Wondolowski's tally in 90th earns Quakes draw


Wondolowski's tally in 90th earns Quakes draw

SANTA CLARA -- Chris Wondolowski scored two goals in the second half, including the tying goal in stoppage time, to lift the San Jose Earthquakes to a 2-2 draw with the Portland Timbers on Wednesday night.Wondolowski, who entered the game in the 58th minute, scored his 20th and 21st goals - extending his franchise single-season record, career-high and league-leading total - to help San Jose (17-6-6) improve to 11-0-5 in its last 16 matches at Buck Shaw Stadium. The Earthquakes also remained three points ahead of Sporting Kansas City in the Supporters' Shield race for the most points in the standings.Portland (7-14-8), which got two goals from Danny Mwanga, squandered an opportunity for its first road win of the season. Instead, the Timbers remained winless in a 16th straight road match and are on pace to be just the fifth MLS club to go a full season without a road victory.San Jose salvaged the critical point after an attempted flick clearance by Portland defender Hanyer Mosquera floated to the back post, where an open Wondolowski headed it home.San Jose brought in Wondolowski and Alan Gordon - initially rested in the midst of a three-games-in-eight-days stretch - looking for late-match magic, and they each had a hand in the Earthquakes' first goal.Gordon flicked on a long lead pass from Victor Bernardez in the 73rd minute, and Steven Lenhart got a sliding touch on it to free Wondolowski, who converted with his left foot from 16 yards. It was Wondolowski's first goal in the run of play since July 14.Mwanga used his strength to create his own goal-scoring chance in the 45th minute, staying upright despite a hard challenge from Bernardez. Bernardez's attempt to knock the ball from Mwanga fed straight to Rodney Wallace in the middle of a stretched-out San Jose defense. Wallace slid a through ball right back to Mwanga, who took one dribble to avoid converging defenders and charging goalkeeper Jon Busch and found the empty net.Mwanga, acquired from Philadelphia in June, made it 2-0 with a crackling 25-yard blast across the face of goal to the upper corner of the far post in the 62nd minute. The play was set up by a 40-yard run through the midfield by Franck Songo'o. Earthquakes midfielder Sam Cronin futilely gave chase, eventually coming up short on a sliding tackle, and Songo'o easily swiveled around Bernardez before feeding Mwanga, who had plenty of time to line up his shot.

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.