Wondolowski ties MLS scoring mark with 27th tally
Portland, OR, United States (4E Sports) – San Jose striker Chris Wondolowski scored his 27th goal of the season to help the Quakes forge a 1-1 tie with the Portland Timbers Saturday but came up short in his bid to set new MLS single-season scoring record.
Wondolowski scored his 27th goal in the 24th minute at JELD-WEN Field but failed to register No. 28, leaving him locked for the league’s single-season scoring mark set by Roy Lassiter in the inaugural season in 1996.
“I know how hard it is, how great of a legend Roy Lassiter is,” Wondolowski said. “To share a record with him and to always be linked with him, I couldn’t be happier.”
Wondolowski had several chances to eclipse the record, but he missed an open header in the 66th minute.
As consolation, Wondolowski now holds the league’s all-time record for most combined goals and assists in a single season, with seven assists in addition to his 27 goals.
He erased the old mark set by current Real Salt Lake coach Jason Kreis, who had 33 combined (18 goals, 15 assists) for the Dallas Burn in 1999.
“Amazing,” said Quakes coach Frank Yallop, who played alongside Lassiter on the Tampa Bay Mutiny in 1996. “It’s a shame he didn’t break it. He’s been great all year. Once he got pretty close, he was going to do the record and we were really hoping he was going to do it.”
Wondolowski moved alongside Lassiter by converting a penalty kick generated off a long counter-attacking run by San Jose target man Steven Lenhart.
“Happy,” Wondolowski said after the game. “But I’m relieved it’s all over. It was just a relief when the first whistle sounded.”
Before the game, Wondolowski’s teammates said they would try to get him every chance to pass Lassiter.
In the 43rd minute, San Jose center back Jason Hernandez set Wondolowski loose behind Portland’s defense with a gorgeous 50-yard delivery over the top but David Horst was there to break the play.
Wondolowski had back-to-back opportunities in the 65th and 66th minutes but missed both chances to score.
“It was just horrible execution,” Wondolowski said. “I tried going near post. I definitely should have tried hitting that low and hard to the far post.”