SEATTLE -- Chris Wondolowski has a knack for getting himself in the right position at opportune moments. He has proved it throughout his MLS career.
But, even when accounting for his penchant for putting the ball in the net, there seems to be something special about Seattle.
He scored the Earthquakes' only goal in a loss at CenturyLink Field in 2011. And his goal was the only one San Jose needed on Sounders FC's home field earlier this season.
He found himself in front of the net again Saturday night, redirecting a shot from Victor Bernardez in the 30th minute, setting up San Jose's 2-1 victory over Sounders FC in front of an announced crowd of 38,948.
"You've got some great fans up here and it creates a great atmosphere," Wondolowski said. "When you have a good atmosphere, it helps raise my level, I think. It makes me want to raise it a little extra notch."
Wondolowski improved his MLS-leading goals total to 22. He also tallied his 10th game-winning goal of the season, setting a league record.
"Chris has that natural knack of scoring," Earthquakes coach Frank Yallop said. "Whether it's Seattle or it's anywhere, he loves being in the right spots and he gets something on the ball, usually."
San Jose (18-6-6), which extended its unbeaten streak to five games, improved to 14-2 this season when it scores first. The Earthquakes continue to play well against Seattle (13-7-9), accounting for three of Sounders FC's losses
"It was a great three points for us, obviously," Yallop said. "A big, big game. The buildup to it, it wasn't the whole week, but it felt like it was."
After scoring goals in each of Wondolowski's last three trips to Seattle, it seemed like only a matter of time before the deft goal scorer found the net.
He did just that when he tipped Bernardez's shot past Sounders FC goalkeeper Michael Gspurning with his yellow left cleat.
With 19 goals in the final 15 minutes this season, the Earthquakes have saved plenty of excitement for the waning moments of the match. On Saturday, though, Simon Dawkins helped San Jose strike in the second minute.
The midfielder, who is on loan from Tottenham, hammered a shot into the top corner of the net from about 23 yards out, scoring his eighth goal of the season.
Seattle -- whose last loss also came against San Jose, Aug. 11 -- tied the contest in the 14th minute when Sammy Ochoa sent a well-placed cross in front of the net that Steve Zakuani tucked just inside the goalpost.
Wondolowski's goal gave San Jose the lead heading into the half.
The Earthquakes have yet to lose this season when ahead after 45 minutes and, despite heavy pressure from the Sounders FC late in the game, San Jose held onto its one-goal advantage.
"At the end, Seattle put us under a lot of pressure," Yallop said. "We may have bended a little, but we didn't break. I think that was important to see the game out."
FC Dallas (9-12-9) at Earthquakes (18-6-6), 7:30 p.m. CSNCA