San Jose Earthquakes Vs Real Salt Lake: 3 things we learned – San Jose rebuild wins

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REUNION, FLORIDA – JULY 27: Chris Wondolowski #8 of San Jose Earthquakes celebrates with teammates after scoring the fourth goal of his team during a round of 16 match of the MLS Is Back Tournament between San Jose Earthquakes and Real Salt Lake at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex on July 27, 2020 in Reunion, Florida. (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images)

2. Super-sub or starter?

Chris Wondolowski’s third goal of the tournament was hardly the prettiest one he scored in his career, but it was yet another crucial one for the San Jose Earthquakes.

Ever since Real Salt Lake pulled one back to make it 3-2, the Utah-based club ramped up the pressure and made life difficult for the Quakes. It may seem like faint praise to a veteran striker to cite his goalscoring instinct and his ability to be at the right place at the right time so often, but Wondolowski truly has embodied those aspects of his game throughout his MLS career.

And, as he continues to score, Almeyda’s decision to either start him or use him off the bench only becomes more difficult. Or perhaps it makes it easier. Why fix what isn’t broken? Managing fatigue will be a huge factor in the latter stages of this tournament, and even though Wondolowski plays like he’s 27, he is still 37 years old. So playing 90 minutes may not be the best way to utilize his talents.

That said, as Andy Rios doesn’t necessarily impress in the lone center-forward role and Wondoloski now averages a goal every 20 minutes, the question of whether the age-old MLS veteran should start is a fair one to consider.

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