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Dream year has Wondolowski thinking big

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BY ADAM SERRANO

Chris Wondolowski is having a dream season. 

With 12 goals, the 27-year-old has led the Earthquakes to the brink of the playoffs for the first time since their return to MLS in 2008. Perhaps what is most important about Wondolowski's goals are the timeliness of the strikes.

The Earthquakes are 7-1-2 when Wondolowski scores and seven of the forward's goals have been game-winning strike. While Wondolowski  is  amidst of an MVP type season, the forward remains humble about his accomplishments. 

"We've been creating great chances and I've been on the end of some really easy finishes, it's all due to some great team play," said Wondolowski. " I've worked hard on my finishing and have had great coaches and mentors who have helped me really put everything together this season." 

Tied for third in scoring and only two behind leading scorer Edson Buddle, Wondolowski's season has far exceeded anything else that the forward has accomplished in his six years in MLS. The scoring tear comes on what was Wondolowski's finest season in 2009 when the forward scored five goals splitting time between the Houston Dynamo and the Earthquakes. The 2009 season for San Jose was mired in a inconsistent season that led to the Quakes missing the playoffs once again. This season, the club has risen to the the brink of their first playoff berth since moving to Houston.

Wondolowski admits that in addition to his own contributions, a number of other players have led the Quakes rise up the standings. Most notably midfielder Bobby Convey, who had been inconsistent in his first season with the Earthquakes. While the forward has gotten a considerable amount of buzz for MVP, Wondolowski feels that Convey should be in the conversation as well due to the rejuvenation of the Quakes in 2010. 

"Since I've gotten the stats, I've been mentioned in the conversation for MVP and a host of accolades, but the team MVP has been Convey," said Wondolowski. "He does so much that doesn't really go in the stat book with the way that he tracks back on defense "

Wondolowski's run has led to chatter that he should be considered for the U.S. National Team. With forward remaining a problem position for the national team, Wondolowski's timely scoring and verstiality to play a number of different positions have led to some to call for the Quakes forward  to join the U.S. team.

Head Coach Frank Yallop has been a huge proponent of Wondolowski and admits that Bob Bradley should have him on his radar for a potential call up for the annual January camp. Yallop has stated that he believes the 27-year-old's ability to make intelligent runs as well as score with both feet and his head would translate greatly to the international game.

The Earthquakes head coach has sent a pair of players to camps in the past with Jason Hernandez and Brandon McDonald having earned calls. After such a successful year, Yallop continues to sing the praises of his clutch forward. 

"To me, he's gone from nowhere to scoring goals and having a fantastic season while I've played him all over the park," said Yallop. "I think he would fit into any team. He would be the first to say that he's not overly quick, but very crafty, Brian Ching isn't overly quick either, but he scores goals. I would love for him to get some recognition from the national team."

Wondolowski has not yet had any conversations with Bradley about a potential call up for a January camp, but believes that his body of work would speak for itself. Wondolowski admits that to be considered for Bradley's squad may be a dream of his, but as his usual humble style, the forward remains firmly grounded about his chances to crack the US forward pool.

"It's always been a dream of mine to play with the US national team and I would relish the opportunity to be called up the camp," said Wondolowski. "Bradley is a great coach and he's always bringing in great players, but to be honest we have a deep pool to draw from and although some forwards haven't produced as much as they can, there's still some good forward's out there. Whether or not I'm in there or not I have no problem with that but I'd sure love to be there one day."

The Earthquakes stumbled on Wednesday when dropped a 3-0 decision to the Chicago Fire. The Quakes don't have time to dwell on that setback with a road match against Eastern Conference leaders Columbus. For San Jose''s leading scorer, the quick turn around after a disappointing loss at home can only help a team trying to hold on to the final playoff berth.

“It’s always nice when you lose a game to be able to play. You don’t want two weeks to dwell on it,” said Wondolowski to reporters after the loss. “We’re chomping at the bit to get out there again.”

Comments

  1. We have players right here in MLS that run circles on Bedoya and Jones, but the question remain. When is our so call coach is going wake up out of his slumber and do what is right…Give a chance to MLS top dogs…And I do not mean a set up to seeing fail but a honest opportunity to integrate the team

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  2. Wondo deserves a call-up to the upcoming friendlies against Poland and Colombia but the Quakes need him right now for the playoff push. But I’d be shocked if Bradley doesn’t call him in to the Jan. USMNT camp.

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  3. I really want to see Wondo and Braun in January. Buddle deserves to be there too of course.

    I don’t know why people say he’s not the fastest guy out there, he used to be a standout track star. Not only is Wondo very fast but he can also keep it up and work hard the full 90 – both going forward making runs and tracking back on defense.

    Plus he is a VERY high % finisher – he has 12 goals on like 50 shots vs. Buddle and Angel who have 13/14 goals on 80-90 shots.

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  4. for sure a jan-camp call up. looking forward to seeing who of him, Braun, Buddle and other steps up and becomes a legit national teamer.

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  5. wow almost a half hour on the Adu clock.. some one should be recording this and let us know if it has changed over the past three years that Adu has been an irrelevant topic.

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