United vs San Jose: United defense crumbles in 5-3 loss to the Quakes

Chris Wondolowski and Steven Lenhart both scored a pair of goals to lead the red-hot San Jose Earthquakes to a 5-3 mauling of D.C. United last night in San Jose, California. The loss snapped United’s seven match unbeaten run and vaulted the Quakes to the top spot in MLS, a point above idle Sporting Kansas City.

United went into the matchup knowing it was missing it’s top two central defenders in Emiliano Dudar and Dejan Jakovic through injury and it showed as head coach Ben Olsen was forced to shuffle the lineup by inserting Perry Kitchen into central defense and moving Marcelo Saragosa into Kitchen’s usual defensive midfield position.

For the first twenty minutes it seemed everything was going well for United as they took the lead on a fantastic strike from Dwayne De Rosario in the 8th minute. The next 15 minutes told a different story as the Quakes scored three times to wrestle control of the match. Lenhart and Wondolowski scored two minutes apart and then ten minutes later rookie defender Justin Morrow scored to seemingly put the match out of reach.

United came to life early in the second half and gave themselves an opportunity to complete a wonderful comeback with Daniel Woolard’s diving header goal in the 64th minute to cut the deficit to 3-2 but the Quakes responded twice in five minutes when Wondolowski (header) and Lenhart (deflection) scored again to put the match to rest. Hamdi Salihi did finally break his duck with a well taken goal in the 88th minute but it was too little too late at that point.

United had not yielded five goals in a road match since a 5-2 defeat against the Los Angeles Galaxy in September of 2008.

United now turns it’s attention to winless Toronto FC on Saturday afternoon at 4pm in Toronto