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San Jose Earthquakes had to take on high-flying Philadelphia Union without the services of star striker Chris Wondolowski, who missed Wednesday night's Major League Soccer clash through suspension.
The veteran forward, who happens to be MLS's all-time record goal-scorer, was shown the first red card of his 15-year professional career during the Quakes' previous outing, a 3-1 loss against reigning champions Atlanta United.
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However, rather than simply stay home and watch the game on ESPN+ (stream the replay in the U.S.), Wondolowski decided to throw his full support behind the his teammates and urged fellow fans to join him and the San Jose Ultras behind the goal at the Avaya Stadium.
We have a massive game tomorrow night and we need every fan there! I'll be with the @SanJoseUltras in full voice. Please come join us or at least come say hi!! #Ilovethisteam #unity— Chris Wondolowski (@ChrisWondo) September 24, 2019
Sure enough, Wondolowski was in the crowd and even helped lead the chanting before kick-off.
WE ARE NOT WORTHY. ⚫️🔵@CHRISWONDO'S LEADING CHANTS WITH THE @SANJOSEULTRAS! #VamosSJ pic.twitter.com/3DfQs5qlqI— San Jose Earthquakes (@SJEarthquakes) September 26, 2019
In fact, the people's champion seemed to attract quite a following as one of the 16,652 attendees.
Chris Wondolowski, the people's player. #Quakes74 pic.twitter.com/OizexGY8YB— Joel Soria (@soriajoelfutbol) September 26, 2019
Clad in black, the striker roared his teammates on from the terraces as the game got under way.
No days off for @ChrisWondo. 🙌 #SJvPHI pic.twitter.com/JJvJCedxak— Major League Soccer (@MLS) September 26, 2019
San Jose nudged themselves ahead in the 35th minute. Jackson Yueill's opening goal sparked so much passion in Wondo that he just had to strip to the waist and twirl his shirt above his head.
Hoesen Assist ➡️ Yueill Goal ➡️ Wondo Celebration— San Jose Earthquakes (@SJEarthquakes) September 26, 2019
VAMOS SAN JOSE ⚫️🔵#VamosSJ | #SJvPHI pic.twitter.com/YcYgwAZrtT
Unfortunately, the lead didn't last as Union scored twice in the space of six second-half minutes to purloin a 2-1 away victory.
Still, it didn't dampen the atmosphere, with the club saluting their exiled hero after the final whistle.
The @MLS all-time leading goal scorer.— San Jose Earthquakes (@SJEarthquakes) September 26, 2019
In the stands with our supporters.
We will do anything for this man. #VamosSJ pic.twitter.com/QxPcvPQTsp
Indeed, the result was enough to see Quakes drop into eighth place in the Western Conference, one rung below the playoff line with two games of the regular season left to play.
City add esports outfit to portfolio
Manchester City have pulled off yet another major signing by forging a partnership with the FaZe Clan esports team.
City have formally announced a new alliance with FaZe, who are "the world's unmatched leaders" in the fields of esport, streaming, professional gaming and entertainment.
The good news keeps coming.— FaZe Clan (@FaZeClan) September 26, 2019
Announcing the launch of our collaborative partnership with @ManCity:
🔗 https://t.co/g10d8BcK9L | #FaZeCity pic.twitter.com/c0eSSkbYsk
The Clan was formed as a YouTube collective some 10 years ago by a group of Call of Duty gamers who decided to join forces and change their gamer-tags together. They now command a global following of approximately 214 million fans.
City are hoping that the partnership will help to meld their two audiences, of actual football and of the interactive variety, across a variety of initiatives.
As well as creating content and hosting exclusive events, FaZe and City will also pool their best FIFA players at a shared esports training facility where they can hone their gaming skills together.