SAN JOSE, Calif. – The San Jose Earthquakes and FC Dallas played to a 1-1 draw on Sunday afternoon at PayPal Park to close out the 2021 regular season. Quakes captain Chris Wondolowski scored his 171st career goal to extend his own league record and announced his retirement following the match.
San Jose was forced to make an early substitution when Cristian Espinoza went off injured in the 16th minute. He was replaced by Cade Cowell.
Wondolowski gave the Quakes a 1-0 lead in the 34th minute. A low cross by Marcos Lopez found Wondolowski near the penalty spot and he finished a curling effort with his left foot. Wondolowski scored in three of his final five MLS matches.
Moments later, FC Dallas appeared to be in position to equalize but Ricardo Pepi’s penalty kick caromed off the crossbar and was cleared.
The equalizer did come in the 42nd minute when a long clearance by FC Dallas sent Jaider Obrian on a breakaway and he finished past goalkeeper Daniel Vega.
The Earthquakes finished the 2021 MLS regular season with a 10-13-11 record (41 pts.).
San Jose now holds a nine-game unbeaten streak against FC Dallas (4-0-5) and a five-game unbeaten streak vs. FC Dallas at home (2-0-2). The Quakes won this year’s series (1-0-2).
Forward Chris Wondolowski scored his fifth goal of the season and 171st of his MLS career, extending his own league record. Wondolowski finishes his illustrious career with 171 regular season goals, 26 more than any other player in MLS history (Landon Donovan – 145). He also holds the MLS records for combined regular season and playoff goals (173), goals for one club (167), game-winning goals (46), and goals in 1-0 victories (14), while ranking second in multi-goal games (25) and tied for second in hat-tricks (5).
Forward Cade Cowell made his 50th MLS appearance and tallied an assist on Wondolowski’s goal. The assist marked his sixth assist of the season and seventh of his MLS career.
Defender Marcos Lopez tallied an assist on Wondolowski’s goal, marking his third assist of the season and sixth of his MLS career.
MLS Regular Season
San Jose Earthquakes 1 – 1 FC Dallas
Nov. 7, 2021 – PayPal Park in San Jose, Calif.
Man of the Match: Chris Wondolowski
SJ (1-0) – Chris Wondolowski (Marcos Lopez, Cade Cowell) 34’
DAL (1-1) – Jader Obrian (Jesus Ferreira) 42’
SJ – Tanner Beason (caution) 28’
SJ – Daniel Vega (caution) 38’
DAL – Edwin Cerrillo (caution) 53’
DAL – Paxton Pomykal (caution) 56’
DAL – Szabolcs (caution) 74’
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES: Daniel Vega; Marcos Lopez, Tanner Beason, Nathan, Paul Marie; Chofis (Carlos Fierro 73), Eric Remedi, Jackson Yueill, Cristian Espinoza (Cade Cowell 17, Benji Kikanovic 74); Jeremy Ebobisse (Andy Rios 74), Chris Wondolowski.
Substitutes not used: Luciano Abecasis, Oswaldo Alanis, Siad Haji, JT Marcinkowski, Jack Skahan.
SHOTS: 28; SHOTS ON GOAL: 7; FOULS: 8; CORNER KICKS: 10; SAVES: 0
FC DALLAS: Jimmy Maurer; Ryan Hollingshead, Nkosi Tafari, Ema Twumasi, Matt Hedges; Edwin Cerrillo (Andres Ricaurte 73), Jader Obrian (Szabolcs 46), Jesus Ferreira, Brandon Servania, Paxton Pomykal (Freddy Vargas 89); Ricardo Pepi (Franco Jara 78).
Substitutes not used: Bressan, Justin Che, Jose Martinez, Quignon, Kyle Zobeck.
SHOTS: 7; SHOTS ON GOAL: 1; FOULS: 21; CORNER KICKS: 0; SAVES: 6
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES HEAD COACH MATIAS ALMEYDA
On planning for the future and goals for the upcoming season:
“In the first year , we needed one more match to make it into playoffs. We had a team that only won four matches the previous year. That provoked a big change. We were competitive until the last match where we were eliminated by the Portland Timbers. In my second year , we have pretty much the same team. We played in Orlando, and we had a good showing where we got to the final part of the tournament. Even with the inconveniences from the pandemic, we qualified for playoffs. This was a very particular year. We were very competitive in some moments, and not so much in other moments. Surely this is a year of many lessons. Looking at some of the teams that didn’t qualify, with the investments they made, I say we could have been there. It’s a year full of lessons from what’s to come.”On observing Chris Wondolowski’s retirement ceremony:
“I think I’ve been fortunate. I mentioned to the players that I’ve been present for three farewell matches. Today was a special farewell because I was able to coach the leading goal scorer in this country for three years. I think in time, everyone will recognize his accomplishments. I would have loved to coach him when he was younger. I learned how to coach him and accepted how he is. I don’t have many words for how he is as a person. As a professional, he scored 30 goals for us in three years. He was always the first to trainings. I would have loved for him to lift a trophy with us. When this class of icons exist, they will be respected. They are respected in each game. They should be respected because they were born here. It will be difficult, and it will take time for someone to break his record. I believe since he was born here, the recognition he deserves should be three times what took place tonight.”*
On moving forward without Chris Wondolowski:*
“I enjoyed coaching him. We have an excellent relationship in the humane and sporting aspect. He has been a great professional. A goal scorer is leaving and it is difficult to replace goal scorers, especially him. Hopefully, our young players have recognized the path Chris has taken and follow it. Chris leaves a huge legacy behind, which is the nicest thing to leave behind. Many leave titles, many leave huge numbers, but he leaves a special legacy as the all-time leading scorer. With time, he and many others will realize how important that is.”
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES FORWARD CHRIS WONDOLOWSKI
“I wanted to do this in front of fans instead of in front of a bunch of cameras. I wanted to do this in front of you because you guys have been there from day one. This is the last run. I told myself I would cry, and I knew that tears would be coming, but thank you guys. It’s been an amazing ride. I can’t thank you guys enough. It starts with my teammates and literally the league. These guys have been there, in the locker room, practices and the battles. I’ve got to thank my family and everyone here. There are more people than I can count, many Wondolowskis, mom, dad. I got my wife and two girls and a little one on the way. The cool thing is that I get to do this with my hometown team. Thank you guys for this wonderful ride. Thank you for being a part of me, pushing me on. I can’t thank you guys enough. This organization is going to do big things. I can’t wait for it and we’ll be here for the future. Thank you to the fans. From Faultline to Epicenter, the Ultras and everyone here. I can’t thank you guys enough. You guys mean the world.”