Chris Wondolowski’s stunning breakout season may culminate in
MLS MVP honors. It’s already put the San Jose Earthquakes back in
Wondolowski has his sights set on the Earthquakes’ single-season
scoring record as they host the struggling Houston Dynamo on
Wondolowski has scored a career-high 14 goals – twice as many as
his total from the previous six seasons with San Jose (12-8-7) and
Houston. The forward is second in the league in scoring, two goals
shy of Los Angeles’ Edson Buddle.
He’s also gained momentum as a viable MVP candidate after
scoring twice in a 10-minute span during a 2-0 win over D.C. United
last Saturday, helping to clinch the Earthquakes’ first playoff
spot since being reformed in 2008.
“I said it before and I’ll say it again, there are some good
players in the league, but to go from where Wondolowski has come to
be where he is now is outstanding,” coach Frank Yallop said.
“Hopefully he’ll be in there – I know that I’d vote for him.”
Wondolowski needs one more game-winning goal to match the league
record of nine, set by Carlos Ruiz with the Galaxy in 2002. Any
goal would tie the Earthquakes’ single-season scoring record, set
by Ronald Cerritos in 1999.
“That would be a huge honor because there have been some
brilliant strikers like Ronald Cerritos and Brian Ching, just to
name a few,” Wondolowski told the Earthquakes’ official website.
“I’m honored to be in that list, and I’m hoping to maybe break it
because I’ve been a San Jose fan my whole life growing up in the
With three regular-season games remaining and a playoff spot
assured, however, Wondolowski’s playing time may be limited in
order to focus on a bigger prize.
“I always want to be out there,” Wondolowski said. “If (Yallop)
says it’s best for the team to not go, I have no problem with that
and won’t say anything to him or argue with him. The individual
awards would be great, but ultimately, the one award I want to get
is that championship ring.”
Wondolowski was held without a goal during a 2-1 win at Houston
on Sept. 5.
The Dynamo (7-15-6) have already been eliminated from playoff
contention for the first time since relocating from San Jose in
Houston, 1-5-1 in its last seven, was booed off the field by
home fans after defensive miscues led to Sunday’s 2-1 loss to New
England. The game was also marred by red cards to forward Joseph
Ngwenya and midfielder Geoff Cameron in injury time, leaving the
duo suspended Saturday.
The Dynamo may also be without Ching, the team leader with seven
goals, for a second consecutive game due to a knee injury.
Dominic Oduro will try to continue his hot stretch. The forward
has three goals in four games after getting two in the previous