No Wondo, No Problem; San Jose Earthquakes Roll 3-0 Over Houston Dynamo

The San Jose Earthquakes were without top goal scorer Chris Wondolowski on Sunday night, but that didn’t stop the squad from routing the Houston Dynamo 3-0 at Buck Shaw Stadium in Santa Clara.

“A tremendous team performance all around,” said goalie Jon Busch.’That’s what we’ve been looking for this season, and I thought it was tremendous.”

San Jose opened up the scoring in the 38th minute thanks to an inexplicable error from Dynamo goal keeper Tally Hall. With Steven Lenhart charging toward him, Hall scooped up a back pass from one of his defenders resulting in an indirect kick just feet from his net. Khari Stephenson then crashed home the goal from close range for his first strike of the season.

The Quakes then grabbed their second goal in 58th minute courtesy of Lenhart, who won a penalty. Stephenson then stepped up to give the Quakes  a 2-0 lead.

Lenhart’s presence and tireless running were major assets for the Quakes, as head coach Mark Watson explained.

“He’s a handful up there. Any time he plays, he’s going to attract a lot of attention. For a big guy, he’s pretty athletic and runs well. He’s also a guy who gives us 100% and a lot of times we feed off his energy.”

Lenhart had been out of San Jose’s lineup since April 29, as he recovered from a sprained MCL.

The Quakes grabbed a third goal in the 70th minute as Atiba Harris capitalized on yet another blunder from Hall. The goalie wandered too far from his net, allowing Harris to beat him for his first strike of the season.

Watson was impressed with how his team responded on a night when Wondoloswki was cheering on his team from the stands.

“I think everyone knows the situation and I think everyone is giving a little bit extra knowing that Wondo scores most of out goals and they have taken that on themselves to try and do that and tonight was a good example of that.”

Watson also recognized that if not for a couple of characteristically spectacular saves from Busch in the first half, the game could have ended  up much differently.

“Those two saves keep us in the game. As much as it was a good performance ultimately, Jon Busch really gave us the opportunity to have that kind of performance.”

Following the beatdown of the Dynamo, San Jose improves to 3-4-4 and climbs into seventh place in the Western Conference standings.

Up next, the Quakes travel to Toyota Stadium to take on FC Dallas on May, 31. Kickoff is schedule for 5:30pm.