SANTA CLARA -- The frustration was seeping out of Chris Wondolowski. He kept a straight face, but it was in his eyes. He kept his voice level, but his tone gave it away.

He scored again, his third goal of the season in four games. But it wasn't enough. And it's hard to see what more he can do.

Doomed by a few missed opportunities, and another sluggish start, the Quakes walked away with a 1-1 tie against Eastern Conference-leading Columbus on Sunday. They find themselves at the bottom of the standings in the West with just two points after four games, three of them at home.

Despite having one of the nation's hottest scorers, the Earthquakes haven't produced enough offense to secure a victory this season. And that reality is enough to get under the skin of the passionate striker from Concord's De La Salle High.

"We've got to stop backing ourselves into a corner," Wondolowski said. "Once we're in the corner, we're going to come out swinging, that's for sure. But we've got to stop doing that."

His Earthquakes predicament might mirror his World Cup one.

Wondolowski is on the cusp of making the 23-man roster to compete for Team USA in Brazil. He added another star to his resume with another goal Sunday.

He now has six goals in his last six combined games with the Quakes and the men's national team. It's hard to see what more he can do.

Sunday, he displayed again his knack for scoring. In the 51st minute, he found himself inexplicably alone in the box. He easily headed in the corner kick from Shea Salinas, tying the game.

Perhaps it was bad defense by the Crew. Or maybe it was just the latest example of Wondo's expertise as a scorer. How he always seems to be in the right place at the right time, how he slips through cracks and maneuvers his way into opportunities.

Considering that Team USA could use some scoring punch off the bench, Wondolowski makes a lot of sense. But thinking about that probably won't help his disposition.

"Right now," he said, "I'm just trying to get wins here with the Earthquakes, and I'm frustrated that I'm not able to accomplish that right now. That's my only mindset."

Team USA's training camp at Stanford is less a month away. Aron Johannsson has probably played himself onto the team, joining Clint Dempsey, Jozy Altidore and Landon Donovan.

That leaves Wondo and Eddie Johnson vying for what might be one more spot.

How many more goals must he score?

The same question could be asked for the Earthquakes, who have managed just five goals in four games.

They played with a noted intensity in the second half. They got a spark from Yannick Djalo, who seems capable of stealing some attention away from the defense, freeing up Wondo.

They applied enough pressure to rattle Columbus, a sign the ability is there. But they left several opportunities on the pitch, including Wondo, who missed a bullet of a strike off the top bar.

That's how close the Earthquakes were to getting their first victory of the season. That's likely how close Wondolowski is to fulfilling every soccer player's dream.

Read Marcus Thompson II's blog at blogs.mercurynews.com/thompson. Contact him at mthomps2@bayareanewsgroup.com. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/ThompsonScribe.