The start to the Chris Leitch era in San Jose was darn near perfect.
Chris Wondolowski scored in the 74th minute in a potential Goal of the Season moment to equalize the match at 1–1 and Shea Salinas, in true California Clasico fashion, scored the game-winning goal three minutes into extra time to give the Quakes the 2-1 win. The goal was assisted by Danny Hoesen.
Here are five things you should know about the Earthquakes' win at Stanford Stadium.
— Wondolowski’s goal wasn’t just highlight reel worthy, it was also historic. It was the forward’s ninth in the Clasico series — surpassing Landon Donovan and Robbie Keane for the all-time lead.
After a David Bingham save, the goalkeeper spotted open space and, ala John Elway going deep downfield over in Stanford back in the day, booted a volley in Wondolowski’s vicinity. Wondolowski fought off a defender, cut back inside the box, picked his spot and with his left foot, beat Clement Diop far post. It was a vintage Wondolowski and one of the finest in his career.
If it wasn't Salinas' roof-raising goal in extra time, Wondolowski's goal would be the main headline of the match.
— Both teams came into Saturday’s match at less than full strength — and it showed in the first half. There were plenty of holes in the midfield. That said, the Quakes arguably had the better of the play with the lone goal of the half coming off a dead ball cross that Jelle Van Damme volleyed beautifully into the net.
San Jose produced zero shots on target in first half but were much more aggressive in the second half.
— Call it risky, courageous or necessary, but one of the more interesting lineup choices by Leitch in his first MLS game as head coach was to start rookie Jackson Yueill. The start was the first of the UCLA product’s career.
Yueill played 90 minutes and completed nearly 80 percent of his passes.
— At this game last year, there was controversy around a derogatory term used throughout the match when the L.A. goal keeper put the ball back into play. In an effort not to have that incident repeated, the Quakes issued statements before the game urging fans to refrain and even had Wondolowski read a couple of lines denouncing that action before the start of the match over the stadium's PA system.
It worked. The term was not used. And the only real cursing came from the supporter section that is always a little extra unneighborly when the Galaxy comes to town.
— Those looking for another piece of the Galaxy won’t have to wait too long. The two teams will tango again on July 10 at Avaya Stadium in the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open Cup. And while the game won’t mean a thing in the MLS standings, any San Jose fan will take a win against their bitter rivals at any time. Chances are, there will still be plenty of adrenaline from Saturday's win.