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Monday Kickback: Week 14

Quakes undefeated in a two game Eastern road trip

MLS: San Jose Earthquakes at D.C. United Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The San Jose Earthquakes continued their turnaround by going on the road and doing something they hadn’t done in over 15 years, and Wondo continues to add to his goal scoring tally. The summer meatgrinder starts this weekend, and the question now becomes, what will the Quakes look like at the other end?

Draw in the Nations Capital

The Quakes passed a test last Saturday as they were able to earn a draw against D.C. United in their second of back-to-back away matches against Eastern Conference opponents. The good news for a Quakes defense that was one of the worst in the league at the start of the season is that they kept Wayne Rooney, who had two goals and an assist in his last three matches, off the score sheet. The bad news was that Luciano Acosta seems to be figuring out his form and tied the game after an hour in which it looked like the Quakes may leave Audi Field with three points. Still, a four-point road trip against two of the better teams in the East is something that the Quakes should be proud of and something that seemed impossible the way the Quakes started the year. The last time the Quakes went undefeated on the road against two or more Eastern Conference opponents was in 2003, a meaningless stat that I needed to include in the piece because of how long it took to research.

Chris Wondolowski continues his outrageous run-scoring his seventh goal in three games. With Cristian Espinoza having to sit out the match due to yellow card accumulation the question was can the Quakes create scoring chances without the crafty Argentinian. Nick Lima answered that question when he fed Wondo in the 37th minute with a cross that was a near carbon copy of what Espinoza has been doing all season.

Going to California

The Quakes return home this Saturday to face a familiar foe when FC Dallas heads to Avaya for the first time this season. Dallas is still in fifth place in the West but come in leaking major oil having won only once in their last seven matches. They pulled off a lucky victory at home last weekend after the Seattle Sounders scored twice on themselves, but sometimes the strangest things can get a good run going.

Both squads will be shorthanded as the summer tournament season is in full effect and both have players that were called up to international duty. For the Quakes Anibal Godoy and Harold Cummings have been called up to the Panamanian National Team, and Nick Lima and Jackson Yueill have joined Gregg Berhalter’s USA squad for the upcoming friendly against Jamaica and possibly the upcoming Gold Cup.

Dallas will be without exiting youngster Paxton Pomykal as well as Edwin Cerrillo, and Brandon Servania who have are all on international duty at the U-20 World Cup currently going on in Poland. Midfielder Santiago Mosquera is still out from a knee injury suffered early in May and yet another midfielder, Bryan Acosta, will not be available after getting his fifth yellow card of the season in last weeks win against Seattle Sounders.

This match is an excellent opportunity for the Quakes to get three points and keep themselves in the playoff conversation.

Watch Wondo

The old man just can’t help himself. With Saturday’s goal, Chris Wondolowski now has 151 career goals and seven in the last three games! That is all the offense the Quakes have needed as they have gone 2-0-1 in that stretch. So many of his goals have been so similar that many people have been wondering how teams don’t glue a defender to Wondo as soon as he steps in the box and I feel like this is more a dig at Wondo’s abilities than praise of his skill. Teams do try to keep a defender or two on him if he is anywhere near the goal, but Wondo always finds that empty spot in the box that will allow him to get a shot on goal. That is one of the reasons why he sits alone atop the all-time scoring list and why he should be considered one of the best ever to play in Major League Soccer.