SEATTLE (AP)—Joe Cannon could take most of the credit for keeping opponents off the scoreboard. Then again, even the Jose Earthquakes goalkeeper admits he’s getting some help.
Cannon picked up his fourth straight shutout and fifth in the last six games, and Chris Wondolowski scored his fifth goal of the season to lead San Jose to a 1-0 win over the Seattle Sounders on Saturday.
Cannon extended his shutout streak to 363 minutes, not having allowed a goal since the 87th minute of a 3-2 loss at Chivas USA on April 24. Last year, San Jose had only three shutouts.
“It’s just the blue-collar collective out there of the entire team,” Cannon said. “It’s a lot more enjoyable this year. This group is a lot easier to work with. In years past, you try to carry the weight of the world on your shoulder because it’s an expansion team. But these guys make it a lot easier.
“I can’t single out one guy because the entire group has been incredible,” Cannon added.
San Jose (5-2-1), which started the day in a four-way for second in the Western Conference, is 3-0-1 in its last four games.
“Starting from Day 1 in preseason, we said we’re not going to be a pushover, we won’t get scored on easily, and there won’t be silly goals against us,” said Earthquakes coach Frank Yallop, whose team finished last in the Western Conference last year at 7-14-9. “If you cut out most of those silly goals in a season, you have a chance to win games.”
A long throw-in from deep down the right side started San Jose’s scoring play. The ball landed in the penalty area at the feet of Brandon McDonald. He lofted it into the 6-yard box, and Bobby Burling back-headed across to Wondowlowski. From the top left corner, he drilled it low behind Sounders goalkeeper Kasey Keller near the end of the 11th minute.
Wondolowski didn’t play in San Jose’s first two games, but has started every one since.
“Chris comes in and gets his chance to play and scores, and he hasn’t looked back since then,” Yallop said. “He has a terrific work rate and is a good finisher.”
Wondolowski’s goal was the only shot of the first half for the Earthquakes, and they had just three for the game. The Sounders got off 18 shots, three of which Cannon had to save.
Seattle (3-4-1), coming off a 1-0 victory at New York last Saturday, has yet to string together back-to-back victories this season. The Sounders were shut out at home for the second straight time and for the third time in six home games this year.
“I think we all need to look inside ourselves and ask ourselves why it takes 10 or 15 minutes before we start playing,” Seattle coach Sigi Schmid said.
“We allowed them go get into a rhythm of play and establish themselves and gain their confidence early,” he added. “At the end of the day, we woke up and probably had more of the game. But having more of the game doesn’t mean crap. At the end of the day, we lost, 1-0.”