Wondolowski, Busch, Hernandez take home team awards
Chris Wondolowski, Jon Busch and Jason Hernandez were recognized prior to Wednesday's 3-0 win against Chivas USA for their selection as San Jose Earthquakes end-of-season honorees.
Wondolowski took home the team’s Most Valuable Player award, Busch was named Defensive Player of the Year and Hernandez was recognized as the MLS W.O.R.K.S. Humanitarian of the Year.
Wondolowski has had a tremendous season and is a major reason why the Earthquakes have qualified for the playoffs for the first time since their return to Major League Soccer in 2008.
In his third season with the team, the Danville native is tied for first in MLS in goals scored with 17 and leads the league in game-winning goals with nine. Five of those game-winners came in 1-0 wins for San Jose, which account for all of the 1-0 wins for the Quakes this season.
Additionally, Wondolowski’s 17 goals a franchise record for goals in a single season, breaking Ronald Cerritos’ mark of 15. With 20 career goals with San Jose, Wondolowski is tied with teammate Ryan Johnson for seventh on the club’s all-time list, and he sits third all-time with 10 career game-winning goals.
Finally, Wondolowski has accounted for 51.5% (17 of 33) of the Earthquakes’ goals this season, the third-highest percentage in MLS history.
One of Wond's signature moments this year came on Sept. 25 when he recorded the third hat-trick in franchise history in a 3-2 win at Toronto FC. He followed that performance up a brace to clinch the playoffs on Oct. 9 against D.C. United. Wondo's amazing run continued Wednesday night with a hat trick against Chivas USA after coming off the bench late in the first half for injured Cornell Glen.
Busch joined the Earthquakes this season and has been a key component of the team’s renewed defensive prowess. The Quakes have conceded just 29 goals in 2010, down from 50 last season.
Busch has recorded seven of the team’s record 13 shutouts. He has amassed a 7-5-5 record for the Quakes since signing as a free agent on March 30. Busch helped preserve a 0-0 draw at Real Salt Lake, a place where RSL hasn’t lost in 25 games, spanning all of 2010 and most of 2009.
The veteran goalkeeper made seven saves in the 2-1 win at Philadelphia Union on July 10, stopping Sebastien Le Toux on two separate one-on-one occasions. Against rival Los Angeles in August, Busch made seven saves in a 1-0 win, his most notable being a breakaway save on Landon Donovan.
Humanitarian of the Year Jason Hernandez has been an active member of the greater San Jose community in 2010. The New Jersey native has made countless appearances at schools, youth centers and events around the Bay Area. Hernandez has mentored many children in the community, teaching them about the importance of living a healthy, active lifestyle and working hard both in the classroom and in their communities.
Hernandez has worked on Earthquakes community projects such as: Amway Kicks for Kids, Verizon Adopt-a-Team and the Xfinity Clinic Series. Additionally, Hernandez is the club’s spokesman for Nothing But Nets and the team’s fitness program Get Earthquakes Fit.
Aside from his community work, Hernandez has proved to be an invaluable part of the Earthquakes defense this season as well. He has played in every game except two, and has played all 90 minutes in those games with the exception of two.
Hernandez has also served as the team’s captain while defender Ramiro Corrales sat out with a left knee sprain. Hernandez’s presence along the backline is a large part of why the Earthquakes are currently tied for fourth in MLS in goals allowed, allowing just 29 goals on the season.
Playoff tickets are on sale now for the Quakes home game on Saturday, Oct. 30. Fans can purchase tickets online or by calling 800-225-2277. For groups of 10 or more, tickets can be purchased through the Earthquakes front office by calling 408-556-7700.