If there were any lingering doubts about the San Jose Earthquakes and their legitimacy as MLS title contenders, those doubts were erased on Saturday night by a dominating performance against the team closest to them in the standings.
Chris Wondolowski scored a hat-trick, bringing his total to a league-best 17, to lead the Earthquakes to a 5-0 thrashing of Real Salt Lake at Buck Shaw Stadium in San Jose.
The game was close early in the second half, with Wondolowski's opening goal providing the difference, but things changed dramatically when a shoving match after a foul on Javier Morales led to the red card ejection of Kyle Beckerman.
Without Beckerman on the field, the Earthquakes ran wild on an RSL side that fell apart down a man. Alan Gordon made it 2-0 just five minutes after the red card and Wondolowski scored two more goals around a Simon Dawkins finish to make the final score 5-0.
The victory extended San Jose's lead atop the West to four points over RSL.
Here are the match highlights:
What did you think of the match? See Wondolowski breaking Roy Lassiter's MLS record for goals in a season (27)? Surprised at RSL's inability to keep things together after the red card? Think RSL got the short end of the stick on the officiating decisions?
Share your thoughts below.