SAN JOSE, Calif. – The San Jose Earthquakes defeated Real Sociedad of La Liga 2-1 in a friendly Wednesday night behind two goals from captain Chris Wondolowski. Midfielders Shea Salinas and Cordell Cato each tallied an assist on the pair of goals.
In the victory, several Quakes make their season debuts. Defender Jordan Stewart tallied 72 minutes in his first game back after suffering an Achilles tear last August, Cato made his first appearance since injuring his hamstring in preseason and goalkeepers Bryan Meredith and Andrew Tarbell each earned their first minutes of 2016.
Real Sociedad took the lead in the 10th minute. Forward Alberto de la Bella took a pass inside the box from midfielder David Zurutuza and drilled the one-timer past the outstretched arms of Earthquakes goalkeeper Bryan Meredith.
The Earthquakes nearly leveled in the 30th minute. Midfielder Shea Salinas sprinted down the right side and hopped over diving goalkeeper Geronimo Rulli, but his shot trickled just right of the post.
The Quakes then scored just before the half to level the score at 1-1. After working their way downfield, Salinas dribbled past two Real Sociedad defenders and sent a pass to Wondolowski near the penalty spot and he slotted the ball home (watch).
San Jose took the lead with a 79th-minute stunner. Cato juked a defender and sent a short pass to Wondolowski outside the box. The Earthquakes captain turned and took a long-ranged shot that curled past diving goalkeeper Ander Bardaji to complete the brace. The score ultimately proved to be the match’s decisive goal (watch).
San Jose returns to MLS action against the rival LA Galaxy on Sunday, May 22 at the StubHub Center as part of Heineken Rivalry Week. The match kicks off at 4 p.m. and will be broadcast to a national audience on FOX Sports 1, as well as 1590KLIV (English) and 1370 KZSF (Spanish).
The win moves the Earthquakes to 9-8-8 all-time in friendlies, including an undefeated 6-0-4 record in their last 10 matches. The Quakes haven’t lost a friendly match since falling 3-1 to the Canadian National Team at Spartan Stadium on June 5, 2004.
The Earthquakes have scored multiple goals in four of their last five friendlies.
Chris Wondolowski’s brace marked the first for an Earthquakes player in an international friendly since Steven Lenhart scored a pair of goals against Swansea City on July 31, 2012 at Buck Shaw Stadium.
Wondolowski’s goals were his first in a friendly as an Earthquakes player. He last scored in an international match on October 23, 2013 against CB Heredia as part of the CONCACAF Champions League.
San Jose Earthquakes 2-1 Real Sociedad (La Liga)
May 18, 2016 – Avaya Stadium in San Jose, California
Scoring Summary: RSO – Alberto de la Bella (David Zurutuza) 10; SJ – Chris Wondolowski (Shea Salinas) 42; SJ – Chris Wondolowski (Cordell Cato) 79.
Misconduct Summary: RSO – Igor Zubeldia (caution) 77; SJ – Kofi Sarkodie (caution) 82; SJ – Tommy Thompson (caution) 85.
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES: Bryan Meredith (Andrew Tarbell 46); Jordan Stewart (Simon Dawkins 72), Matias Perez Garcia (Alberto Quintero 62), Victor Bernardez (Shaun Francis 46), Kofi Sarkodie; Shea Salinas (Cordell Cato 72), Anibal Godoy (Fatai Alashe 46), Tommy Thompson, Matheus Silva (Marvell Wynne 46); Chad Barrett (Adam Jahn 72), Chris Wondolowski.
SHOTS: 10; SAVES: 2; FOULS: 13; CORNER KICKS: 3; OFFSIDES: 2.
REAL SOCIEDAD: Geronimo Rulli; Alvaro Odriozola, Mikel Gonzalez, Markel Bergara, Esteban Granero; Jon Bautista (Carlos Vela 73), Xabier Prieto, Ruben Pardo, Srdan Babic, David Zurutuza; Alberto de la Bella.
Halftime subs: Ander Bardaji, Andoni Ugarte,Yuri Berchiche, Asier Illarramendi, Igor Zubeldia.
SHOTS: 6; SAVES: 3; FOULS: 10; CORNER KICKS: 2; OFFSIDES: 3.