The San Jose Earthquakes rescued a draw at home against the Philadelphia Union on Saturday night, scoring a penalty kick in the 95th minute of the match thanks to a brave run by Shea Salinas and a poor foul by Joshua Yaro. The point saved the Quakes from an embarrassing loss at home, where San Jose has been very difficult to beat. Still it wasn’t enough to get them back into a playoff position after Vancouver Whitecaps FC jumped ahead with a win earlier in the night.
Still the tying goal made MLS history as Chris Wondolowski stepped up and slotted it home for his 10th goal of the season and made him the first MLS player to record double digit scoring in eight straight seasons. Wondolowski now sits on 131 career MLS goals, just 14 behind the all-time leader, Landon Donovan.
Wondolowski admitted after the match that he does keep track of how far off the record he is but when asked how confident he was that he’d get the record one day Wondolowski brushed off the notion saying, “… that’s a long ways away.”
The late penalty kick seemed fitting for Wondolowski having captained a team that has lived by the motto “never say die” since 2012. So when the referee pointed to the spot there was little doubt who would step up to take the penalty.
“I have full confidence in myself anytime I step up… I like the pressure. I’ve always said I put more pressure on myself than anyone else so I love that.”
Former teammate and now head coach Chris Leitch called the feat a “testament to a player that has got it done consistently at the highest level” and shared his belief that Wondo will score more for the Quakes this year, putting him even closer to the all-time scoring record.
Salinas’s reaction when informed by the press that the penalty kick gave Wondolowski his tenth goal of the season showed how much it means not only to Wondo but to the team as well. The match result had left a look of disappointment on the team’s faces but when told of the record Salinas instantly perked up, a joyous smile on his face as he said, “Oh was it ten? Nice.”
“Its awesome Wondo got his tenth goal eight seasons in a row. It’s been an honor to be his teammate for eight seasons,” said Salinas who also joked, “when you draw a PK you should get an assist, but I don’t make the rules so I’m just happy we scored.”
The Quakes know that with only nine games left in the season it’s going to take a massive team effort and likely more goals from Wondolowski to make the playoffs and now look to an away test against Real Salt Lake who sit in eighth place in the Western Conference. With the two points dropped on Saturday and a Vancouver win knocking them into seventh, Wondolowski stressed that it’s now “evermore important now with this game on Wednesday against Salt Lake” to get three points and get back into a playoff position.
San Jose Earthquakes