Corey Hertzog, who was drafted by the New York Red Bulls two years ago, played in just five matches before joining the Vancouver Whitecaps this offseason. After tenacious performances in training and reserve matches, the 22-year-old striker finally earned his way into the inaugural start with his new club. Head coach Martin Rennie was repaid for his confidence in the youngster when Hertzog scored his first career MLS goal that allowed the Whitecaps to steal a point from the San Jose Earthquakes.
The Whitecaps were down on the road thanks to another goal from Earthquakes striker Chris Wondolowski, the all-time franchise leader in scoring. After forcing a turnover, Wondolowski turned up the pitch as Shea Salinas drove the ball upfield. Salinas found Alan Gordon with a pass, who then tapped on to the reigning league MVP. After trapping the pass with his left foot, Wondolowski shifted to his right to curl the ball past Vancouver keeper Joe Cannon for the go-ahead strike.
The Earthquakes looked good for the full compliment of points as they dominated the first half. Vancouver continued to struggle with defending the wings, and they were lucky to enter the first half down just one goal thanks to Cannon’s superb saves.
After halftime Hertzog found the equalizer for an otherwise anemic Whitecaps attack. After San Jose goalkeeper Jon Busch saved a Daigo Kobayashi shot in the 62nd minute, Hertzog collected the rebound. Setting up from less than ten yards out, the striker blasted past a sprawled and helpless Busch for the leveler. Despite getting just two shots on goal all match, Vancouver stole away a point to stay on the cusp of playoff contention while San Jose was left to rue the missed opportunity that kept the Earthquakes building their 2013 campaign on a shaky early-season foundation.
VANCOUVER WHITECAPS @ SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES
Buck Shaw Stadium
April 6, 2013
- 18′ — SJ/Chris Wondolowski (Alan Gordon, Shea Salinas)
- 62′ — VAN/Corey Hertzog (unassisted)
- SJ (4-4-2): Jon Busch; Justin Morrow, Ty Harden, Victor Bernardez, Dan Gargan; Ramiro Corrales (Steven Lenhart/69′), Sam Cronin, Rafael Baca, Shea Salinas (Cordell Cato/69′); Chris Wondolowski, Alan Gordon (Mike Fucito/76′)
- VAN (4-2-3-1): Joe Cannon; Alain Rochat, Brad Rusin, Andy O’Brien, Lee Young-Pyo; Jun Marques Davidson, Nigel Reo-Coker; Russell Teibert (Gershon Koffie/68′), Daigo Kobayashi (Camilo Sanvezzo/65′), Erik Hurtado; Corey Hertzog (Tommy Heinemann/82′)