Join Now  | 
Home About Contact Us Privacy & Security Advertise
Soccer America Daily Soccer World Daily Special Edition Around The Net Soccer Business Insider College Soccer Reporter Youth Soccer Reporter Soccer on TV Soccer America Classifieds Game Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalk Soccer America Confidential Youth Soccer Insider World Cup Watch
RSS Feeds Archives Manage Subscriptions Subscribe
Order Current Issue Subscribe Manage My Subscription Renew My Subscription Gift Subscription
My Account Join Now
Tournament Calendar Camps & Academies Soccer Glossary Classifieds
Wondolowski: goals, however you spell it
by Alec Mishra, July 12th, 2013 9:43PM
Subscribe to Soccer America Daily

MOST READ
TAGS:  gold cup, men's national team, san jose earthquakes

MOST COMMENTED

[USA MEN] With his performance in Tuesday night’s Gold Cup opener against Belize, Chris Wondolowski made sure everyone knew his name, even if U.S. Soccer’s kit manager was not quite sure on its spelling.

By now, much has been made of the extra “W” added to the surname on the back of the forward’s jersey -- equipment manager Jesse Bignami even tweeted out a photo of Wondo and him having a good laugh after the game -- but one cannot overlook the rare feat “Wondowlowski” pulled off Tuesday night.

With his three first-half goals in the 6-1 win over Belize, Wondo, the nickname bestowed on him by San Jose Earthquakes fans, notched the first hat trick for the U.S. men’s national team since Landon Donovan against Scotland in May 2012. To make his performance more impressive, Wondolowski completed his hat trick in the first half, an accomplishment not matched since American legend Brian McBride did so against El Salvador in the 2002 Gold Cup.

Wondolowski’s three-goal outburst showed national team fans something that Earthquakes fans have known for the past four years: the man can score goals. Wondolowski joined the Earthquakes from the Houston Dynamo in June 2009 after managing just four goals in 37 MLS appearances for the Dynamo.

The 2010 season, Wondolowski’s first full year with the Quakes, proved to be a turning point in the forward’s career, as he won the MLS Golden Boot, bursting onto the MLS scene with 18 goals.

And the 2010 season was no fluke for Wondo as the following year he finished the season tied with Dwayne De Rosario atop the MLS goal-scoring chart with 16 goals apiece. Wondolowski saved his finest performance for 2012 when he tied the MLS all-time single-season goal record with 27, matching Roy Lassiter’s total from MLS’s inaugural season in 1996. Although San Jose was unable to turn their Supporters’ Shield winning ways into MLS Cup success, Wondolowski’s individual efforts culminated in him being named the 2012 MLS MVP.

Wondolowski’s Golden Boot winning campaign in 2010 led to his first cap for the USA in a January 2011 friendly against Chile, and then to a spot on the USA's Gold Cup squad later that same year.

Despite Wondolowski’s prolific scoring tallies for his club side, Wondo’s career with the national team appeared destined to follow in the footsteps of Taylor Twellman and Jeff Cunningham: lethal MLS strikers unable to replicate this form for the Stars and Stripes.

Although he made three appearances at the Gold Cup and created several chances for himself, the Quakes forward was unable to log his first international goal, and even squandered an opportunity against Panama that appeared harder to miss than make.

Wondolowski’s success at the club level, however, made him impossible for Jurgen Klinsmann to ignore, and after nine caps Wondo finally rewarded his coach’s faith in him with his first international goal in the Yanks' 6-0 romp of Guatemala on July 5.

But Wondo wasn’t finished. Although Herculez Gomez was expected to be the USA’s starting striker at the Gold Cup, Klinsmann handed Wondolowski a surprise start to spare Gomez’s ailing knee from Jeld-Wen Field’s artificial turf.

Three first-half goals later, the 30-year-old Wondolowski has given Klinsmann a big decision to make ahead of Saturday’s clash with Cuba in Utah.

Granted, Wondolowski’s hat trick came against Belize -- ranked 102 spots below the USA in FIFA’s latest ranking -- but depending on what formation Klinsmann elects to play, don’t be surprised to see the San Jose forward in the starting XI, either by himself as a target striker or alongside another forward in Gomez or Donovan.

While one should not expect Wondolowski to push Jozy Altidore for his starting spot up front, the Gold Cup gives Wondo an opportunity to press for inclusion in the next slate of World Cup qualifiers.

Since his tenure began as national team coach, Klinsmann has found depth hard to come by, and an in-form, confident Wondolowski would certainly be a valuable asset for the German coach to have at his disposal.

The Gold Cup will provide a great opportunity for the Earthquakes striker, and if he can continue to bring the same goal-scoring prowess “Wondowlowski” showed against Belize, a ticket to Brazil next summer may not be out of the question.


No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
MLS Closeup: Galaxy gives 'Made in LA' new meaning    
The LA Galaxy was the first MLS team to sign a Homegrown player and first MLS ...
MLS: NYCFC makes Sands its first Homegrown player    
James Sands became the seventh member of the U.S. under-17 national team to turn pro when ...
Confederations Cup: Germany relishes Chile showdown    
Germany, the 2014 World Cup champion, and Chile, the 2015 Copa America and 2016 Copa Centenario ...
U.S. Abroad: European season starts early    
The new European season starts early for three Americans who will be competing in the Europa ...
MLS Closeup: Vieira aims to change NYC Derby fortunes    
New York City FC is above the Red Bulls in the standings this season but decidedly ...
MLS Today: Orlando City earns point on last touch of game    
Scott Sutter's first MLS goal on the last touch of the game gave Orlando City a ...
What They're Saying: Tyler Adams    
"Having the opportunity to walk across that stage with all the friends that I started elementary ...
What They're Saying: Juan Carlos Osorio    
"Evidently I went too far, specifically with one of their assistants. We always understood and respected ...
Video Pick: Portugal's Bruma booms a brilliant volley    
Portugal struck only once in its 3-1 loss to Spain at the U-21 European Championship but ...
MLS Today: Hansen sidelined after hernia surgery    
Columbus rookie midfielder Niko Hansen underwent hernia surgery and is expected to be sidelined for Crew ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives