Soccer

Wondolowski scores three as Earthquakes clinch West

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Associated Press
10/6/2012 11:20:19 PM
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COMMERCE CITY, Colo. -- Chris Wondolowski scored three goals and added an assist to help the San Jose Earthquakes clinch the Western Conference title with a 4-1 victory over the Colorado Rapids on Saturday night.

Marvin Chavez added his second goal of the season 95 seconds into the game for San Jose (19-6-7). The Earthquakes hold a six-point lead over idle Sporting Kansas City for the Supporters' Shield.

San Jose tied a club with 64 points in a season.

Andre Akpan scored on a penlty kick in the 90th minute for the Rapids.

Colorado (9-19-4) has won only twice in its last 16 games, going 2-11-3 in that span. The Rapids will miss the playoffs for first time since 2009.

Colorado played without midfielder Jaime Castrillon and forward Conor Casey. Both had sore knees.

The game time temperature was 32 degrees, but it didn't cool down San Jose's hot start.

Sam Cronin's cross was deflected out to Chavez. Chavez got the ball under control and sent a blast into the upper left corner of the net.

Alan Gordon set up the second goal with a pass in front of the goal. Wondolowski spun and sent a low shot past Colorado goalkeeper Matt Pickens.

Wondolowski made it 3-0 in the 51st minute. The favourite to win the league's MVP award picked off a clearing pass in front and sent the ball back into an empty net.

Pickens left in the 75th minute. Wondolowski got behind Colorado's defence and easily beat backup goalkeeper Steward Ceus in the 83rd minute.

Chris Wondolowski (Photo: Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

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(Photo: Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
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