Earthquakes

Wondolowski paying for goals

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Wondolowski paying for goals

PROGRAMMING NOTE: The Earthquakes take on the Houston Dynamo at AT&T Park Saturday at 2 p.m. Watch the MLS action on Comcast SportsNet California.

In 2010, Chris Wondolowski had a breakout season, winning the MLS Golden Boot. The Danville native led the league with 19 goals in 32 games. To put things into perspective, he had just 11 tallies in the previous five seasons. A year later, it's still the same story: Wondo led the league in scoring during 2011, surpassing household names as Thierry Henry and Landon Donovan.

This year, Wondolowski already has a goal in the opener. And every subsequent time he finds the back of the net, it will cost him.

Chris saw an article in the San Francisco Chronicle last summer, said Rob Cann, Founder of Street Soccer USA. He emailed me, and he said, How can I get involved?

Wondolowski has since become an ambassador for the program, which gives homeless folks in San Francisco a new outlook through soccer. Teams of men and women of all ages practice and compete against each other in a modified version of soccer, played on asphalt and indoor locations all around the city.

San Joses premiere striker will donate 1,000 for every goal he scores this season. In addition, hes hoping more will join in on the cause.

I think it really makes a difference, said Wondolowski. And thats the key. I love giving back to the community, especially my home in the Bay Area. Ive gone to one practice and it got me hooked.

The 29 year old Wondolowski says beyond the physical benefits of playing soccer, participation gives these less fortunate men and women someone to rely on.

They have teammates, and a family organization where they can really lean on each other, said Wondolowski. I know I lean on my teammates just about every day. Theyve been there whenever Im in need. And they pick me up in the games. I think its the same thing here. Camaraderie is a big deal, and it goes a long way.

Being one of soccers brightest, rising stars, Wondolowski is the perfect candidate to lead awareness for the cause.

He has a platform, said Cann. The fact that he reached out to us and said, How can I help? That says tremendous things about him.

Its not often an athlete will say this, but Chris is hoping to be writing penalty checks, all season long.

Im hoping to be giving out a lot of money, said Wondolowski. The more money I give out the happier Ill be. Its a win-win for both situations.

Follow Brodie in real-time on Twitter: @BrodieBrazilCSN

Wondolowski's PK in stoppage time helps Earthquakes draw with Union

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USATSI

Wondolowski's PK in stoppage time helps Earthquakes draw with Union

BOX SCORE

SAN JOSE -- Chris Wondolowski scored on a penalty kick in stoppage time to give the San Jose Earthquakes a 2-2 tie with the Philadelphia Union on Saturday night.

Shea Salinas drew a foul on Joshua Yaro in the penalty area to set up the penalty kick in the 95th minute. With his 10th goal, Wondolowski became the first player in MLS history with eight straight double-digit seasons.

Roland Alberg scored in the 55th to put Philadelphia (8-11-6) up 2-1.

Valeri Qazaishvili scored three minutes for San Joe (9-10-6). He eluded two defenders before punching it between two more defenders.

Jack Elliott tied it in the 35th with his first goal of the season, knocking the ball in on the left side of the net.

Road woes continue, Quakes fall to Dynamo

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USATSI

Road woes continue, Quakes fall to Dynamo

BOX SCORE

HOUSTON  — Alberth Elis and Vicente Sanchez each had a goal and an assist, and the Houston Dynamo blanked the San Jose Earthquakes 3-0 on Saturday night.

Houston (10-7-7) joined Seattle and Sporting Kansas City at the top of the Western Conference standings by improving to 9-0-3 at home.

Elis got his head on a corner kick by Boniek García to open the scoring with his seventh goal in the 21st minute. It was the Dynamos' league-leading 17th goal off a set piece.

Elis helped ice the game in the 86th minute with a nifty touch to get around a defender before Sanchez beat his defender and the goalkeeper to the centering pass for his first goal.

Sanchez gathered a loose ball just before it crossed the end line and centered it to Mauro Manotas for his eighth goal in stoppage time.

Tyler Deric had three saves for his fourth shutout.

San Jose (9-10-5) has lost five straight on the road and remains one point up on Vancouver for the final playoff spot.