Photo by Denny Medley/USA TODAY Sports
By SKYLAR ROLSTAD
For a team that had just overwhelmingly ended the opposition’s 15-game home win streak in all competitions with a 5-0 win over Sporting KC at Sporting Park, the San Jose Earthquakes were remarkably focused.
Chris Wondolowski was the star of the night, scoring two goals. His second goal, a header from approximately 15 yards away off an in-swinging cross, was his 100th in his Earthquakes career and lifted him to sixth place on MLS’ all-time scoring list.
“I’m hoping we can reach the playoffs and I’ll be able to reflect on that in the offseason, but (moving to sixth place in scoring is) a really cool thing,” Wondolowski said.
Despite his rise in the record book, Wondolowski remains focused intently on helping his team make the playoffs. The win moved the Earthquakes up to seventh in the Western Conference, three points behind the sixth-place Seattle Sounders, who are in a playoff spot but with one game in hand. The win for San Jose was their second in a row after a 1-0 win over the Colorado Rapids, but before last weekend, the team hadn’t won since June 27.
“The accolades keep coming for that kid. He’s scored goals in many different fashions and in many different stadiums around the league,” San Jose coach Dom Kinnear said. “Congratulations to him, he deserves every single accolade he gets.”
Kinnear said it was San Jose’s pressure on Sporting in the midfield that won the match. His team broke quickly after winning possession to score most of their goals.
“It made good sense to come here, against a really good team, have some good balance in the midfield and it helped,” Kinnear said. “I thought every one of our players had a good game tonight. Sometimes during the season, that doesn’t happen all of the time.”
The loss was Sporting’s worst since 2001. Only a 7-0 loss to Chicago goes down as Kansas City’s worst home loss.
“It’s a very difficult place to win and Kansas City is a very good team,” Wondolowski added. “I think we caught them at a good time tonight—they’ve had a lot of games in a short amount of time.”