SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) - Chris Wondolowski earned a hat trick and the San Jose Earthquakes widened their lead atop the Western Conference with a 5-0 victory against Real Salt Lake on Saturday.
“[This game] made a statement that San Jose is a much better team than us," Kreis added. "[The Earthquakes] have a lot of guys that bust a gut the whole game."
Wondolowski scored in the 19th, 72nd and 80th minutes to extend his league-leading goal total to 17 on the year.
Alan Gordon tapped home a loose rebound from 3 yards in the 63rd minute and Simon Dawkins scored at short range off a 79th-minute corner kick to complete the scoring for San Jose (12-4-4), which is four points clear of Real Salt Lake (11-7-3) in the standings.
"Our team has lacked discipline this season and that especially showed after we went down a man," said Kreis. "Some of our guys sleep-walked through the game tonight. It doesn’t get much bigger than this game and I don’t know how our guys didn’t get up for it.”
San Jose is also four points ahead of Eastern Conference leader Sporting Kansas City in the Supporters' Shield chase.
San Jose scored four times after Real Salt Lake captain Kyle Beckerman was shown a straight red card in the 58th minute for delivering a retaliatory foul against Earthquakes midfielder Sam Cronin, who had just taken down RSL's Javier Morales with a sweep of his trailing leg.
“It started with a really lackluster first half," said RSL head coach Jason Kreis. "At halftime down 1-0 I thought we were in the game with a chance, but everything fell apart with [Kyle Beckerman’s] red card. I don’t know why he decided to throw our guy out and none of theirs."
Real next hosts Colorado Saturday, July 21st at 7:00 p.m. on CW30.