to calling up Wondo, when other MLS forwards who have received recent call-ups include Edson Buddle and Teal Bunbury.
    Just look at what Wondo has done to this league over the last three years, not only is he the leading goalscorer over that period, but he is the #1 or tied for #1 goalscorer in each of the last three seasons. Having a forward who can score goals with that sort of consistency is very valuable.

    I’m not saying he should be starting for the national team, but he should be #3 on the forward depth chart after Altidore and Gomez, so before Sapong, Agudelo, Wooten, and Boyd.

    The dude has 10 goals and 2 assists in 9 games, that is incredible. He has scored at least one goal in 7 out of 9 games! With Dempsey, Altidore, Gomez, and Wondo off the bench, our national team would finally have some firepower.

  16. what even makes you think i haven’t seen them? because i mentioned these goals weren’t all that great? i’ve seen his goals. like i said, solid MLS player. but he is not going to bring anything to the USMNT we don’t already have. in my opinion. bro.

  17. You sir are a complete moron, Heskey is hardly a finisher, whereas Wondolowski can’t stop scoring goals…. how the **** are those two comparable??

  18. wondo is not the answer for the USMNT. just stop talking about it already. he’s a solid player, but we’ve seen him plenty of times for the nats. he’s not going to bring anything we don’t already have. his goals weren’t even all that good. first one was god awful defense (failed offsides trap) and he finished calmly. the second was a good header that, really, the keeper should have had.

    i’d much rather bring in gomez, boyd, wooten, or even gyau.

    in any event, great game. i was really hoping DC could pull it off, but it was always going to be hard. Lets rebound against Toronto!

  19. Admittedly I am biased on the Wondo front but this is a player who seems to keep improving. I honestly don’t understand how he cannot be considered in the national team picture. He is smart, can shoot with both feet, score with his head and a lot faster than people think. He makes great decisions and doesn’t try to do anything he can’t, always willing to pass to the open man. Its a no brainer. Best Goalscorer USA has. Even if he is not a national team starter, he should be part of squad.

  20. I agree partially. I’d like to see Wondo and Shea together now that Jozy & Juan are out. Burnbury is lost on the field at the national level.

  21. If he, as you describe it, is hustling hustling hustling only to have his Camp Cupcake shot saved, how is he going to get off that shot in a real-deal game and score? He got plenty of minutes in Jozy’s Gold Cup absence and did squat. In fact, as far as I’m concerned, Bradley’s reliance upon Agudelo and Wondo as the other Gold Cup Fs is half the reason he got fired.

    And to put a sharper point on it, if what I have on hand is like Landon and Dempsey, plus perhaps Gomez as supersub, the attribute I need to balance the team tactically is not speed or hustling or making a run. It’s a big body player who can hold up play and win aerial battles for headers, in case I want to start those qualities or at least have them available late in a close game. Even if I accept all the Wondo-boosterism, he offers nothing we don’t already have in spades among USMNT regulars. In contrast, Jozy’s absence begs for a similar player or players to get called in, in case we have to muscle Antigua or play for a header late. If you call in Wondo you repeat the BB 2011 mistake IMO, which got him beaten and canned.

    In other words, you don’t just roster the hottest players, you look at what they contribute to the whole, which needs to be balanced. Everyone can’t be a runner or hustler or poacher.

  22. Honestly, I think Wondo’s played well in his limited appearances for the Nats. If we hadn’t had to bunker down against Panama, I could almost guarantee that Wondo would have scored.

    Aside from skying that sitter, Wondo’s had some pretty amazing shots on goal. I forgot which January game it was, but there was a memorable play where Wondo challenged for a cross in the box, was taken down with an uncalled PK-worthy foul, got back up, and immediately registered a shot on goal (saved with some voodoo magic and superhuman reflexes by the keeper).

    It can’t hurt to bring him in for the first round of WCQ. Since Deuce can double as a midfieler, we still have room in the 23 for Altidore, Boyd, Gomez and Wondo.

  23. Yeah, but so can Timmy Chandler, Fabian Johnson, Landon Donovan, Eric Lichaj, and DMB.

    I could see Beitashour get a look in a January camp before too long, though.

  24. Well, you are just plain wrong. It is true that Wondo is not a dribbler who can take on defenders in tight spaces, but neither is Rooney or a host of other great goal scorers. His ability to get open is not something that many players have; despite being the leading goal scorer in the MLS over the last 3 seasons, he manages to escape defender’s notice and be in those spots where teammates can find him with a pass, a cross, or simply be in the right place to knock in a rebound. That is about a lot more than hard work, it also speaks to his soccer brain (don’t you wish Adu had that kind of smarts?) And yes he does seem able to hit the target pretty well, ask Fernando Torres about that.
    You apparently believe that technical skill is all that is required to be a great player, if so, you are wrong! Adu is a perfect example of that, Agudelo is a second (though at least he seems willing to learn). Jose Torres has better ball skills that any of the other US Nat. team central midfielders, but he has not been able to turn that into a clear advantage over Bradley, Jones, Edu, Holden, who each have better tactical awareness and sense of how to combine with teammates.
    Of course in reality, saying Wondo has no skill is not correct, just as is saying Adu has no sense. When soccer was “the dribbling game” with no or little passing, the Adu’s of the world had a better chance of shining. It the present day game, even Messi with all his skills, shows time and again how well he understands the game by finding little spaces and slipping passes through packed defenses. It is probably easier to acquire better skills than it to develop the instant thought process needed exploit defensive lapses that may exist for only fractions of a second or only a foot or two of space.

  25. What a great game. We knew there would be a lot of scoring but 8 goals was way more then expected. As for the Wondo talk I’d like to see him paired with another forward on the National team to really see what he can do. No he’s not the fastest or largest but he has a vision to find the opening and an amazing first touch maybe best in MLS.

  26. As I understand it, Heskey is disliked for his lack of finishing but valued for his hustle and distribution. Wondo is a different player. His finishing is excellent, he makes smart runs, and he combines well with others in and around the box. He doesn’t typically beat guys off the dribble, and maybe he’s not a lone striker in Kinsman’s model–Lenhart and Gordon play the target/hold-up role for SJ–but you can’t deny his goal scoring skills and instincts.

    I like Wondo and Gomez right now as second strikers or offensive super subs. Altidore, Boyd, Wooten, Bunbury, and Sapong have the make-ups to play that lone striker role since we need a big body who can hold up play and distribute. Not sure yet where Agudelo would fit as he gets stronger.

  27. This is so ridiculous i don’t even know where to start. why would you ‘hate’ a pure goalscorer, unless he’s scoring on your team? Wondo is on pace to be the best finisher in league history, and you think we need to ‘get away from this kind of player’? do you realize how stupid you sound?!

  28. I’m not advocating a call-up neccessarily if you read my post. I’m just making an arguement that he’s not a worthless type of player that is the bane of US soccer as James somewhat put it.

    I will say that Wondo is someone to consider though. His runs off the ball are very good and he reads the game well. Yes, his production in his caps has been mediocre at best but there’s an adjustment period to be had with the national team. I’m just saying that he should be in consideration for the squad. We don’t exactly have a plethora of strikers who can score consistantly in any league right now.

  29. Quakes!!! Yes, they are for real this year. Does anyone still question this? What a fantastic game last night. A ton of fun to watch in person and a good sized crowd for a midweek game. The Ultras Rocked the house!

  30. Cap not only Wondo but also Beitashour. Guy can put a cross on a platter from 40 yards out all day and has boatloads of speed.

  31. Like I said on the other thread, Wondo offers no special qualities, and has no production despite a few callups. Given the chance I’d rather go with the size finishing and potential of Boyd, or the proven (including with the US) supersub qualities of Gomez, than with Mr. Hustle. You just have to sit down and think, what does this guy add to the unit?

    So, not only is he not XI, he’s not 18 or 23 because he has no special quality I can use to win games. I can’t identify an opposing player as too short or slow or donkeyesque and use Wondo to exploit that. He can hustle but at international tempo usually everyone is. And presumably most anyone we call up will chase fullbacks and try and poach balls in the box.

  32. He had offers to go to Germany and Holland and turned them down so “career MLSer” is a bit misleading… he has the quality to go overseas if he wants to.

  33. Wondo is a boarderline national team guy. Some guys like James ( above comment ) like to rip on a guy like that, but I happen to think that a boarerline guy is a heckova a player.

  34. De Ro always puts on a great performance against his former teams. Although it was in a losing effort, he played another great game last night. As bad as Toronto is, he might score 6 goals against them on Saturday.

  35. What he creates for himself isnt through beating a man, its through reading holes in a defence and smart runs. Ever wonder how he is open for so many of his goals?

    Granted its a totally different skillset that may not work as well against more tactical defenders, but the guy is good at his job.

    I would welcome a callup – certainly over any of the other MLS strikers – i.e. bunbury or buddle.

  36. Awesome game. One the more entertaining games in the MLS. SJ is thrashing every club in the league it seems. When are they going have a stadium built? There stadium sucks.

  37. SJ was the far better team last night… they have incredible chemistry and are very speedy. But as far as the Wondo debate goes, all of his goals are a result of great service… you generally don’t see him create something for himself with skill or quickness. He was given his shot at the top level. USMNT forwards right now = Jozy, Clint, Herc.

  38. I’m not going to claim that Wondo is Rooney or anything on the ball, but I don’t think you’re giving the guy enough credit.

    His skill is good enough on the ball and his runs off it are exceptional. However, his best skill is his pure finishing ability. I fail to see why we shouldn’t be looking at players who can finish. I’m not talking about a poacher as much as a guy who just knows how to finish the ball. He strikes the ball clean and places it well. That takes a tremendous amount of skill to do at the consistant level he does, especially when teams key in on him in MLS as much as they do now and give him little to no time on the ball.

    Is he Starting XI quality for the Nats? No. But to say that you hope he’s the last of his kind seems harsh. Wondo’s skills have use and I’m not going to say I hope he’s the last of his type of player, especially when we harp on Jozy and our other forwards at times for not being as clinical in front of the goal as we’d like them to be.

  39. Let’s wait and see how hurt Altidore is. While I could take or leave a callup for Wondo, there is something to be said about picking players well suited to a CONCACAF style of play for qualifying. Our best xi for that style of play are not exactly identical to a WC starting xi…

  40. Man, I don’t mean to trash the guy, but I hate everything Wondo stands for. He is exactly the kind of player we need to get AWAY from in this country. no ball skills, no technical skills, a career MLSer. He scores goals yes but we need to aim higher and demand more from our players moving forward.
    Yes, players like him exist everywhere, but he is like Heskey. And we all know how loudly people in England groan when he gets called up. It should be the same here.
    I sure he is a nice guy, but hoepfully he is the last of his kind.

  41. another great win for the quakes. i won’t say wondo is national team quality yet, but he definitely deserves a callup over any other MLS striker


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