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San Jose Earthquakes top La Liga's Real Sociedad 2-1 in MLS midseason friendly

Wondolowski scores first-ever Earthquakes brace against La Liga opponent

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- A friendly atmosphere greeted La Liga's Real Sociedad to Avaya Stadium Wednesday evening, but the San Jose Earthquakes didn't play gracious hosts in dispatching the Spanish side 2-1 in a midseason exhibition.

Chris Wondolowski scored twice for the Earthquakes, cancelling out an early golazo from Real's Alberto De la Bella and securing an entertaining victory for San Jose ahead of this weekend's excursion to Los Angeles for an MLS Cali Clasico on Sunday.

Head coach Dominic Kinnear used the friendly to give defender Jordan Stewart his first appearance of 2016. Midfielder Tommy Thompson also earned a starting nod following his two-goal performance for Sacramento Republic FC the previous weekend.

Real burst through with an early goal, as David Zurutuza eviscerated the Quakes defense with a pass into space on the left flank that De la Bella one-timed into the top netting, well out of the grasp of goalkeeper Bryan Meredith.

The Earthquakes had a brilliant opportunity to equalize in the 23rd minute, as a Chad Barrett pass fell nicely into the path of Anibal Godoy racing into the area, but the Panamanian's effort was scuffed wide of the far post.

On the struck of third-time, San Jose broke through on the Sociedad defense, with Shea Salinas running clear on goal. His touch took him through goalkeeper Geronimo Rulli, but the ball stuck to his foot long enough for the Quakes winger to get another chance. Instead of leveling the score, Salinas harmlessly poked the ball into the outside netting.

Salinas made amends in the 42nd minute after his razzle-dazzle along the endline gave him an opening to reset the ball atop the six-yard box for Wondolowski to one-touch into the back of the net. The goal marked his first against a team from La Liga.

A wide-open second half saw both sides with opportune scoring plays, but it wasn't until late that either team broke the deadlock. Making his first appearance since a preseason injury, midfielder Cordell Cato shook off his rust with a nifty shake-and-bake move in the 79th minute that freed Wondolowski for second goal of the game, and the first brace against a Spanish squad by a San Jose Earthquake.

Mexican international Carlos Vela, a constant subject of rumors of a move to MLS -- possibly to the San Jose Earthquakes -- made a late game appearance, but it was not enough for Sociedad's recovery efforts, and the Spanish squad succumbed by a final score of 2-1.