Earthquakes-Toronto FC Preview
Chris Wondolowski is the all-time goal leader in MLS history and the San Jose Earthquakes again have a chance to post back-to-back victories on the season - and their first on the road.
Wondolowski and Co. look to accomplish both Sunday night against a Toronto FC side that will try to snap a four-game winless drought without perhaps its best player on the pitch.
Featuring in the starting XI for the first time since March 30, Wondolowski finally made it on to the scoresheet last weekend against Chicago - in a big way. The longtime San Jose star scored all four of his goals in 2019 over 76 minutes of action in a 4-1 home rout of the Fire.
His second goal was the 146th of his career, topping Landon Donovan's MLS mark. The 36-year-old Wondolowski, who started in place of the injured Danny Hoesen, takes 148 goals into this matchup. And whether he starts or not, Wondolowski is happy to contribute when he's called upon at this point in his storied career.
"I'm always ready, always ready to go," he told the Earthquakes' official website. "I know my role. I know my job in that sense. "(Last Saturday) was fun. I didn't necessarily think that four goals were coming, but driving in I had a special feeling."
Wondolowski has nine goals in 14 career games versus Toronto FC. One of which came in last year's home draw.
The Earthquakes, though, have been outscored 8-1 during a three-game losing streak at Toronto, and are 0-3-2 on the road this season - the longest they've started a campaign without a victory away from home since 2016.
But as San Jose tries to end those two slides and finally record two straight wins overall in 2019, Toronto (5-5-2) might be the one feeling more pressure between these two sides.
Since winning 2-0 at Orlando City on May 4, TFC has been outscored 7-1 during an 0-3-1 stretch. It's also mired in an 0-2-1 home rut, and have not gone four consecutive games there without a win since 2016.
Potentially making matters worse, Toronto must try to bounce back from last weekend's 3-0 loss at Real Salt Lake and avoid going without a goal for a third straight match minus star rookie Alejandro Pozuelo. The talented Spanish midfielder has five goals and six assists in his first 10 MLS games this season, but will sit after being booked with two yellow cards against RSL.
"There's not magic, no words, no quick fix," veteran midfielder Michael Bradley told Toronto's official website about ending the team's struggles. "It's about every guy understanding how to do their part a little better. Making sure we can find the right ways to turn the tide."
It's possible fellow Toronto star Jozy Altidore (five goals) could start for the first time since April 19 as he continues to find his legs after missing time due to injuries. Since that start in April, Altidore, who has three goals in two career games versus San Jose, saw time against Philadelphia on May 11 and Salt Lake last week - coming on as a sub in both.
Updated May 24, 2019