SAN JOSE -- Earthquakes target forward Alan Gordon had to wait until just before his 31st birthday to earn his first appearance with the U.S. national team.
He made the most of it Friday with an assist in second-half extra time that might have saved the Americans' World Cup hopes with a 2-1 victory over Antigua & Barbuda.
Gordon, who has 13 goals and seven assists in 23 games for the Quakes this year, fed Seattle Sounders Eddie Johnson for the game-winner in the waning minutes of a CONCACAF World Cup qualifying match at Antigua.
"It doesn't matter what age I am," said Gordon, who turns 31 Tuesday. "I'm playing good soccer right now."
San Jose coach Frank Yallop was disappointed U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann didn't include star Chris Wondolowski on the roster but could not have been happier for Gordon.
"Klinsmann must have seen something he wanted to add to his team," Yallop said. "That's good it's not just about stats."
Yallop described Gordon as one of his favorite players when he coached the 6-foot-3 striker with the Los Angeles Galaxy in 2006-07.
"He had some really difficult injury issues that a lot of players would have given up on," the coach said.
Yallop was surprised that Wondolowski didn't get called to the national team after scoring 25 goals to lead Major League Soccer.
"You would have thought that you would bring in the top goal scorer in the league by a mile," Yallop said Thursday after practice. "But it is completely Jurgen's decision and what he wants to do with the team."
Although Landon Donovan and others were dropped from the roster because of injuries and illness Klinsmann did not add any replacement players. He still could include Wondolowski, or others, for Tuesday's match against Guatemala in Kansas City, Kan.
The Danville native heads into the final two games of the regular season needing two goals to tie Roy Lassiter as MLS's all-time single-season scoring leader. His first chance will be a week from Sunday in a marquee match at Buck Shaw Stadium against the Los Angeles Galaxy.
The Earthquakes hope to be at full strength against their biggest rival after the long break for international matches. Yallop said he hopes to see the return of Simon Dawkins (ankle) and Ike Opara (concussion-like symptoms) as the team makes its final push to win the Supporters' Shield given to the regular-season champion.
"When we started out we couldn't make it a boring, non-attacking league," said Yallop, a former outside back for Tampa Bay. "We had a big push to make sure there were a lot of goals. I look at it now, a lot of the defenses are very good. Tough good teams that don't allow you to get a sniff. For Wondo to get consistent tallies is remarkable really."
Not true, Wondolowski said.
"He made it seem I was holding out for a $1 million," the player said.
Wondolowski, who doesn't have an agent, contacted San Jose management including president David Kaval to explain what happened.
"They know me," he said. "It's not like that."
Sure Wondolowski would like to play in Europe. But he holds out little hope because of the obstacles, such as contracts, transfer fees and not holding a European Union passport.
Contact Elliott Almond at 408-920-5865. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/elliottalmond.
Contact Elliott Almond at 408-920-5865 and follow him on Twitter at Twitter.com/elliottalmond.