Seasons come and go, the world turns, and Chris Wondowloski remains the same – an elite goal scorer for the San Jose Earthquakes.
Wondolowski was once again the man to thank on Sunday, scoring the lone goal – the 110th of his career – in a 1-0 win over the Colorado Rapids to open the Quakes' 2016 MLS campaign. San Jose picked up the full three points, and it also had quite a bit to do with the stellar clean-sheet goalkeeping of David Bingham, who made five saves and conquered the Rapids en route to a clean sheet.
Bingham was tested early and held down the fort early against's Colorado's strong start, and it was his own mistake he had to clean up in the sixth minute, fumbling a cross fired into his box and diving rapidly to cover up the ball before the damage could be done.
The 26-year old was forced to make multiple other saves during a first half that saw the Rapids really dominate on both ends. Colorado held 65 percent possession through the first 25 minutes, and not until the 34th minute did San Jose even get a shot off.
Shea Salinas finally made the Quakes' first promising attempt (and their first shot on target) in the 45th minute, firing a rocket to the top-left, only to have it saved by Zac MacMath. It was a lucky 0-0 at the half, to say the least.
Wondo Magic The Second Half Story
The second half, maybe the polar opposite.
Chris Wondolowski got his head on an Alberto Quintero cross in the 46th minute, slotting the ball home past MacMath to open the scoring books for San Jose's 2016 campaign and add number 110 to his own goal-scoring tally.
Colorado was not done testing Bingham by any means, however; Dillon Powers and Kevin Doyle kept knocking on the door for the Rapids, only to be denied time and time again by San Jose's wall of a goalkeeper.
The Rapids couldn't seem to break through, and Wondolowski & Co. snuck another close opportunity in come the 72nd minute, as Salinas fired in a fantastic ball to the 33 year-old Wondo, whose headed attempt goalward forced a solid save.
Tommy Thompson nearly notched his first MLS goal in the 84th, firing a low shot from the left side of the box, only to have it saved magnificently by MacMath.
A minute later, Colorado came extremely close to equalizing, but yet again it was Bingham's heroics that kept the ball out of the net and the Rapids out of any points on opening day. Eric Miller lasered a right-footed strike at goal for Colorado but Bingham was there to make a top class save and tip it over the bar and out of immediate danger.
Colorado was astonishingly close over the final stretch to scoring, but shot after shot was blocked away by the Marvell Wynne-led San Jose defense or saved by Bingham; they were permanently denied. The Rapids took 18 shots to the Quakes' seven, and yet the final whistle sounded to grant SJ a full three points and the relief of not having to hold off the gushing Colorado attack any longer.