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U.S. internationals (past and present) dominate the chatter in San Jose as Earthquakes prevail

Aug 4, 2013, 12:10 AM EDT

Clarence Goodson head shot

On another night, a U.S. national team defender returning to Major League Soccer and helping bring home a big “W” on his first start would generate significant chatter around MLS.

And Chris Wondolowski finding his scoring shoes in MLS would be a talker, too, especially as his goals were the difference in a 2-0 win Saturday over Chivas USA at Buck Shaw Stadium as San Jose has claimed three in a row for first time this year.

But, them’s the breaks, I suppose. It all kind of drifts into the backdrop on a day when MLS announces it second biggest signing to date, the big Clint Dempsey news bomb.

Clarence Goodson did get the start alongside Victor Bernardez in the middle of San Jose defense, just days after helping guide the United States to a Gold Cup crown. And Wondolowski did hit goals No. 6 and 7 for 2013 as he returned from Gold Cup chores as well. It’s not where the 2012 MLS Golden Boot winner wants to be, but a push over the final 12 rounds of play from “Wondo” could be enough to push his club right into the playoffs.

Goodson’s move from Brøndby in Denmark was announced last month, but he joined the team only this week following U.S. duty in the regional tournament, which wrapped up successfully on Sunday in Chicago.

Goodson and Bernardez (as we told you before) are now, officially, one of Major League Soccer’s top center back pairings. They certainly were strong Saturday, as San Jose limited the Goats to just one shot on target all night.

Another U.S. center back was also in the spotlight, but for less fortunate reasons.  Former U.S. captain Carlos Bocanegra has taken up a spot lately along Chivas USA’s back line. He’ll relinquish that spot next week, serving a red card suspension and thinking about leaving his team a man down on the road for almost half an hour. Referee Armando Villarreal showed Bocanegra a straight red in the 62nd minute.

It really was an awful tackle (watch it below). On the other hand, Chivas USA players were rightly frustrated, having just watched Steven Lenhart take out goalkeeper Dan Kennedy, without so much as a whistle from the man in the middle.

Here is Bocanegra’s red:

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  1. mvktr2 - Aug 4, 2013 at 1:07 AM

    I watched early parts of this match but missed these fireworks. I don’t doubt Lenhart did something more fitting of a free safety than a soccer forward. I’m also glad the ref carded Boca, it was deserved even with his legs bent/non studs up that’s still a leg breaker.

    On that note I like that MLS is physical when it’s on their feet but the league really needs to get a handle on the holding/clutching on set pieces, terribly physical fouls that hardly ever illicit a yellow, and do everything possible to try and keep MLS games played ‘on their feet’.

  2. mvktr2 - Aug 4, 2013 at 1:10 AM

    As for Goodsen I tend to like his game more than some other people. He gets caught ball watching now and again and he can be slow when someone turns him. However he has wonderful feet, reads the game better than any american centerback not named Besler, and is more of a threat to score than any other CB in the US player pool …. because of those wonderful feet.

    • tariencole - Aug 4, 2013 at 1:30 PM

      I like Goodsen for all the reasons you cite. Though I’d say that Besler is getting better with his feet all the time too, though he’ll never be a huge goal-scoring threat. Because he’s not ideal CB size.

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