Earthquakes try to start win streak vs. Whitecaps
For the first time since early March, the San Jose Earthquakes will enter a game coming off a win.
But San Jose head coach Mikael Stahre, whose team faces the Whitecaps on Wednesday in Vancouver, wasn't so sure at halftime.
"We were in big, big trouble at the end of the first half," Stahre said, according to the (San Jose) Mercury News.
But Chris Wondolowski, who didn't start for just the second time this season, came on as an injury replacement in the 55th minute and had an assist and a goal to help the team end a seven-game winless streak with a 3-1 victory over Minnesota United on Saturday.
The Earthquakes captain found Danny Hoesen, who scored in the 69th minute to put San Jose on top.
"I don't know how he crossed it, but he turned his body and delivered a perfect cross," said Hoesen, who delivered his team-best fourth goal of the season.
Wondolowski scored on a penalty kick seven minutes later, drawing him within nine goals of Landon Donovan's MLS scoring record.
"It was nice to come in full of energy," Wondolowski said. "I wanted to prove myself and just help the team."
San Jose (2-5-2), which got its first road win of the season, has beaten Minnesota twice in 2018 while going 0-5-2 against its other opponents.
The Whitecaps (4-5-2) needed an extra-time goal from Kendall Watson after Houston had taken a 90-minute lead to salvage a 2-2 draw with the Dynamo on Friday night in Vancouver.
Head coach Carl Robinson, whose team had suffered a 1-0 loss in Minnesota the previous week, was not happy despite avoiding a disastrous home loss.
"Football is a horrible game, it really is," Robinson said, according to the Vancouver Sun. "When you think you've cracked the code, it'll kick you in the teeth.
"We know what we should have done today. Anyone watching that game knows we should have won today. Football's cruel, sometimes, but what I take away from that is twice they showed tremendous heart. We never give in. Last kick of the game, it's the best time to score."
The Whitecaps, who were training Monday and Tuesday, have been erratic since a March 31 win at Columbus -- including a 6-0 thrashing at Kansas City last month -- but Watson said Friday's draw was his team's best effort of the season.
"Today, for me, is the best game we've played this season," said Watson, who will head to the World Cup in Russia with his Costa Rican teammates at the end of the month. "I think from here we have to build up and keep this momentum, because the better we play, the more chances we create, and someday we're going to start to win."
Updated May 14, 2018