I have to admit, I was gearing myself up to write a “tough loss but I’m still proud of my boys” post. Then, at the 83rd minute, it was a “hard-won point” post. You would think I’d have learned by now. There is a reason the Quakes have earned the “Goonies never say die” tag line. The 1906 Ultras have even come up with a new chant in honor of the reference—“Hey you guu-uuys!”
These Goonies have proven their mettle time and time again. There is a depth of character in them that is not often seen. It’s the stuff they make movies out of. This team has a rather nerve-wracking habit of allowing the first goal, but they rarely allow the last.
Tonight’s game against the Colorado Rapids was no different. While most of the other teams in the league played games this past weekend, this was San Jose’s first game back from the break. The conditions were tough, to be sure: playing an away game at high-altitude.
With Jon Busch serving a one-game suspension, 22-year old David Bingham started his first game of the season in goal. While he came up with some huge saves during the game, the Rapids went up 1-0 in the 18th minute off a Brian Mullan header. The Quakes had come out strong and controlled the game for the first 10 minutes or so, but after the goal Colorado had the majority of the possession.
Goalkeeper Matt Pickens was definitely the man of the match for Colorado, keeping the Quakes off the scoreboard with some outstanding saves. That lasted until the 83rd minute, during what has been dubbed “Gordon Time.” Super sub Alan Gordon did what he always does—come in and make a difference. In fact, each of his 5 goals this season have been game winners or equalizers. While this goal was officially credited to Hunter Freeman as an own goal, there is no question that Gordon made it happen.
Then, just when I thought we were home-free with a well-earned away point, Gordon got into space and drew a foul from Pickens in the box. I couldn’t believe it. 91st minute. And we could actually win this game (I know, I know, I shouldn’t be surprised anymore). Chris Wondolowski stepped up for the penalty kick. I felt like I was going to hyperventilate. My mom actually had to leave the room. He shot. He scored! 2-1. 2 freaking 1. This is why I love these boys.
No doubt about it, the Quakes are starting the second half of the season in a good place. Wondo, “Big Vic” Victor Bernardez (pictured above right), and Shea Salinas are all back where they belong, out on the pitch with the rest of the boys. They head into Saturday’s game against league-leaders Real Salt Lake only 2 points behind and with a game in hand. Oh, and Wondo now has 12 goals on the season. Yep, top-scorer in the league. No big deal. (Just kidding, it’s huge deal.)
So just remember: the Earthquakes may go down, but they are never out. #gooniesneversaydie
Image courtesy of mlssoccer.com