Sometimes it’s just a feeling.
After snapping their three-game unbeaten streak to the Timbers a week prior, the Earthquakes bounced back with a 1-0 win over Sporting KC at Avaya Stadium on Sunday. The victory extended the Quakes’ unbeaten streak at home to 10 games dating back to last season and improved their overall record to 4-2-2 in 2016.
Goalkeeper David Bingham was the hero in the first half, saving five shots in the opening frame alone to help preserve the Quakes’ third shutout at home this season. Bingham’s presence in goal undoubtedly has been a catalyst for the Earthquakes' recent success. In fact, no goalkeeper in club history has ever tallied more wins (21) or shutouts (15) through their first 46 starts with the club.
“You can’t say enough good things about David right now,” said head coach Dominic Kinnear after the match. “He’s playing really well, and he’s bailing us out when we need him to. He’s got great range. When he makes a decision, for the most part they’re strong, which you want from your goalkeeper.”
The Quakes’ ability to bounce back can be attributed to the team unity, capped by leaders on both sides of the field. Forward and captain Chris Wondolowski also showed again why he’s one of the most reliable forwards in the league, converting his second-half penalty to give the Quakes a 1-0 win. The goal marked his eighth straight successful penalty and 13th of his last 14, an impressive statistic to most but the man himself.
“It’s a 12-yard shot with a one-on-one with the keeper, you should make them,” he said. “That’s always been my philosophy. I work on them. I literally work on them every day at practice.”
What stands out about this team is just that, they are a team. Though Wondolowski and Bingham might lead the stats charts, they are always quick to give credit to their brothers on the field.
“The back four makes it easy for me,” said Bingham. “It makes my job a lot easier. When they play well, I look better.”
Despite the Earthquakes’ self-admitted struggles in the first half, they proved again that they have the ability to rally together and recover. In a season where they have yet to lose back-to-back contests and have come back to win several close games, it’s a sentiment that isn’t lost on the players and especially the team’s captain.
“With this locker room and what we have with the guys, it’s weird you get these special feelings and you really did in 2012 and I feel something special,” said Wondolowski. “We can do some big things this year.”