After being gone for over a month to play for the U.S. National team, the 2010 MLS Golden Boot Award Winner and lead scorer for the San Jose Earthquakes Chris Wondolowski is back with the team; just in time for one of the Quakes biggest matches of the year. Thierry Henry and his New York Red Bulls are in Palo Alto to take on the Quakes at Stanford Stadium, with the Quakes looking to avenge a brutal loss to the Bulls earlier in April.
he Earthquakes are coming off a well-fought scoreless draw with the LA Galaxy last weekend, a match that boasted the largest MLS crowd ever at Buck Shaw Stadium. The Red Bulls continued their elongated road trip with a third game without a win, fighting to a 1-1 draw against the Chicago Fire last Saturday.
Wondolowski's return to the Quakes marks a big upswing in potential offensive production, especilly with back-to-back shoutouts of San Jose's offense in their last two matches. They will have to play without some key players though as defender Ike Opara and midfielder Khari Stephenson are both out with injuries. New York forward Luke Rodgers, the hero of the match against San Jose in April, will be out with plantar fascitis, someone I'm sure the Quakes won't mind not seeing.
The Quakes have kept clean sheets in three of the last seven games, after recording just one shutout in their opening eight matches. Credit the defense, but also the tenacity of keeper Jon Busch. Hopefully he can have the same success this evening.
Kick off is set for 7:30 p.m. PT this evening with coverage on ESPN2.
For more discussion and analysis of the Earthquakes, head over to Quake, Rattle, and Goal.