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Red-hot Wondolowski on brink of making MLS scoring history

Photo by John Todd/


San Jose Earthquakes forward Chris Wondolowski has enjoyed the type of season that many won’t soon forget, but what would make it truly special from an individual standpoint would be him scoring twice this weekend to break the all-time single-season scoring record.

Wondolowski currently has an outstanding 26 goals this year, and he is just one shy of tying the record Roy Lassiter set in the inaugural MLS season in 1996 while with the now-defunct Tampa Bay Mutiny. Wondolowski, however, would like to top the record with a two-goal performance and he will get one more chance to do so on Saturday.

Luckily for Wondolowski, the Earthquakes face the lowly Portland Timbers. Yes, the game is at JELD-WEN Field, but the Timbers have nothing to play for. That means the match should be an open affair with plenty of chances for Wondolowski to find the necessary brace he needs to surpass Lassiter, who will be flown into Portland to attend the game courtesy of MLS.

While some may argue that Lassiter’s goal-scoring total was more impressive due to there being less games in 1996 than there are now, others will point to the degree of difficulty in which Wondolowski has had to score them. There has never been as much talent in MLS as there is currently, granted there are 19 teams in the league now as opposed to the 10 in 1996.

Regardless of where you stand on the debate, there is no denying that Wondolowski has put together one of the finest seasons in MLS history, one that could become even more special with two goals on Saturday.

Here’s a video the Earthquakes made with members of the Earthquakes discussing Wondolowski’s chase for history:


Do you see Wondolowski scoring twice to break Lassiter’s record on Saturday? Is Wondolowski’s goal-scoring total more impressive than Lassiter’s already? How do you think Wondolowski will celebrate the achievement if he accomplishes it this weekend?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Lassiter did it in the first year of the league, when all 10 teams were essentially expansion teams. Also, not only is the top level talent much better now, but so are the fringe players that fill out every roster. Wondo can’t feast on scrubs who don’t belong in pro soccer. There are damn fine players who have a hard time getting minutes in this league now.
    Two other things to consider, Wondo’s assists, and his goal scoring tally over a three year stretch.
    I’m not sure how anyone could root against such a likeable guy, especially given that he was a career reserve leaguer at one point, and before that he went to Chico State.

  2. I believe in the year Lassiter set the record, teams played only a 32 game schedule but I believe they also had OT and PK shootouts back then. Any idea how many of Lassiter’s goals the year he set the record were from OT or PK shootouts?

    • Great question actually. I have searched several times and can’t find an answer (MLS doesn’t have a game log for him on their website). If you could find the Mutiny’s results and scorers / times for 1996 it would surely answer the question, but I can’t even find that.

      If PK shootout goals were added to the goal totals, it was certainly a bloated statistic and comparisons to today’s game are meaningless. Somehow I doubt that is the case, but OT goals certainly could have been added.

      Actually the answer is probably here — but I have to run out the door and go coach the daughter’s game.

  3. Wondo has actually put three of the finest seasons in MLS, and yet still doesn’t get the respect from the rest of the league that he deserves. I hope that changes if he breaks Roy Lassiter’s record on Saturday.

  4. Wondo deserves it if he does it. As simple as that. Saying he deserves because you like the guy I don’t get. Letsmhopemwe don’t have another Strahan/Farve incident. That was a disgrace.

  5. I hope he gets it. I hope Lenhart breaks his leg and goes back to the circus.
    Ives, please make sure all photos are Lenhart free. He ruins everything. He ruined Christmas and it is only October.

  6. I don’t have anything against Wondolowski specifically, but I kind of hope he is given a PK which gets blocked and doesn’t break the record.

  7. No idea whether he’ll do it or not– but I’m already more impressed by this accomplishment. I think the league is categorically better, with no disrespect intended to Lassiter or to those who came before. I just think it’s not an apples-to-apples comparison anymore; the level of talent involved in the league is simply much higher and the quality of play is improved substantially. So for me, this is the better season. Wondo is getting it done in a league where there are much bigger fishes in a much larger pond. I suspect that a lot of the good forwards in MLS today could have matched Lassiter’s accomplishment in the same circumstances, and again, that’s not a knock on Lassiter– just the way the game has come along over the years. Both achievements should be celebrated.


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