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- DOB January 28, 1983
- Age 31
- Place of birth Danville, California
- POSITION Forward
- HEIGHT 6'0"
- WEIGHT 165
- U.S. CAPS 17
- CLUB San Jose Earthquakes
- TWITTER @chriswondo (18.4K followers)
- Current ASN 100 Rank 38
- Previous ASN 100 Rank 39
- ASN QUESTIONNAIRE Read now
Chris Wondolowski, one of the happiest players in MLS, would not have been anyone's first pick to land a compliment from John Terry. (The Chelsea defender said he was impressed with the forward's movement during the 2012 MLS All-Star Game.) The 41st pick in the 2005 MLS Supplemental Draft took his sweet time coming into his own. Almost too much time, in fact. Wondolowski didn't develop a nose for goal until the 2009-2010 season, when he tallied five between stints with the Houston Dynamo and San Jose Earthquakes. It wasn't until the next year, however, that he truly broke through, netting 19 goals and winning the MLS Golden Boot. That performance earned the forward—a half–Native American whose name, Bau Daigh, means "warrior coming over the hill"—his first-ever appearance in a United States uniform.
The onslaught on the net continued with 16 goals in the 2011-2012 MLS season—good enough for Golden Boot, a second-straight MLS Best XI and the league MVP—as well as four caps for the American side. Wondolowski just keeps finding the net, and a man like that is impossible to ignore. Jurgen Klinsmann continues to call the 29-year-old forward, and Wondolowski is trying to take advantage.
"[Klinsmann] wants me to work hard and stay fit, try to do the right things and keep developing my game. I want to keep improving my hold-up play, when the ball comes in and I need to hold off defenders to keep position," he told Goal.com in April 2012. "And I want to keep working on accelerating and finishing. If I keep progressing on those two areas I think I can do all right."
Clearly he did just that, as Klinsmann called Wondolowski in for the Americans' five-game stretch that included two World Cup qualifiers. The forward didn't figure in any of those matches, however, and while Wondo is clearly on the U.S. head coach's radar, he's not currently a first-choice striker. He's smiling, however, about even making the team.—NOAH DAVIS
Klinsmann on Wondolowski:
"First and foremost is he scores goals. He is hungry for goals, no matter if it is in training or in an MLS game. Every place. This is fun to watch. He doesn't stop running. He doesn't stop fighting. He helps his teammates. He's a pure giver. He's tremendously fit. He's sharp. He's experienced. He understands better what it takes to be an international striker. He's hungry for information. He's like a sponge." (May 2012)
"He knows what he's still missing and what the others provide." (August 2012)
Noteworthy ReadsEarthquakes' Chris Wondolowski's Scoring Ability Key to Getting National Team Invitation (San Jose Mercury News)
Wondolowski Stays in Contact with Klinsmann (Goal.com)