The Earthquakes hit the Century Mark as if it were a piñata in a 5-0 thrashing of Sporting Kansas City Wednesday night at Sporting Park.
Chris Wondolowski notched a brace to reach 100 goals in his illustrious Quakes career; Shea Salinas assisted Cordell Cato twice in his 100th game with the club; and David Bingham made his 100th career save. Indeed, the Quakes gave their supporters maybe 100 reasons to smile over 90 strong minutes.
Panama international Anibal Godoy, in his second start since joining his new teammates on Aug. 14, has added a touch of class in the midfield. He scored by stopping on a dime and shooting into the corner to make it 3-0 in the 27th minute.
"Every one of our players had a good game," coach Dominic Kinnear said. "Throughout a season that doesn't happen all the time, but we scored some good goals, we broke well, we defended well."
The Quakes' first win in Kansas City since 2004 could easily have been a 7-0 final, but the number that mattered most was three, as in points acquired, in advance of Saturday's game at D.C. United. The Quakes improved to seventh place in the Western Conference, just three points behind Seattle.
Quincy Amarikwa, who assisted Godoy's goal with a clever back-heel pass from the midfield, was a handful for a flagging SKC defense. He drew the PK which Wondolowski converted to make it 2-0 in the 17th minute.
The Quakes led 3-0 at halftime and then Cato added a dagger goal in the 58th minute to complete his first MLS brace. Wondolowski rounded out the scoring with a leaping header off a Fatai Alashe inswinger from the right. This was one of those pinch yourself kind of games for the Quakes, while Kansas City was left kicking itself.
Wondolowski said the Quakes probably caught Sporting them at the right time during a rugged stretch of games. But San Jose seized the moment in its second straight shutout win. "Soccer is a huge game of momentum," Wondolowski said. "We came out and got a goal very early, and I thought we played some inspired soccer, especially early and you get a goal or two and the other team starts pressing. Executing on our chances is something that the coaches talked to us about, and we were able to do that."
The game marked a successful first pairing of Godoy and Alashe in the midfield. Godoy elevated the team's attacking IQ with his brilliant reads and distribution, and Alashe, in his return from a one-game suspension, looked sharp. He nearly scored with a wicked attempt.
"We weren't able to get Anibal and Fatai on the field together last week since Fatai was suspended," Kinnear said. "It made sense to play them together on the road against a really good team. It gave us good balance in midfield, and they both played well. To have those two in the midfield made us really solid, and we had good possession as well."
Cato set the tone early. He made it 1-0 in the third minute off a sharp cutback pass from Salinas, after the fleet Texan made a strong run on the wing.
Great combination play against the flummoxed SKC defense set up the second goal. Wondolowski ran onto a long pass from Alashe and cut the ball back for Cato, who flipped a pass to Amarikwa. He shielded SKC defender Chance Myers, who pushed him to the ground. Wondolowski calmly finished from the spot.
Wondolowski became the first MLS player to score at least 10 times for six consecutive seasons, with his 10th and 11th goals. It was his 17th multi-goal game, tying for fourth all time in that category.
He is tied for No. 6 with Dwayne De Rosario in career goals with 104. "It is a nice thing," Wondolowski said of his landmarks. "Tonight the most important thing was getting a win, and I am hoping we can make the playoffs and reflect on individual things in the offseason. I owe it all to my teammates because a lot of my goals come inside the six, so they do a great job of setting me up."
Kinnear marvels at all that Wondolowski has done and continues to do. "He's scored goals in a lot of different fashions and in many stadiums around the league," Kinnear said. Really happy for him to accomplish these things. He deserves every single accolade he gets."