Already eliminated from the playoffs, San Jose finished out the regular season in style with four goals past a weakened Dallas team.SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The San Jose Earthquakes plastered an FC Dallas side devoid of its biggest names, 4-2.
However, Chris Wondolowski failed to win the the MLS Golden Boot. The defending scoring champion scored on a first half penalty kick to tie Dwayne De Rosario on 16 goals, but couldn't find the second he needed largely thanks to some excellent saves from Chris Seitz.
After comfortably enjoying possession against a Dallas side content to sit back, San Jose struck with a quickfire double. First, English midfielder Simon Dawkins stripped Jeremy Hall of the ball just outside the area and placed a shot into the top corner in the 26th minute.
A minute later, the Earthquakes found themselves up 2-0. Steven Beitashour got forward down the right and round Rafael Baca, who squeezed in a header at the far post for his first professional goal after signing for San Jose in July.
Wondolowski finally got his opportunity to tie Dwayne De Rosario at the top of the scoring chart as Beitashour sped down the right, only to be hauled down by Jair Benitez just inside the area. Wondolowski delivered a powerful penalty and Chris Seitz could not get enough on it to prevent Wondolowski's 16th goal of the season.
"To me, Wondo over the last few years showed what a true professional he is in scoring goals," goalkeeper Jon Busch said. "The mark of a true professional is consistency - day in day out, game in game out, year in year out. You’ve heard me say it before with goalkeepers and I say the same about Wondo – to put the numbers up back-to-back years that he did just shows he is a top pro and he’s one of the best goalscorers in this league."
The Earthquakes then went on to match their highest goal total of the season in the 38th minute when Wondolowski fought hard to keep the a play alive inside the box and toe-poked it to Dawkins, who tapped into an empty net.
"I think we took our chances," coach Frank Yallop said. "I think playing-wise it's been similar to that but not took our chances, but we did tonight for sure. Simon [Dawkins] getting two goals was terrific, and I think we well deserved the win."
Dallas grabbed one back on the stroke of halftime as George John connected with a diving header from a corner kick.
Wondolowski had three excellent chances to claim the scoring title in the second half, but he was stonewalled by Seitz. After spilling a routine ball in the 55th minute Seitz recovered enough to tip Wondolowski's look at an open goal onto the crossbar. In the 71st minute, Gjertsen found Wondolowski open eight yards out, but Seitz once more managed to deny the 28-year-old, stopping his redirect with a stunning reaction save.
With time winding down, Seitz denied Wondolowski again with another reaction save as the ball bobbled loose to the Earthquakes player on the top of the box. Despite the short windup, Wondolowski put plenty of power on it, but it was too close to Seitz, who managed to parry it out of danger.
"I definitely have to say that for the last 15 minutes I was pressing a little too hard," Wondolowki said. "I wasn’t letting the game come to me. I think I started to really try to push and again I thought my teammates set me up plenty of times for me to score and I didn’t do it, so I let them down."
Ruben Luna pulled a second back for Dallas right on the stroke of full time as he found himself unmarked at the far post after the Earthquakes failed to clear their lines. The Dallas academy product controlled with his chest and hammered home for his second goal of the season, but it was too little, too late for Dallas, which will now have to face a wild card playoff against an Eastern Conference team.
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