San Jose striker Chris Wondolowski has tormented Seattle for years, scoring a total of nine times against the Sounders.

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San Jose striker Chris Wondolowski has tormented the Sounders for years.

With his intelligent movement and nose for goal, the Earthquakes captain always seems to pop up when Seattle is most vulnerable. Factoring in the two goals he added on Saturday night at CenturyLink Field, Wondolowski has now scored nine times against the Sounders, more than any other active player in Major League Soccer.

Wondolowski is a player the Sounders see in their nightmares – and after Saturday night, no one more so than captain Brad Evans.

Wondolowski tested the converted center back all night long. His two goals powered the 10-man Earthquakes to a 3-2 victory, their first in MLS since the beginning of August of last year.

Seattle took just 18 seconds to open the scoring, setting a club record for fastest goal as Clint Dempsey finished off the rebound from a Tyrone Mears strike.

It took Wondolowski less than 13 minutes to answer.

Evans mistimed his jump while trying to reach Marvell Wynne’s cross, Wondolowski evaded his markers in the box and fired home from near the penalty spot. Three minutes into the second half, the San Jose forward struck again, heading Evans’ misplaced header past a helpless Stefan Frei to give the Earthquakes the lead.

“You can tell (Wondolow­ski) is an experienced player,” Mears said. “But I think we caused a lot of problems rather than San Jose causing us problems. And that wasn’t just in defense, I think that was all over the pitch.

“You’ve got to win your battles first. We’ve got so many players with great technical ability, but you’ve got to win your battles first and we didn’t do that tonight.”

Seattle struggled to keep possession in the first half or create clear-cut chances in the second.

“They are a more defensive team than offense,” midfielder Gonzalo Pineda said. “I think they tried to break up our good moves with fouls — with good (tackles), too, but mostly with fouls. I think that’s a problem. That broke the rhythm we had with our game.”

Victor Bernardez looked to have given the Sounders a gift when he caught Micheal Azira in the thigh with a high boot and was ejected with a red card. Almost immediately, the field tilted.

David Bingham made back-to-back saves on a Dempsey header and a Leo Gonzalez drive from distance. Lamar Neagle’s cross somehow squirted past both Obafemi Martins and Dempsey in front of the goalmouth.

But with 20 minutes to go, Innocent Emeghara juked inside Evans on a counterattack and fired inside the far post to make it 3-1.

Said acting coach Brian Schmetzer, filling in for Sigi Schmid while the latter was away at his son’s wedding: “(Pulling Evans) was going through our mind. But he is the captain of our team. He’s an important part of our team. He’s a tremendous soccer player and a tremendous human being.

“If I had to second-guess myself, I probably would’ve done the same thing. It crossed my mind, to be honest with you, but you give veteran guys a little extra leeway.”

Schmid has said in the past that he would stick with Evans for the first half-dozen or so games before making an evaluation on the positional change.

This was only game No. 2 and just a 90-minute sample size. But it was a long night.