Chris Wondolowski Nets 100th Goal for Earthquakes


One hundred goals. Not too shabby for a kid who played his college ball at Chico State University.

On Chris Wondolowski did something that only 8 other players in Major League Soccer history have done. On Sunday he netted his one hundredth goal in his MLS career, giving the San Jose Earthquakes a valuable point in a 1-1 draw with Orlando City SC.

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Although his 100th goal came off of a penalty kick and not during play, it was still an exceptional goal. The Earthquakes were awarded a penalty in the 68th minute. Orlando forward Darwin Ceren fouled Earthquakes defender Jordan Stewart in the match, a terrible choice considering that Brek Shea had been given a red card in the 51st minute. Wondo buried the ensuing penalty kick past Orlando goalkeeper Tally Hall with a low kick aimed at the corner post.

With the goal, Wondolowski joined Taylor Twellman, Jeff Cunningham, Jaime Moreno, Landon Donovan, Ante Razov, Jason Kreis, Dwayne De Rosario, Edson Buddle, and Dwayne De Rosario in the 100 goals club. He also tied Twellman for being the youngest player to reach 100 goals at just 32 years of age.

The one difference between those names and Wondolowski is that the majority of those players were expected to be top quality players in MLS when they entered the league. The same could not be said for Wondo who was originally a fourth round pick for the Earthquakes in the MLS Supplemental Draft. That is right: Chris Wondolowski was not even taken in the regular College Draft he was taken in the Supplemental Draft.

Although Jeff Larentowicz(Chicago Fire,) Dan Kennedy (FC Dallas,) and Dan Gargan (Los Angeles Galaxy) were taken in that same round, it is a remarkable achievement for him. Being able to score 100 goals in any league or over the course of a career requires a certain level of stability and a certain level of skill. Despite his miss against Belgium in the World Cup last year, Wondolowski has had a very productive career and should be considered one of the top strikers in U. S. Soccer history.

The question is now where does his career go from here? At 32, he certainly has a few more years left to challenge Landon Donovan MLS record of 144 goals. His 7 goals in 2015 have him tied with Clint Dempsey for second-most in the league and only trails Kei Kamara by 2 goals for the league lead. In three years time with his career winding down Saint Landon could be dethroned from the top spot.

With the milestone now achieved, it is perhaps time to start seriously looking at the San Jose Earthquakes as a serious contender in the Western Conference. After a troubling 2014 campaign, new-old coach Dominic Kinnear has seemed to find the right mix of youth and experience in turning around this club (5-4-3, 18 points, fourth place). Their five-game unbeaten streak is an example of a team not just riding the coattails of a star player like Wondo, but of a competent squad finding their rhythm.

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