Wondolowski, Bernardez named to MLS XI


Wondolowski, Bernardez named to MLS XI

SAN JOSE -- San Jose Earthquakes forward Chris Wondolowski and defender Victor Bernardez picked up league-wide recognition on Monday as the duo earned spots on the MLS Best XI. The selection is Wondolowskis third in as many years and Bernardezs first following his debut campaign in the league.

The Earthquakes were one of three teams with multiple representatives on the MLS Best XI. The last time San Jose placed two or more players on the list was in 2005 with Pat Onstad, Danny Califf and Dwayne De Rosario.

Wondolowski posted one of the best seasons by any player in league history, tying the league record for goals in a single season with 27 while also notching seven assists. The prolific scorer had 11 game winners in 2012, a league record. The Danville native also won Player of the Month honors a record four times during his memorable campaign and is a finalist for Volkswagen MLS MVP.

Bernardez keyed a San Jose defense that posted seven shutouts in 2012. The Honduran international started 24 games for the Supporters Shield winners, scoring two goals and recording one assist in the process. Both of his goals came at opportune moments, the first sparking a comeback 4-3 win against the LA Galaxy on June 30 and the second a swerving free-kick winner against Chivas USA on Sept. 2. Bernardez is also a finalist for Newcomer of the Year and finished second in Defender of the Year voting to Sporting Kansas Citys Matt Besler.


Goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen (Sporting Kansas City)

Defenders Victor Bernardez (San Jose Earthquakes), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), Aurelien Collin (Sporting Kansas City)

Midfielders Osvaldo Alonso (Seattle Sounders FC), Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy), Chris Pontius (D.C) United), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)

Forwards Thierry Henry (New York Red Bulls), Robbie Keane (LA Galaxy), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)


Victor Bernardez
A finalist for MLS Defender of the Year and Newcomer of the Year, Bernardez has emerged as one of the top center backs in MLS. The hulking center back helped lead the Earthquakes to the Leagues best record (19-6-9), contributing two goals and one assist. The Honduran international joined the Earthquakes after three years with Belgian Pro League giant RSC Anderlecht. This is his first MLS Best XI selection.

Chris Wondolowski
The winner of the 2012 Budweiser Golden Boot award, Wondolowski led the League in scoring with 27 goals, tying the all-time single season record. He is the only player in MLS history to score the most regular season goals in three consecutive seasons. A finalist for the 2012 Volkswagen MLS MVP, Wondolowski tallied seven assists while helping the Earthquakes win the 2012 Supporters Shield. This is his third consecutive MLS Best XI selection.

Courtesy San Jose Earthquakes media services

After best start in franchise history, Quakes' rough season ends on low note


After best start in franchise history, Quakes' rough season ends on low note


A San Jose Earthquakes season that began with the best start in franchise history ended on Sunday with an all-too-familiar result and feeling.

A Sporting Kansas City first half penalty shot and 89th minute-goal was more than enough offense to finish the Quakes' season on a low note in what was a 2-0 loss at Children's Mercy Park in Kansas City.

The Earthquakes finished the 2016 campaign with an 8-14-12 record -- their 12 losses are tied for second most since returning to San Jose after a two-year hiatus in 2008.

The shutout is also the 12th the Quakes suffered this season and San Jose has now missed the playoffs four straight years.

San Jose pressed Sporting Kansas City in the first half and was almost rewarded with a goal on both occasions.

But it was Kansas City who made the most of their opportunities and those don’t come much better than a penalty shot. 

Benny Feilhaber stepped up to the spot in the 27th minute after an awkward bounce hit Cordell Cato in the arm, forcing the referee to call for the penalty. Feilhaber beat David Bingham to the keeper's left for his seventh goal of the season.

The second half was noteworthy for its chippiness more than any real threat by San Jose to try and equalize. Referee Drew Fischer handed out five yellow cards in the half -- three to the Quakes. 

Sporting KC left the game way beyond reach for San Jose when Feilhaber found a streaking Dominic Dwyer on the right side who emphatically finished past Bingham for the 2-0 result. 

Man of the Match: Feilhaber gave San Jose fits the entire match and the Quakes had no answers for the midfielder. Feilhaber and Dwyer almost connected on a couple of other occasions that might have made the result worse for the Quakes. 

Attendance: 20,371 watched Sporting KC advance to the MLS Cup playoffs. 

Up Next: It's back to the drawing board for the Quakes who will reconvene in Tucson next season for preseason camp. 

Neymar to sign extension with Barcelona through 2021


Neymar to sign extension with Barcelona through 2021

MADRID — Neymar will sign a three-year contract extension with Barcelona on Friday, a deal that will keep the Brazil forward with the Spanish club until 2021.

Barcelona and Neymar had made the announcement of the agreement in July.

The previous contract was to end in 2018. The new deal will run through June 2021, Barcelona said Monday.

The club's announcement in July ended speculation that Neymar was unhappy in Spain and was looking to move to another club. Paris Saint-Germain was among the clubs reportedly trying to sign him.

At the time, the club said the contract's buyout clause would be fixed at 200 million euros ($219 million) for the first year of the new contract, 222 million euros ($243 million) for the second, and 250 million euros ($274 million) for the final three years.

Neymar has been with Barcelona since moving from Brazilian club Santos in 2013. He has scored 90 goals in 149 matches, including five goals in eight matches this season.

A key player in Barcelona's potent attack along with Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez, Neymar helped the team win nine titles: two Spanish league titles, two Copa del Reys, two Spanish Super Cups, the Champions League, the European Super Cup, and the Club World Cup.

The trio of attacking players scored 122 goals in the 2014-15 season and 131 goals last season, both record figures.

Neymar and his father, who acts as his agent, are likely to face trial for fraud in Spain in a case into alleged irregularities regarding his transfer from Santos to Barcelona. A Brazilian investment group which was entitled to 40 percent of the transfer claims it received a smaller compensation than it should have because part of the fee was concealed.

Barcelona also confirmed that defender Javier Mascherano will be staying with the club until 2019. That deal also had been announced in July.