NEW YORK (AP) San Jose Earthquakes forward Chris Wondolowski was voted Major League Soccer's MVP on Thursday after scoring 27 goals to tie the season record set by Tampa Bay's Roy Lassiter in 1996.The 29-year-old received 91 percent of MLS club management votes, 97 percent of media votes and 71 percent of player votes for a combined 259 percent.Thierry Henry of New York Red Bulls was runner-up with a combined 14 percent and Graham Zusi of Sporting Kansas City was third with 7 percent.In awards announced Wednesday, Kansas City's Jimmy Nielsen was voted Goalkeeper of the Year, receiving a combined 146 percent. Chivas USA's Dan Kennedy was second with 30 percent followed by Seattle's Michael Gspurning with 28 percent.Columbus forward Federico Higuain - the brother of Real Madrid's Gonzolo Higuain - was voted Newcomer of the Year. He received 59 percent, followed by San Jose defender Victor Bernardez (51) and Gspurning (32).
The San Jose Earthquakes had one big thing going for them when they took on the New York Red Bulls Wednesday evening — they were on 10 days rest having last played a truly competitive match on July 10 in U.S. Open Cup action.
Unfortunately for the Quakes, they failed to take advantage of that in losing to the Red Bulls 5-1 — definitely not the return to the pitch they were hoping for.
Here are five takeaways from a Wednesday evening, lopsided loss to NYR.
— The Quakes had no answer for Sacha Kljestan. The Red Bulls midfielder, who frequented the U.S. Men’s National Team roster at one point, was not called to international duty for the ongoing FIFA Gold Cup and San Jose paid the price for that — the man finessed the Quakes to death on Wednesday evening, factoring in three New York goals with his use of spacing in the Red Bulls midfield.
— There were a couple of big debuts for San Jose. First, newly signed designated player Valeri Qazaishvili — who the MLS world is calling Vako — made his league debut when in he came as a substitute for Danny Hoesen at halftime. The Georgian native showed flashes with his early touch, but never really factored in the game until the 88th minute when he scored the Quakes’ lone goal on a volley tap courtesy of a nifty Jahmir Hyka cross. It’s a nice debut on the scoresheet, but San Jose is expecting DP-esque things from the Georgian.
— And second, welcome back, Quincy Amarikwa. The forward has been sidelined since September of 2016 when he suffered ACL and LCL damage that required surgery. Amarikwa has been documenting his recovery on social media and surprised Quakes fans when he make his on-pitch return last week in a friendly against Germany’s Eintracht Frankfurt. On Wednesday, he made his official return in the 76th minute. Amarikwa has nine goals and seven assists in 41 career appearances with the Quakes.
— It definitely wasn’t the homecoming head coach Chris Leitch was hoping for. Leitch played for five seasons over with the New York club. He made 101 appearances for the Metrostars/Red Bulls, assisting on five goals during his career.
He’s now 0-1-0 as an opposing head coach.
— It’s unfair to nitpick on a single defensive effort, given that soccer is a team sport, but the Red Bulls attacked center back Andres Imperiale often Wednesday afternoon — and more often than not, they were rewarded with a scoring opportunity. It’s the second straight poor showing on the road for the Quakes defense as a whole after surrendering a four-spot to Atlanta United FC on Independence Day.
It was a historic night over at Avaya Stadium.
For the first time in U.S. Open Cup history, the San Jose Earthquakes have beaten their bitter rivals, the Los Angeles Galaxy -- 3-2.
The win also propels the Quakes to just their second appearance in the tournament's semifinals.
Chris Wondolowski scored a brace to lead the way while Danny Hoesen added the insurance.
Here are a handful of things to know about Monday's win over the Galaxy.
-- The sixth time was the charm as the Quakes had lost five previous meetings against their rivals. But the night began with some doubts when Jelle Van Damme scored in just the third minute. His header was goal No. 2 in the last two games against the Quakes.
But Wondolowski equalized courtesy of Tommy Thompson in the 16th minute and then put the San Jose up for good six minutes in the second half -- once again, thanks to Thompson.
Hoesen scored a breakaway goal about ten minutes later.
-- If you tried to find Wondolowski on the pitch using his regular number, you were unsuccessful.
Wondolowski was sporting No. 38 Monday night in honor of Matheus Silva, the Quakes midfielder playing for Reno 1868 on loan who suffered swimming accident July 4 in Lake Tahoe.
Silva was in a coma until July 6.
Fittingly, the forward scored twice. Wondolowski's goal is the sixth of his U.S. Open Cup career. He's now tied for the all-time lead in Earthquakes history.
-- Pregame, the Quakes introduced their latest acquisition, Designated Player Valeri ‘Vako’ Qazaishvili, to the press.
Qazaishvili began his career in his native Georgia with FC Saburtalo in 2010, spending time on loan with Metalurgi Rustavi and Sioni Bulnisi.
He then moved on to Vitesse in August of 2011 at just 18 years old, tallying one goal in four appearances for the first team in his debut season.
-- Speaking of Georgia, the Bay Area now boasts two of the nation's very best athletes. Zaza Pachulia, the starting center of the NBA Champion Golden State Warriors, was in attendance MOnday night.
The center kicked the ceremonial first goal.
He also swapped jerseys with Vako -- as per usual in soccer circles. No word on Pachulia's footy game.
-- The Quakes have already equaled their best ever finish in Cup history. They'll now try to surpass that when they face either Sporting Kansas City of FC Dallas -- who play Tuesday night.