San Jose still has 'work to do' against Portland
Santa Clara, CA (Sports Network) - The San Jose Earthquakes accomplished their first goal when they clinched a playoff spot, but still "have a lot of work to do," according to forward Chris Wondolowski.
"Our goal goes beyond just making the playoffs," Wondolowski said.
In addition to having a postseason spot secure, San Jose sits atop the Western Conference and leads the overall standings, which would secure the Supporters' Shield at the end of the regular season.
Wondolowski admitted finishing with the top record in MLS was also a goal, and three points at Buck Shaw Stadium against the Portland Timbers on Wednesday is necessary to continue that quest.
"We clinched, we said good job to each other, then it was back to business," Wondolowski said. "Our goal goes beyond just making the playoffs. That was our initial goal, in the beginning of the year we wanted to make playoffs but we also want to win the Supporters' Shield, but first and foremost we want to win the MLS cup.
"Those goals are still obtainable and they are still out there, we have a lot of work to do to get them."
San Jose (17-6-5) is unbeaten at Buck Shaw Stadium this year, earning 10 wins and two draws. Its only home loss was a match played at AT&T Stadium in Week 2 against the Houston Dynamo.
After a second straight win over Chivas USA on Saturday, 2-0, San Jose manager Frank Yallop was happy with the three points as "no matter where you go in our league, there is always a tough game."
San Jose will not overlook Portland in the midweek match, as its focus remains on the Supporters' Shield over the rest of the season. Only then will it turn its focus to the postseason.
"Our focus is that Supporters' Shield, we want that. We are taking it one game a time and nobody really said anything about clinching," San Jose goalkeeper Jon Busch said. "It happened, and we want to keep our feet on the pedal and keep winning games until the end."
Portland (7-14-7) has played well over its last seven games, earning two wins and three draws, but remains level on points with Chivas at the bottom of the Western Conference.
The Timbers secured a point against Seattle Sounders FC on Saturday with a 1-1 draw, and remain in contention for the Cascadia Cup, which is contested by the Timbers, Sounders and Vancouver Whitecaps FC, and a postseason berth.
Just nine points behind Vancouver for fifth place in the West, a late push for the playoffs could be possible - especially with a shock win over San Jose.
Rodney Wallace scored the tying goal against Seattle, and hoped the club could build on the momentum, starting with San Jose.
"I think the team played well (against Seattle), and we just got to build from this performance," Wallace said. "(It is) unfortunate that we didn't get the win, but we just got to keep fighting and keep grinding it out."
09/18 14:32:38 ET