Chris Wondolowski

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Wondolowski double leads Almeyda-less Quakes past Orlando

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The game in 200 words (or less):  The San Jose Earthquakes continue to win without Matias Almeyda on the sideline. The Argentine coach is serving a three-game suspension issued by the league for a scuffle with officials following his team’s 4-0 loss against LAFC. Their latest victim? Orlando City, who registered lone shot on target against a San Jose team that bounced back after suffering three straight losses. Like in many instances before, it was Chris Wondolowski playing hero. The 36-year-old, who shows no signs of slowing down, scored two goals in the first half to put the game out reach for James O’Connor and Co. With the result, the Quakes surge to second place in the Western Conference, while Orlando, now four points behind Toronto, continue to see their playoffs fade before their eyes.

Three moments that mattered

3′ — Eriksson opens things up before fans get to their seats — Magnus Eriksson has, discreetly, put together a formidable season.

20′ — Wondolowski opens his account  — Perfect through ball from Vako, better positioning and finish from Wondo.

33′ — Wondolowski records his double — Inside the box, there is very little one can do to tame Wondo. That’s 157 league goals for him now.

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Man of the match: Chris Wondolowski

Goalscorers: Eriksson (3′), Wondolowski (20′), Wondolowski (33′)

Chris Wondolowski sets another MLS record in historic career

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Just months removed from becoming MLS’ all-time leading goalscorer, Chris Wondolowski is putting pen to the record book once again.

The 36-year-old is the league’s first player to ever score 10 goals (or more) in 10 consecutive seasons. His tenth of the season came against Sporting Kansas City, who, for one reason or another, left him unmarked in the box on a corner kick – an imprudent defensive strategy.

Wondolowski’s regular-season tally is now at 154 goals, 31 goals clear of Kei Kamara‘s 123, who is the second highest active goalscorer in the league.

The San Jose Earthquakes captain’s record run began in 2010. He was 27.

Wondolowski scores 149th, 150th goals; Earthquakes win

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TORONTO (AP) Chris Wondolowski scored his 149th and 150th MLS goals in the San Jose Earthquakes’ 2-1 victory over Toronto FC on Sunday night.

The MLS career goals leader scored both from close range.

[ MORE: Kante to miss Europa League final ]

Wondolowski got a yard’s separation from Drew Moor and deftly redirected in Cristian Espinoza’s cross in the 37th minute to tie it at 1. The go-ahead goal in the 81st minute was a virtual replay, with Espinoza finding Wondolowski in space.

The San Jose striker has six goals in two games. He scored all four goals in a 4-1 victory over Chicago last weekend to surpass Landon Donovan’s league record of 145 goals and up his career total to 148.

Richie Laryea opened the scoring for Toronto (5-6-2) in the 28th minute

San Jose (5-6-2) won for the first time in six road games this season.

Wondolowski sets MLS career scoring record with four-goal performance

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San Jose Earthquakes striker Chris Wondolowski drew level with Landon Donovan on the all-time Major League Soccer career scoring chart with his 21st minute opener against the Chicago Fire on Saturday, and then exploded past the record with a four-goal haul on the day.

The first goal was the 145th of his MLS career, tying Donovan’s mark set in 2016 at the end of his return to the Los Angeles Galaxy. He then blew past the milestone after the halftime break, scoring a second-half hat-trick to complete the rousing victory.

Wondolowski, now 36 years old – just one behind Donovan – has over 300 career appearances for the Earthquakes, joining in 2005 and playing 11 seasons for the club, just interrupted by a three-year stint with the Houston Dynamo over a decade ago. All but four of his career MLS goals have come for the lone franchise.

The performance marks the first time Wondolowski has scored four goals in a game in his career, and represents his fourth career MLS hat-trick.

Owning 35 caps and 11 goals for the United States national team, Wondo has been known throughout his career as a quintessential target man, and his playing style is often a hot-button topic for USMNT fans who enjoy debating the merits of his goalscoring talents against his streaky return and other contributions. Saturday’s record-tying goal was a perfect encapsulation of his abilities, contributing just a tap-in at the far post but always in the right position to do so.

Wondolowski’s miss late in the game against Belgium in the 2014 World Cup knockout stage is forever part of his legacy, but his career longevity, goalscoring tally, and contributions to the domestic game should not be left out of the conversation, now on 148 MLS goals.

The goals against Chicago on Saturday are the first of the season for Wondolowski, who had lost his place in the starting lineup for the goal drought. Wondo started the first four games of the seasons – all losses for San Jose – and since he dropped from the starting lineup, the team has lost just twice in eight games, winning four.

Wondo embarks on 14th MLS season chasing Donovan’s record

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Early in his 14th season in Major League Soccer, Chris Wondolowski no doubt knows the question is coming.

About Landon Donovan. About the record. And about whether he’ll break it.

“I hope so, that would be pretty cool,” Wondolowski said.

Donovan holds the career MLS scoring record with 145 goals. Wondolowski is just 10 goals from matching him. Wondo, as he is known, has already scored a goal this season for the San Jose Earthquakes, the team he’s played for since 2009.

“If we’re successful and get some wins, I’ll be able to get some chances, at least,” he said, referring to the prospects of catching Donovan this season.

Recent history is on Wondolowski’s side. He’s scored 12 or more goals in each of the last eight seasons. He led the Earthquakes last year with 13 goals and eight assists.

Wondolowski and Donovan faced off last weekend in San Jose when Donovan’s new team, Leon, visited the Earthquakes in an exhibition match. Donovan scored the lone goal in the 1-0 victory for the Liga MX team.

There was some history there. Donovan played for the Earthquakes for four seasons, leading the team to MLS Cup titles in 2001 and 2003. Quakes fans were dismayed when Donovan signed with the rival LA Galaxy and went on to win four more MLS Cup championships with Los Angeles.

Donovan smiled when he was asked about the record. He said the ego part of him doesn’t want his record broken, but his heart wants Wondolowski to break it.

“When you look at Wondo’s career and how he’s done it, it’s incredible. For five or six or seven years he didn’t really play. And then all of the sudden he came on to the scene and he scored 15, 18, 20, 25 goals a year for however many years now,” Donovan said. “He deserves it. It’s going to happen at some point and it’s a credit to how hard he’s worked.”

Donovan, who has retired from MLS twice, signed with Leon in January.

After the friendly, Wondolowski and Donovan exchanged jerseys .

“We definitely enjoy joking around,” Wondolowski said. “He told me to go break it (the record) and get as many as I can, and I told him he should come back and keep playing in MLS, as long as he comes back to the Earthquakes. He’s always been a really kind man and it was nice to see him.”

For now, Wondolowski appears focused on the Earthquakes, not the record.

San Jose went 13-14-7 last season, which appeared turbulent for the club. Coach Dominic Kinnear was dismissed in June and replaced by technical director Chris Leitch. Despite the upheaval, San Jose returned to the playoffs for the first time since 2012 but fell to the Vancouver Whitecaps in the knockout round.

The Quakes hired new coach Mikael Stahre in November and opened this season with a 3-2 victory over Minnesota United. They fell 3-2 in the second match against Sporting Kansas City but Wondolowski scored in stoppage time, giving him 135 goals and moving him into sole possession of second place on the career list, 10 back of Donovan.

Wondolowski has played in MLS since 2005, when he was taken by the Earthquakes in the supplemental draft. He moved with the team to Houston in 2006 before getting traded to the new incarnation of the Quakes in 2009.

His best season for MLS came in 2012 when he had 27 goals, a league record that he still shares with two other players.

Wondolowski has played 35 games with the U.S. national team, including two at the 2014 World Cup. He has 11 international goals, but he is perhaps most remembered for the one he missed – a potential game winner against Belgium at the World Cup that went over the crossbar late in regulation.

He was on the roster for the U.S. team that lost to Trinidad and Tobago last fall, which effectively eliminated the Americans from this summer’s World Cup. He called the defeat devastating.

But as an MLS veteran, Wondolowski is excited about the growth he’s seen in the league. Despite his team’s loss to Leon, he sees the league as steadily gaining on Liga MX. Indeed, the progress has had tangible results in the CONCACAF Champions League, where a pair of MLS teams – Toronto FC and the New York Red Bulls – advanced to the semifinals with victories over Mexican league opponents.

“I think it’s been amazing, it’s been leaps and bounds. The league itself has grown – you see the talent that’s out there on the field and the product itself,” he said. “And the Earthquakes themselves, how the club has progressed since 2005. It’s cool to see.”