Wed, 20 Mar 2019

Earthquakes Wondolowski needs a goal vs. Colorado to tie record

Sports Xchange
20 Oct 2018, 13:38 GMT+10

Just one goal.

That's all that Chris Wondolowski needs to tie Landon Donovan's MLS career record of 145.

The San Jose Earthquakes captain's chase will be one of the few points of intrigue when he and his teammates face the Colorado Rapids on Sunday at Avaya Stadium in San Jose.

San Jose (4-20-8) and Colorado (7-19-6) have long been out of contention for a Western Conference playoff spot.

Wondolowski got goal No. 144 in San Jose's 3-1 loss to the New York Red Bulls on Oct. 6 at Avaya Stadium. It was the Earthquakes' sixth straight defeat, and the losing has worn on their captain.

"I had three coaches for my first 12 years," Wondolowski told the San Francisco Chronicle, "so this is extremely different. My three coaches were all from the same coaching tree, with similarities. These have been guys I don't know. I have to go out and prove myself each day.

"I love it here but, to be frank, if it wasn't for these loyal fans, I'd already be gone. I love playing in front of the ones who stuck with us through thick and thin. I don't know how."

On Sunday, Wondolowski will play for a fourth different coach in San Jose.

The Earthquakes on Monday named former Chivas Guadalajara manager Matias Almeyda as their new head coach.

"What we saw in Matias was a coach that brought success by creating a culture we strive to emulate," Earthquakes general manager Jesse Fioranelli said in a statement. "He has demonstrated leadership qualities in Argentina with River Plate and Banfield, as well as in Mexico with Chivas. He has always had a winning mentality, both as a player and a coach, and most importantly, he is someone that knows how to redirect a team in a difficult situation with a commitment to a distinct style of play and youth development."

While the Quakes look for an elusive breakthrough, the Rapids last weekend put an end to a seven-game skid by beating Minnesota United 2-0.

"No one has thrown the towel in, no one is thinking about the end of the season. That, for me, is really important," Colorado coach Anthony Hudson said. "I think also we got a little bit of luck. I don't think we had that luck in the past, and it went our way tonight for the first time for us this season.

"I'm just proud of the fact that we're in our position and the players are fully committed and are working incredibly hard for each other. Today was a real team performance. In this late stage of the season, this is important."

Colorado winds up its season Oct. 28 at home against first-place FC Dallas, while Wondolowski will have one more chance to catch or pass Donovan when the Quakes travel to Seattle to take on the Sounders in their season finale.

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