Thursday, October 21, 2010

Earthquakes Hand Out 2010 Season Player Awards

Major League Soccer's San Jose Earthquakes Wednesday announced the winners of its team's 2010 end-of-season awards before playing their final regular season home game that night against Chivas USA at Buck Shaw Stadium in Santa Clara, CA.

Forward Chris Wondolowski was named the team's Most Valuable Player prior to him having his second hat trick of the season in a 3-0 win over Chivas that snapped the team's six-game losing streak to him since returning to the league in 1998.

He is now tied for the league's Golden Boot award with Los Angeles Galaxy forward Edson Buddle at 17 goals in advance of Saturday's final regular season game at the Kansas City Wizards and his goals set a new single-season goal scoring mark for the Earthquakes, breaking the old record of 15 in 1999 by Ronald Cerritos. Wondolowski also has tied a league-record goal scoring streak at nine games, equaling the mark set by Galaxy forward Carlos Ruiz from August 2002 to April 2003.

Before Wednesday, Wondolowski, in his third season at San Jose, led the league in game-winning goals with eight, with five of them coming in 1-0 wins, and he was tied with teammate Ryan Johnson for seventh place on the all-time goals scored list.

Wondolowski accounted for 46.7 percent of their 2010 regular season scoring with 14 of the team's 30 goals this season before Wednesday, the third highest percentage in league history.

Goalkeeper Jon Busch was named the team's Defensive Player of the Year and Goalkeeper of the Year Wednesday.

He led the Quakes in allowing 29 goals through Wednesday, down from allowing 50 in the 2009 season, and Busch has recorded six of the team's record-tying 12 shutouts.

Since joining the team as a free agent from the Chicago Fire March 30, he has posted a 6-5-5 record with a goals against average at 0.94 before Wednesday;s win. If he finishes with an under one average, he will become the first Earthquakes goalkeeper since Pat Onstad (0.97) in 2005 to do that.

Finally, defender Jason Hernandez was named the Earthquakes MLS W.O.R.K.S Humanitarian of the Year for his works on such efforts as Amway Kicks For Kids, Verizon's Adopt-A-Team and the Xfinity Clinic Series, as well as being the team spokesperson for Nothing But Nets and the Get Earthquakes Fit program.

On the pitch, Hernandez has played in every minute of every game except two this season and became team captain when defender Ramiro Corrales had to sit out games with a strained left knee.

San Jose's backline, with his help, are currently tied for fourth in the league in goals allowed with 29.

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