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Wondolowski and San Jose held scoreless in home finale

San Jose forward and former Wildcat, Chris Wondolowski, failed to score against the Colorado Rapids to tie the all-time MLS goal scoring record. Image courtesy of Getty Images, photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire.

Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

San Jose forward and former Wildcat, Chris Wondolowski, failed to score against the Colorado Rapids to tie the all-time MLS goal scoring record. Image courtesy of Getty Images, photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire.

Wesley Harris

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The San Jose Earthquakes 20 shot attempts were not enough to get past Tim Howard and the Colorado Rapids. Colorado’s defense held things down in their goal territory the majority of the game.

They shadowed former Chico State Wildcat, Chis Wondolowski, the number 2 leading scorer in MLS history, to prevent his advancement to tie or break the record.

Both teams entered the match without much to play for besides their pride and competitive spirit. The teams take up the last two spots in the MLS Western Conference standings.

Interim head coach Steve Ralston received his first point as head coach for the Earthquakes. Ralston took over the coaching duties in September.

The Earthquakes hoped to give their fans a game to remember in their closing home match.

“I am very grateful for the fans,” Eric Calvillo said. “It’s only been a couple games since I’ve been playing. I go out and perform as hard as I can and show (the fans) I’m a hard worker. I hope they continue to have my back and I’ll always have theirs on the field.”

The first half of Sunday’s match was promising for the Earthquakes. They popped the ball from all sides of the field, completing 88 percent of their passes.

tommy thompson.jpeg

San Jose Earthquakes midfielder, Tommy Thompson, was all over the field against the Colorado Rapids on Sunday. Image by Getty Images, photo by Thearon W. Henderson.

The Rapids backline could not contain the various crosses made by Nick Lima from the right sideline. The Earthquakes put up more shots than they could ask for with 14. An opportunity was presented in the 40th minute after Shea Salinas’ cross to Tommy Thompson on the right side of the field.

Thompson took a shot from 12 feet which Olympian Tim Howard swiped before crossing the goal line.

“I felt like tonight, the guys were really into it,” Ralston said. “They really put a lot of effort into the game, and I feel bad for them because they deserve to win this game.”

The Rapid’s offense did not click between teammates. They only controlled possession for 45 percent of the game, leading to a lowly 4 shots in total. They missed an opportunity in the 37th minute as Shkelzen Gashi missed wide on a clear shot from 15 feet out.

The second half was much of the same action. The Rapids shadowed San Jose’s leading scorer, allowing little space for a shot.

vako.jpeg

San Jose Earthquakes midfielder, Vako, subbed in for the final nine minutes against the Colorado Rapids on Sunday. Image from Getty Images, photo by Christopher Morris/Corbis.

Everyone in the stadium anxiously waited for Wondolowski to tie the MLS all time goals record, but the Rapids did not want history written on their sheet. The Earthquakes forced the ball to Wondolowski for his eight shots, in an attempt to be the one to assist on a historical moment.

“They were very narrow and kept dropping back towards their own goal, so it was tough to find space,” Danny Hoesen said. “He tried to score, but it couldn’t happen.”

The Earthquakes played well in the draw but could not prevail in their last home match. They will play their final match in Seattle against the Sounders.

“Colossal disappointment,” Chris Wondolowski said. “Whether I get the goals or not, that was the worst year of my career, the worst year of my soccer play.”

Wesley Harris can be reached at [email protected] and flacko_flame on twitter.

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Wondolowski and San Jose held scoreless in home finale