Earthquakes 2, Sounders 1
A prolific scorer, Chris Wondolowski takes more pride in goals that are game-winners.
Wondolowski got his MLS-leading 22nd goal, and his league-record 10th game-winner, to lead the San Jose Earthquakes to a 2-1 victory against the Seattle Sounders on Saturday night.
The tiebreaking score came in the 30th minute as Wondolowski converted a corner kick that was settled by Victor Bernardez, who passed it into the 6-yard box for Wondolowski's easy tap-in past goalkeeper Michael Gspurning.
The game-winner broke the league record that Wondolowski shared with Carolos Ruiz of Los Angeles. Wondolowski previously had nine in 2010, matching the mark Ruiz set in 2002.
''I appreciate a lot of their assists - they put it on platters for me,'' Wondolowski said. ''A lot of them are team goals, but I take pride in scoring goals that are game-winners, because those mean a lot.''
No other player in the league has more than 14 goals.
Steve Zakuani tied the score for the Sounders (13-7-9) in the 14th minute with his first goal since returning to action in early July after a year-long recovery from a broken leg.
Simon Dawkins scored his eighth goal of the season in the 2nd minute for the Earthquakes (18-6-6), who won all three matchups against Seattle this season, including two on the road.
Wondolowski had hit a lull, with just one goal in seven games through August and early September. Earthquakes coach Frank Yallop gave him a rest, and now, Wondolowski has a goal in three straight games.
''He's at 22 now, and I expect more goals from him,'' Yallop said.
So does Wondolowski.
''Hopefully, it was just one of those things - I kept working hard, and sometimes goals come, and sometimes they don't,'' he said. ''I was pressing a little too hard.''
The Earthquakes got on the board just 88 seconds into the game when Dawkins unleashed a shot from 35 yards away that went off Gspurning's fingertips into the upper right corner.
Zakuani tied it when Sammy Ochoa settled a ball on the right side of the penalty area, then sent it across the goalmouth. Zakuani was waiting at the left post for an easy 6-yarder with Earthquakes goalkeeper Jon Busch nowhere near him.
Seattle pressed for the equalizer in the second half, nearly getting it when a 20-yarder by Ochoa from the left of the box skimmed off the crossbar on the far side of the goal.
That was the kind of effort Sounders coach Sigi Schmid said should have been there during the first 45 minutes.
''We need to take a lesson from this game,'' Schmid said. ''We can't play like we did in the first half. We need to play like we did in the second half, and if we get that out of this game, then fine.''
Schmid was particularly upset with the corner kick that led to Wondolowski's goal.
''It was a bad corner to give away. A soft corner resulted in a goal,'' he said. ''You don't give that away, and that (goal) doesn't happen.''
Yallop clearly was delighted to take all nine points from Seattle this season, as all three games were one-goal margins.
''We got the rub of the green, if you like, in those games,'' Yallop said. ''We didn't deserve to lose those games, and we were lucky enough to come out with the victories.''