San Jose Earthquakes Thrash Real Salt Lake 5-0, Consolidate First Place in West

In a match with crucial implications for the MLS Western Conference standings, the San Jose Earthquakes made an emphatic statement on Saturday night at Buck Shaw Stadium, where Chris Wondolowski's hat trick paced a 5-0 drubbing of Real Salt Lake.

The encompassing win sees the Earthquakes (12-4-4) go four points clear of the 2009 MLS Cup winners (11-6-3) atop the West. Salt Lake remain in second place with 36 points on the season.

“I felt we were in charge of the game from the opening whistle,” Earthquakes manager Frank Yallop said after the match. “I really didn’t feel any doubt that we weren’t going to win this game. I felt we bossed everything; we took charge of everything in the match. I felt really good about it.”

Boss the game they did, particularly after the 57th minute, when Salt Lake were reduced to 10 men when midfielder Kyle Beckerman, a frequent inclusion in the U.S. men’s national team set up for ...

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