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Wondolowski hat-trick leads Quakes past 10-man Real Salt Lake to stay atop West

WondoHatTrick (Getty)

If there were any lingering doubts about the San Jose Earthquakes and their legitimacy as MLS title contenders, those doubts were erased on Saturday night by a dominating performance against the team closest to them in the standings.

Chris Wondolowski scored a hat-trick, bringing his total to a league-best 17, to lead the Earthquakes to a 5-0 thrashing of Real Salt Lake at Buck Shaw Stadium in San Jose.

The game was close early in the second half, with Wondolowski's opening goal providing the difference, but things changed dramatically when a shoving match after a foul on Javier Morales led to the red card ejection of Kyle Beckerman.

Without Beckerman on the field, the Earthquakes ran wild on an RSL side that fell apart down a man. Alan Gordon made it 2-0 just five minutes after the red card and Wondolowski scored two more goals around a Simon Dawkins finish to make the final score 5-0.

The victory extended San Jose's lead atop the West to four points over RSL.

Here are the match highlights:


What did you think of the match? See Wondolowski breaking Roy Lassiter's MLS record for goals in a season (27)? Surprised at RSL's inability to keep things together after the red card? Think RSL got the short end of the stick on the officiating decisions?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. The right back for SJ, Beitashour, has been phenomenal this year. Wondo has stepped up big time. SJ has already scored more goals this year than they did all of last year and are on a pace to hit 70 for the year, and that while sporting a GA average that is solidly in the middle of MLS stats. I’m not sure about their depth on back, but they do have 3 goal scorers in the top 20. As for playing dirty, they have only 3 players in the top 40 of players with fouls committed compared to RSL who have 5 in the top 40, same story for yellow cards.

  2. Yes they would but not at the same rate. And of course you have to consider that they would face crappier defenders.

    So do this, put those guys on TFC or Chivas USA and have them play in the EPL or La Liga.

    Then we’ll see how much they need their teamates.

    Are you really going to tell me that soccer is not a team game?

    A better example would be:

    Messi for Barca 214 app. 169 goals
    Messi for Argentina 70 app. 26 goals

    That is a goal every 1.3 games for Barca vs a goal every 2.7 games for Argentina.
    That means he scores twice as often for Barca. Try and tell me that has nothing to do with his teamates.

  3. Healthy, We have the depth to go deep into CCL. Ya im sure well play santos at keezar stadium or maybe a local high school.

  4. great point…Real…and all teams that have the name United are dumb too…be more original please…lets create our own brand here in the US and not copy euro teams…thanx

  5. just watch argentina play and messi is a whole different player…no where near the level he is at Barca because of they great players he has around him at club level…Argentina has great players but they’re not Xavi or Iniesta

  6. Talent wise, I think these teams are pretty much equal, which really underscores the importance of all mental aspects of this game, especially those that helps teams “click”.

    Funny thing is, if I had to support a team other than SJ, RSL is the front runner. Solid team. Morales and Espindola have done well historically (when Javi is healthy). Olave is a beast, and a smart one. Rimando is an insane save machine at least twice a game (only once last night though). Beckerman has a cannon and plays with grit. Too bad they are tearing themselves apart and, frankly, under-preforming this season. Kreis has some work to do.

    The Quakes, on the other hand, have gelled in unbelievable fashion. There’s plenty of soccer left to be played, but I have been thoroughly impressed with everything about the franchise this season: off-season moves, off-field work in the community, and the on-field performance, well, the record speaks for itself. Yallop finally has the right pieces in place, and the trick for him appears to be just stepping back and letting them play their game. Whether this style pleases others seems to be far from their concerns. Champions love having that target on their back, and it is definitely emblazoned on there now. GO QUAKES!

  7. from the replay sure didn’t look like he shoved the ref, and either way one of the first things you learn as a ref is not to get in the middle of something like that and try to hold a player back. Poor judgement on the refs part, his job is to stand back and take done #’s so he knows who to give cards to, because he was too busy concentrating on Beckerman to see if anyone else deserved something.

  8. Spot-on perfect call. Beckerman initiated the violent brawl – however bad the tackle was — it was bad but not SFP – maybe even an SFP, but that’s for the ref to decide, not for Beckerman to initiate a fight on the pitch while his teammate for whom he was supposedly arguing was still down (Beckerman didn’t so much as go to him and check if he was ok or if the medical crew needed to be summoned).

    The stupidest thing is: ref doesn’t stop play for a foul, his beef should be with the ref; Cronin has no reason to check on the well-being of Morales (something even Beckerman didn’t do, btw).

    Stupid macho attitude, idiotic shoving of the ref on top of that, I am guessing he will miss more than one game.

  9. He is on pace for 29 goals this year. That’s incredible when you consider no one has scored more than 20 goals since Carlos Ruiz in 2002.

    I have no real interest in San Jose or Wondolowski (as a Crew fan), but I think we all need to start hyping this like the home-run chase in baseball. This could be an opportunity to get the casual fan much more interested in the league.

  10. Beckerman shoved the ref… that’s a red card 100 times out of 100. He lost his head what was he thinking. You have nothing to complain about the ref got it absolutely right.

  11. you realize Wondo still led the league in scoring last year when the Quakes were awful and he was getting terrible service?

    that’s a clown question, bro

  12. Would be very interesting to see Messi without the likes of Iniesta, Xavi, and Fabregas giving him service. With the physicality of MLS, it would certainly be interesting to see how he does.

  13. Dude – the stars belong to the city and the fans, not to any set of owners of players – players and owners come and go, the franchise stays with the fans. SJ fans have seen the miracle games, DeRo’s goals of the year, championships, stood by the team through thick and thin.

  14. I didn’t think the tackle was at all nasty. Cronin had posession of the ball and let it get a step ahead of him. He slid to knock the ball to a teammate, missed the ball, and ended up getting Morales’ ankle. That’s a garden variety tackle that may have warranted a yellow card if Beckerman hadn’t lost his cool and started a mini-riot.

  15. Two stars this team or ownership had anything to do with. Quit pretending those are yours. They were earned by someone else.

  16. i love hearing rsl cry. beckermen is a dirty player just look at the numbers.the tackle was legit ball first. rsl is a team of punks and crybabies just like their fans. why would we not include our two cups prior to the creation of the dynamo. last time I checked we have two stars how about rsl?

  17. I am a diehard RSL fan and I’m going to tell you that you are a whinning RSL fan. From the start, the SJ controlled the game and had the better of play, and, quite frankly, were the better team. Teams know that if they just concentrate on taking Javi out of the game that they can stall the whole RSL offense. Until RSL gets a high class attacking midfielder who can create and attack effectively to make teams pay if they concentrate on Javi, RSL will continue to struggle. And Luis Gil is NOT that player. He might be sometime in the future, blah blah blah, but its only promise at this point- not delivery. RSL sorely misses Andy Williams who WAS that player. RSL management has not continues to be in denial on this critical need and until they solve it, RSL will not get over the hump.

  18. (and don’t count the 2 before the team moved to Houston) ……why not??!!…as if the team wasn’t part of mls before rsl…idiot, sore loser.

  19. total world domination by san jose. i’d say “cant wait till quakes play santos laguna or tigres at stanford in CCL play”, but we all know that wolff bastar& wont showcase quakes in a proper venue

  20. Agree awful call…and as was mentioned if anything two reds should have gone the other way….Javy has become the focus of hacking and dirty tackles and its just a matter of time before he suffers another awful injury like last season if the league/refs do not start clamping down of this sort of garbage…and yeah everytime I see that ref in an RSL match I cringe…

    The Beckerman red was a joke…and once again ruined what should have been a great game…happens all to often in this league…

  21. Im going to be sounding like a whinning RSL fan here, but again the ref screwed that game up. If he would have called it fair Chavez, and Cronin both should have been tossed for going thru Morales’s ankle. I don’t blame Beckerman for defending his teammate, but it wasnt a red, yellow yes! This ref has a history of bad/uneven calls against RSL, I wish the league would realize that! I still can’t believe RSL played so crappy right from the start, but as usual, SJ played dirty. RSL would have lost, anytime Andy’s officating, they will! And to all the SJ fans congrads! but until your team wins a cup, or gets into CONACAF shut up (and don’t count the 2 before the team moved to Houston)

  22. All you SJ fans should be thanking the ref for that one. And save me all your expert knowledge of the laws of the game. That was a bs red. SJ was dominating the game before that, but would not have put 4 more goals up without Beckerman.

  23. “Wondo is a great finisher, no doubt about it, but the opposing argument that he doesn’t really create his own goals persists, even after this game. Look at the incredible balls he’s getting from Salinas and Stephens on the 2nd and 3rd goals”.

    That is an argument? So what?

    No striker creates their own goals. The better job their teamates do of “assisting” them the greater the likelihood of scoring. However, getting a great ball in a great position is only half the battle.

    Obviously, some guys , like Messi , need less help to score but the ability to “create his own goal” is not a requirement for the position. Gerd Muller, for example, one of the greatest strikers to ever live was not what you would call a great one on one player. What you are talking about is style not substance.
    Professional soccer is a team game not some one on one contest.

    Put Messi, RVP, Mario Gomez or Balotelli with Hull City, TFC or Chivas USA and I’m sure they would score but my guess is not as much

  24. The thing about San Jose or “Wondo is god’s gift to soccer” type people is that they don’t give enough credit to the rest of the team. Wondo is a great finisher, no doubt about it, but the opposing argument that he doesn’t really create his own goals persists, even after this game. Look at the incredible balls he’s getting from Salinas and Stephens on the 2nd and 3rd goals.

    Also, I don’t put anything past Beckerman for his actions. He was trying to defend his down teammate, and Cronin, after that nasty tackle, did not seem to be about to kick it out of bounds until maybe the last moment. That is the kind of guy I would want to be on my team.

    All that said, San Jose is the best team in the MLS right now, no doubt. (DCU fan)

  25. This game was even better than the LA match! What a performance … Everybody complains about Lenny, but Cronin and Baca evidently drive people to madness when they aren’t bossin’ the midfield. Looking forward to the next 8 of 14 games at home.


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