Wondolowski Approaches Milestone in Historic MLS Career
On Saturday night under the bright lights of Avaya Stadium, Chris Wondolowski tallied his 6th goal of the season, and his 99th career Major League Soccer goal. Wondolowski is set to enter a territory that only 8 other MLS players have explored- and he is well aware of the magnitude of the looming achievement. “I’ve studied this league and am very proud to be a part of it, so I know who’s up there,” Wondolowski said after the 2-0 victory against Columbus.
Wondolowski is set to join MLS greats Landon Donovan, Jeff Cunningham, Jaime Moreno, Ante Razov, Jason Kreis, Taylor Twellman, Edson Buddle, and newly retired former Quake Dwayne DeRosario, who all have 100 goals scored in their storied MLS careers.
“It’s a number, but it’s a number that the best that have played in this league have reached, and I’m not there yet, but I’m hoping to be there,” Wondo said when asked about the importance of this milestone to him.
|Player||Goals||Goals/90 Min||Goals/Shot||Goals/Shot on Goal|
|Chris Wondolowski||99||0.58 (2nd)||0.18 (T-3rd)||0.38 (2nd)|
Landon Donovan tops off the Goals/Shot and Goals/SOG categories, while MLS scoring great Taylor Twellman has the most Goals/90 min. Wondo is second to Twellman in Goals/90 min, 2nd to Landon Donovan in Goals/SOG, and tied for 3rd in Goals/Shot with Taylor Twellman behind Jaime Moreno and Landon Donovan.
But what sets Wondolowski apart from these players?
The underlying difference between Wondo and guys like Twellman, Donovan, Cunningham, and Moreno, is not only the era that the goals were scored in but also the time in which those goals were scored.
Wondolowski only started scoring goals at high rates in 2010. Before 2010, Wondo only had 7 goals scored. The other 92 goals all came from the 2010 season on. “I don’t know his goals in the last 5 years, but it’s quite remarkable, ” head coach Dominic Kinnear said. Kinnear is right: since 2010, Wondo has tallied at least 10 goals in each season (and on pace to become the only player to score 10 or more goals in 6 straight seasons) and has scored a total of 92 goals. Wondolowski has also scored nearly all of his goals in MLS 2.0.
Additionally, Wondolowski didn’t exactly have the most conventional route to MLS stardom. Wondo played for a second division school, was drafted in the supplemental draft, and spent a large part of his early career on reserve squads. As Dominic Kinnear said,”99 goals for Chris Wondolowski’s an incredible achievement. To see where he’s come from – from Chico State, to a reserve player, to a guy that didn’t get a ton of chances.” When Wondo did get his chance in San Jose, he took it and he ran with it. And he’s never turned back.
“All the credit goes to him for the work he puts in every day, he doesn’t miss a chance to improve, ” Kinnear said on Wondolowski’s work ethic, and that work ethic is ultimately what has brought him to this level.
Chris Wondolowski is a one-of-a-kind player that MLS will likely never see again. His knack for finding the pockets of space, for making those back post runs, and even setting his teammates up is amazing. He doesn’t have blazing speed, he isn’t an outstanding athlete, and he doesn’t have fancy footwork – but he puts the ball into the back of the net consistently.
Records Wondo is Set To Break
- Wondo is 1 goal away from breaking 100 goals, and tying Edson Buddle.
- Wondo is 5 goals away from scoring 100 goals with 1 team (San Jose), joining just Jaime Moreno (DC), Landon Donovan(LA), and Taylor Twellman (NE).
- Wondo is 4 goals away from being the only player to score 10 or more goals in 5 straight seasons.