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Sports

Red Bulls, Earthquakes Tie 2-2

(Photo by Andy Marlin/Getty Images)

(Photo by Andy Marlin/Getty Images)

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HARRISON, N.J. (AP) — Chris Wondolowski scored a goal for San Jose, Kenny Cooper had one for New York and the two kept pace with Thierry Henry atop the MLS scoring list in a 2-2 tie between the Earthquakes and Red Bulls on Saturday night.

The Red Bulls are unbeaten in their last four matches after starting the season with two losses. They trail only undefeated Sporting KC in the Eastern Conference standings. San Jose had its first tie, but has taken points in five of its six games this season.

“It was not one of our better performances,” Red Bulls head Hans Backe said. “Our defense has to improve. We looked quite lost.”

The Red Bulls had the lead twice in the first half, then quickly squandered both leads.

“Attack-wise, we were pretty good,” Backe said. “But we knew how Wondolowski was a good goal scorer and it’s a little frustrating to give away a goal like that. We have to be better than that.”

Cooper scored his seventh goal of the season in the fifth minute of the game, drawing even with teammate Henry for the league lead. Henry spotted Cooper behind the Earthquakes defense and Cooper beat goalkeeper Jon Busch, who was certain Cooper was offside.

There was no whistle and Cooper’s seventh goal of the season stood for a 1-0 lead in the fifth minute.

The Earthquakes tied the game in the 14th minute, when Khari Stephenson spotted a streaking Rafael Baca alone going to goal. Baca blasted the shot past a diving Ryan Meara for the 1-1 deadlock.

The Red Bulls then took a 2-1 lead in the 23rd minute, when Dane Richards carried the ball for 30 yards, avoiding two San Jose defenders, then passed the ball across to Cooper, who made a perfect touch pass to McCarty, who blasted it home from 18 yards out. It was McCarty’s first goal of the season and his first as a member of the Red Bulls. McCarty was acquired in a trade with DC United last June, the trade that brought Dwayne DeRosario to DC United.

The Earthquakes were undaunted and came right back to deadlock the match once again, going to their leading scorer to get the goal.

Defender Steven Beitashour made a fine play, going through two Red Bulls defenders, to make a pass in front to Shea Salinas. At that point, Wondolowski made a beeline to the goal, diving headfirst to knock the header past Meara for the game-tying goal in the 35th minute.

“Shea put it there for me on a platter,” Wondolowski said. “I didn’t have to do much. To be honest, I thought we had more chances after that, especially in the second half. We played with a little more passion.”

Meara made a diving stop on Wondolowski in the 55th minute, coming out of the box to punch away a solid scoring chance in front.

The Red Bulls lost top defender Roy Miller to injury in the 61st minute, leaving the game with a left knee injury. Rookie Connor Lade, making his MLS debut, replaced Miller in the Red Bulls’ lineup.

San Jose had a good chance to take the lead in the 75th minute, when Marvin Chavez’ blistering left-footed shot just bent wide left of the goal.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)