Football.com - everything football
Western Conference Preview

By Jonathan Szekeres




PORTLAND, OR - FEBRUARY 20: Chris Wondolowski #8 of the San Jose Earthquakes controls the ball during the second half of the game against AIK at JELD-WEN Field on February 20, 2013 in Portland, Oregon
PORTLAND, OR - FEBRUARY 20: Chris Wondolowski #8 of the San Jose Earthquakes controls the ball during the second half of the game against AIK at JELD-WEN Field on February 20, 2013 in Portland, Oregon

2012 record:  19-6-9 (Won Shield, Eliminated in Conference Semi-Finals)

Additions: Spare Parts

Losses: M Simon Dawkins, M Khari Stephenson

Overview: A relatively unchanged roster means the potent scoring attack of the Earthquakes will once again strike terror into the eyes of their opponents. At the center of it all is Chris Wondolowski, the man who tickled twine a ridiculous 27 times last season. All the pieces are there for the Earthquake to dominate the regular season again, with Alan Gordon and Steven Leinhart providing a nice 2-3 punch, and the speedy Shea Salinas and Martin Chavez as quality options. The defense is led by young Honduran Victor Bernardez, who will only see his game improve as he continues his career in MLS. The team looks great on paper, however that doesn't, and hasn't, translated into playoff success. Is this the year?

Player to Watch: Wondolowski is an obvious choice, so I'll go with Bernardez, who had the distinction of being a finalist for both newcomer of the year and defender of the year. Not too shabby. This team can score it's way out of most problems, but Bernardez still remains an important fixture of the club.