By all accounts, Quakes' forward sensation Chris Wondolowski has arrived late to the scene.
The soon-to-be 30-year-old has endured trials and tribulations to embrace his past three seasons. Drafted in Round 4 of the 2005 Supplemental Draft by the Quakes, Wondo managed a meager five minutes in his first campaign.
With the team's relocation to Houston, he played in 37 total MLS regular season games and netted four goals. Fast-forward to the three-year span from 2010 to 2012 and a national-team caliber striker has emerged.
Wondolowski's past three seasons have seen him score a record 61 goals in 90 MLS games for the Quakes. The awards have followed: three MLS Best XI's, two Golden Boot awards, and one Volkswagen MLS MVP award (2012).
Such a prolific scoring record has yet to translate into international success. Wondolowski is currently with the U.S. Men's National Team for their January camp and, under the watchful eye of head coach Jurgen Klinsmann, is eager to add his scoring prowess. With only eight caps to his name, Wondo is looking for another come the Jan. 29 friendly against Canada at Houston's BBVA Compass Stadium.
Both Klinsmann and Wondolowski discuss the current state of the January camp as well as Wondolowski's future ambitions with the team. Read the full story here.
Wondo joins Soccer Matters Podcast:
Chris Wondolowski's past three years have been nothing short of sensational. The Quakes' forward led his 2010 and 2012 teams to the MLS Cup playoffs as well as the 2012 Supporters' Shield.
On an individual level, Wondolowski's predatory instincts have been lethal. The Danville, CA native has registered 61 league goals in 90 MLS regular season matches in the past three years, an MLS record. The 2012 campaign, in particular, saw Wondo net a league-tying record of 27 goals. Such firepower earned Wondo a spot on the 2012 AT&T MLS All-Star squad, the 2012 Budweiser Golden Boot, and the 2012 Volkswagen MLS MVP award.
Wondo is now training with the U.S. Men's National Team ahead of the team's friendly against Canada on Jan. 29 at Houston's BBVA Compass Stadium.
Wondo joined the Soccer Matters podcast to discuss his success and his expectations for the seasons ahead. To listen to the podcast, click here.
Wondolowski and Omar Gonzalez discuss U.S. Men's National Team Camp:
The Quakes predatory finisher, along with the LA Galaxy's central defender Omar Gonzalez, took a break from training to discuss the progress of the U.S. Men's National Team January camp.
See the full video here.
Quakes' right back Steven Beitashour has returned to San Jose after picking up an injury at the U.S. Men's National Team Camp in Carson, CA.
Beitashour, entering his fourth year with the Quakes, had his best year to date in 2012. The wing back started 33 matches, registered 2955 total minutes, and netted six assists to help the Quakes' hoist their second Supporters' Shield trophy.
Beitashour's injury will require him to return to San Jose for further evaluation. The San Jose-native played through a sports hernia for the latter half of the 2012 season that ultimately required surgery.
Quakes' forward and 2012 Volkswagen MLS MVP Chris Wondolowski and 2012 All-Star defender Justin Morrow are still with the U.S. Men's National Team ahead of their Jan. 29 friendly against Canada at Houston's BBVA Compass Stadium.
For the full report on Beitashour's injury, click here.
Morrow and Beitashour at USMNT Camp
The U.S. Men's National Team's January camp is in full stride. A majority of MLS stars supplemented with young players plying their trade abroad compose the roster. Two Quakes in particular, Steven Beitashour and Justin Morrow, are proving to be inseperable around the Carson, CA training grounds.
San Jose's two offensive-minded wing backs are seeking their first full international cap ahead of the U.S. Men's National team match against Canada on Tuesday, Jan. 29 at Houston's BBVA Compass Stadium. Coming off of stellar MLS campaigns, the two 25-year-olds were instrumental in leading the Quakes to a franchise-best record of 19-6-9 and the club's second Supporters' Shield. Both participated against Chelsea FC in the 2012 AT&T MLS All-Star game.
With the Quakes' 2013 preseason officially beginning on Monday, Jan. 21, Beitashour and Morrow look to pick up where they left off in 2012. Now under the national team spotlight, Morrow's and Beitashour's stock continue to rise for a San Jose team that is eager to hoist the MLS Cup.
For the full story on Morrow and Beitashour, read here.
The 2013 MLS SuperDraft has come and gone and may have left MLS fans wanting more. Yet, the Quakes accomplished what they set out to. The 2012 Supporters' Shield winners entered the SuperDraft with two picks and utlized them both; picking standout Georgetown defender Tommy Muller and crafty left-footed University of San Diego midfielder Dan Delgado. While neither of these players were in Indianapolis, the two rookies enter the Goonies family with high hopes and aspirations.
Muller, a 5-foot-11 central defender, captained a Georgetown squad to unchartered territory - the program's first appearance in the NCAA College Cup final. The Altamonte Springs, Fla native was a three-year starter for the Hoyas, scoring four goals and recording four assists in 64 career appearances. His senior year efforts earned him a place on the All-Big East Third Team.
Similarly, Delgado arrives to the Bay Area with accolades abound from his efforts at the University of San Diego. Guided under the tutelage of the tenured USD head coach Seamus McFadden, Delgado took the West Coast Conference by storm, netting 15 goals and bagged 23 assists in 72 total appearances. His senior year was even more memorable; notching nine goals and 10 assists while being named to the NSCAA All-Far West Region First Team and leading his squad 2012 NCAA College Cup Quarterfinals.
Reflections on the SuperDraft have been widespread and altogether incongruent. While Muller and Delgado may not have earned the national recognition that some of the other draftees have, these two might parallel the 2010 SuperDraft "steals" that became 2012 MLS AT&T All-Stars Justin Morrow and Steven Beitashour. The Quakes added depth, intelligence, work rate, and skill with these two picks ahead of an elongated season that will include CONCACAF Champions League matches.
TopDrawerSoccer.com ranked the Earthquakes' draft day with the overall grade of a "B". Yet, the grade is one of the highest in the Western Conference. To see the complete list, click here.
WVHooligan.com also gave the Quakes a "B" ranking, in most part due to the strength of the returning nucleus of players. WVHooligan.com's full rankings are listed here.
Indianapolis will play host to the 2013 MLS SuperDraft, beginning at 8:54 a.m. on Thursday, Jan. 17. The Quakes hold three picks in the draft: number 15, number 33, and number 34. Speculation has started to swirl around teams' upcoming decsions, especially Toronto F.C. who sits with the first pick.
While the Earthquakes are coming off their best regular season in franchise history, culminating with the club's second Supporters' Shield, the Quakes have traditionally used their picks to cultivate talent.
Media outlets have embarked on the typical practice of mock drafts. With six Generation Adidas prospects participating in this year's MLS Combine and all expected to be drafted in the first round, the majority of college seniors will fall late.
SoccerByIves Mock Draft:
Soccerbyives.net's latest mock draft has the Quakes utilizing all three picks; selecting West Virginia centerback Eric Schoenle, Creighton's attacking midfielder Jose Gomez, and New Mexico's forward Devon Sandoval. To find the entire mock draft, click HERE.
TheDailyWiz analyzes some of the sleepers that fell to the 31st pick and beyond in past drafts. As the Quakes hold number 33 and number 34, teams have found success drafting players late. These players have included Omar Cummings, Sinisa Ubiparipovic, and Nick LaBrocca. Read the full story HERE.
Wondolowski’s Rise to Stardom:
What a year it has been for the Quakes’ lethal finisher Chris Wondolowski? The striker netted a MLS record-tying and league-best 27 goals. A wealth of individual accolades followed. “Wondo” claimed the Budweiser Golden Boot award, was named an MLS All-Star, and garnered the 2012 Volkswagen MLS MVP award. The Danville, CA native couldn’t have asked for much more.
When looking at Wondo’s past, his journey to donning the number 8 has been a rollercoaster ride that would have directed many to seek other options. The 41st overall pick in the 2005 draft, Wondo netted only seven goals in his first six years in the MLS before transforming into the scoring-machine that the Quakes’ faithful have become so accustomed to.
Soccer America’s Mike Woitalla chronicles the early years of Chris and his family and Chris’ ascendancy to become the league’s most feared goal-scorer. To read the full story, click here.
Former Quake, Ryan Cochrane, joins Santa Clara's coaching staff:
Former Quakes defender, Ryan Cochrane, was named an assistant coach for his alma mater, Santa Clara University. Cochrane was selected by San Jose with the fifth overall draft pick in 2004 and would go on to have a nine year professional soccer career. The 29-year-old was previously an assistant with Wheaton College in 2011 and Trinity University in 2012.
Elliott Almond of the San Jose Mercury News wrote the full story which can be found here.
Bay Area's Top 10 stories from 2012
2012 has proven to be a memorable year for Bay Area sports fans. The Giants miraculously won their second World Series in three years. The A's were in first place in their division for only one day but it was the one day that mattered. The 49ers channeled the glory from the past years under Bill Walsh and nearly made the Super Bowl.
The Earthquakes, though, were no strangers to drama. Posting a league-best record of 19-6-9, the Quakes demanded that their fans stay at the game until the very end. The berth of the "Goonies" arose to the delight of the organization and the Quakes' faithful. A three-pronged attack from Chris Wondolowski, Steven Lenhart, and Alan Gordon led San Jose into the playoffs at times to the bewilderment of their Bay Area fans.
Daniel Brown of the San Jose Mercury News details the top 10 moments from 2012. Find the full article here.
One week ago, our country was shocked and overcome with grief as details of a tragedy in Newtown, Conn. came to light.
As Washington Post soccer writer Steve Goff reported today, the news was especially significant to Earthquakes forward Marcus Tracy. The former Wake Forest product grew up in Newtown and his mother used to teach at the elementary school where 26 people were shot and killed on Friday, Dec. 14.
Tracy, his brother and a group of friends decided they wanted to do something to represent their community and pay tribute to those who lost their lives. They produced an original song and tribute that you can see above. Tracy also emailed sjearthquakes.com the following statement:
“When CNN first stated how many people lost their lives, it was complete shock and disbelief. It was unfathomable to think that this happened in the same town I lived in for 18 years, two miles away, at the school my Mom once taught at. It's still hard to believe. It's a very real reminder whenever I leave the house and see all of the media, police from out of town and out of state, the volume of traffic; it’s amazing, though, to see how the town has come together to uplift those most affected by the tragedy. It hurts you as a resident of Newtown that something like this could happen, so just try and imagine how parents, brothers, sisters and spouses are feeling right now. You can't; it's impossible. After days of grieving and trying to comprehend what the hell happened, me and a few friends got together to think about what we could do to help uplift this town and its people. So I turned to one of the only things (besides soccer) that I know and love: music.
I produce music as a hobby and have a production team with my brother and my friend, Anthony Santella. My brother is in Boston, so me and Anthony led the way. We produced the entire song together, but brought in a few of our other friends and created this video/picture montage tribute.
It was therapeutic for us, but also a means, we felt, to represent our town. Right now the whole world knows the town Newtown, CT for one reason only. But Newtown means something much more to each one of us. This is the only way we knew how to speak back to the community and the world that, yes, we were hit hard and suffered great loss, but we will bounce back. And also our way of recognizing and lifting up the 26 people who needlessly lost their lives that day."
The club's collective thoughts are with Marcus and Newtown during this holiday season.
Does it get any better than a seven-goal, multi-comeback California Clasico?
According to MLSsoccer.com, it doesn't. San Jose's 4-3 win against the LA Galaxy on June 30 at Stanford Stadium was the pick for Best Game of 2012. The match featured a pair of rallies - LA from 1-0 down to take a 3-1 lead and San Jose from 3-1 down to win 4-3 - as well as goals from some of the most recognizable faces in the league: Landon Donovan, David Beckham and, of course, Chris Wondolowski.
In a year filled with memorable games (aka Goonie moments), the stunner at Stanford Stadium tops the charts. However, let the debate begin for which game was second best.
Was it Steven Lenhart's 'Blond-Haired Bedlam at Buck Shaw' against the Chicago Fire on July 28, Alan Gordon's header to knock off LA at The Home Depot Center on May 23 or maybe the stoppage-time thriller against Seattle Sounders FC on Aug. 11? Vote now!