Chris Wondolowski salvages Earthquakes' draw with Sounders
SEATTLE (AP) — Just four days after the worst loss in franchise history, the San Jose Earthquakes were just looking to get back on the field. Chris Wondolowski tapped in a point-blank shot midway through the 66th minute on Wednesday night as the San Jose Earthquakes pulled out a 1-1 draw against the Seattle Sounders.
The Earthquakes (6-9-7) were coming off a 5-0 loss at home last Saturday to FC Dallas.
"To be quite frank, it was very embarrassing," said Wondolowski, who scored his team-leading ninth goal of the season and seventh all-time against the Sounders. "Any time you lose at home like that, you have a bit of a chip on your shoulder. So it was one of those things where we were grateful that we didn't have all week to dwell on it. We had a game to try to right the ship.
"This is a very tough place to get a point — we'll take it."
Even with the draw, the Sounders (13-7-3) climbed back into a tie for both the Western Conference and overall top spot in MLS. Seattle, West co-leader Real Salt Lake and East leader Sporting Kansas City all have 42 points.
That wasn't much consolation to forward Chad Barrett, whose goal 36 seconds into the second half was the 50th score of his career and put the Sounders up 1-0. He caught up with a long through ball from Obafemi Martins, got behind three defenders, and drilled a shot from the top left side of the penalty area into the far corner for his sixth of the year.
"It was great to get the 50th, but that's something you think about at the end of the career," Barrett said. "Right now, three points is really all you want. You know San Jose treats it like a win, so we have to treat it like a loss. Once we got the lead, I thought we were going to carry it out for the three points."
Halftime substitution Cordell Cato started San Jose's scoring play when he took the ball down the left wing nearly to the goal line. He sent it across the goalmouth to the far post, and Wondolowski had just enough space on Seattle's Andy Rose to redirect it into a wide-open net.
"That's what Wondo does," Earthquakes coach Mark Watson said. "He makes something out of nothing. He knows where to be, and he just has that instinct to be in the right spot at the right time. It was a goal that we really needed."
Seattle's last shot was a header by Clint Dempsey from the top of the 6-yard box that Earthquakes goalkeeper Jon Busch saved with 20 seconds left in stoppage time.
Seattle has just one victory in its last five games (1-3-1) and has seen what once a 10-point lead atop the standings dissolve.
"You look at our record, and we have the least amount of ties in the league," coach Sigi Schmid said. "I don't know if it felt like a loss — it was disappointing is the best way to say it. The guys are disappointed because they wanted to come away with a win today."