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.
Quakes President Dave Kaval will join other Bay Area sporting executives as well as entrepreneurs and practitioners to lead a panel discussion about the perpetually changing In-Stadium sports experience. The talk, "The Reinvention of the In-Stadium Experience", will open at 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 22 at 300 California Street, Suite 500, San Francisco, CA.
A crucial component of the fan experience, stadiums are adapting their designs to maximize enjoyment for their team's followers. With the Quakes' new stadium set to open in 2014, San Jose's President Dave Kaval has devoted significant time to evaluating and analyzing stadium designs for the benefit of the Quakes' faithful. San Jose's new stadium will feature state-of-the-art entertainment amenities while maintaining an intimate experience.
After hoisting the 2012 Supporters' Shield, the 2013 Quakes will play their final season at Buck Shaw. All the while, Dave Kaval and staff will be working fastidiously to perfect the Quakes' soccer-specific stadium.
For the full story on the panel discussion, click here.
David Kaval: President, San Jose Earthquakes (MLS). Co-founder, Golden Baseball League.
Chip Bowers: Chief Marketing Officer, Golden State Warriors. Former Senior VP, Orlando Magic and Seattle SuperSonics.
Bill Crockett: Director of Sports Architecture, AECOM. Has been the architect of record for NBA, NFL, NCAA, and Olympic stadiums and arenas.
Evan Owens: Co-founder and CEO, Pogoseat (innovative mobile app for live-event seat upgrades)
6:00 – 6:15 Pregame: Snacks, drinks, networking (maybe some stretching)
6:15 – 7:05 Game: Panel: “The Reinvention of the In-stadium Experience” followed by Q&A
7:05 – 8:00 Postgame: Networking, drinks, and football playoff's chatter!
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.
SJEarthquakes.com sat down with long-time season ticket holder Rober Blackburn to hear his insight on all things Quakes. The Bay Area resident spoke about his time as an Quakes fan, the benefits of being a season ticket holder, and the success of the Goonies in the seasons ahead.
When did you become a fan of the Earthquakes?
I moved to the Bay Area in 2001. I went to the Western Conference Finals in 2003 against the Kansas City Wizards. The Quakes beat the Wizards 3-2 in overtime and I had a great time. I had a friend take me to a few games in 2005 as he was a season ticket holder. The World Cup came out in high definition in 2006 but the Quakes had moved to Houston by that time. Once they came back in 2008, I became a season ticket holder and have been one ever since.
What was your favorite Quakes’ moment?
My favorite Earthquakes moment was Steven Lenhart's winning header against Seattle this past August, 2012. We had played well and led 1-0, but they [Seattle] put in 3 difference makers for the equalizer in stoppage. For us [San Jose] to come back immediately and win with just seconds left was a big statement, and something very special and very rare in soccer.
What was your favorite Earthquakes’ game?
My favorite Earthquakes game was Aug. 3, 2008 when [David] Beckham and the Galaxy played the Quakes at the Oakland Coliseum. The Quakes went up 2-0, and the Galaxy came back to tie it. Ryan Cochrane scored the go-ahead goal with a couple minutes left to give the Quakes the 3-2 victory. Long-story short, Beckham hated to lose. He walked over to the sideline after the game and handed his jersey to my daughter. We have framed it along with the tickets. It was a great experience.
What have been some of the benefits of being a Season Ticket Holder?
During my first couple years as a season ticket holder, we got nice blue portraits and could get everyone’s autograph. I really liked that a lot. I am a VIP season ticket holder and the game day experience with the food and parking is great. I love the game experience as a whole and the VIP package.
Game of the Week:
Chelsea vs. Arsenal: Sunday, Jan. 20, 5:30 a.m. PST, Stamford Bridge
The London derby will headline the upcoming weekend's fixtures. Chelsea, sitting in third on 41 points, look to bring their away form home against their northern London rivals. While both sides have encountered adversity and internal turmoil, Arsenal's form may be the most scrutinized of any "Big Four" team this season. A side that prides themselves on finishing in the top four and qualifying for the Champions League, Arsenal unfavorably sit in sixth and have yet to find a clear talisman with the departure of Dutch striker Robin van Persie. To make matters worse, Arsenal's esteemed leader Arsene Wenger has deemed his players as "timid."
Under Rafa Benitez's guidance, Chelsea has seen an astonishing spell away from home. The Blues walked to a 4-0 victory over a resolute Stoke City this past weekend (in part to Jonathan Walters' two own goals) and have made it seven victories out of their past nine away games. Rafa Benitez's interim status will only remain interim unless Chelsea maintain their ascension up the table.
Fans may be entitled to goals galore in this encounter as both sides have been firing on all cylinders. Arsenal capped 2012 with a 7-3 victory over Newcastle and Chelsea has been finding the net at an alarmingly similar rate. While the clash will draw international attention, a developing subplot is the short-term future of Chelsea's tenured box-to-box midfielder Frank Lampard. Frequently linked with an MLS side, Lampard may truly be in the winter of a once electric career.
Tottenham vs. Manchester United: Sunday, Jan. 20, 8:00 a.m. PST, White Hart Lane
As appetizing as Chelsea vs. Arsenal is for fans, north London's White Hart Lane may produce a matchup just as mouthwatering. A battle between first-place Manchester United and third-place Tottenham, Sir Alex Ferguson's United will be seeking revenge for the 3-2 defeat at the hands of Spurs on Sept. 29. Tottenham's summer signing Clint Dempsey found the net in the match and pacey Welsh winger Gareth Bale was a handful for a typically fortified United backline.
Tottenham will be without their lanky Togolese striker, Emmanuel Adebayor, who has opted to play for his country in the upcoming African Cup of Nations. Andre Villas-Boas side, though, won't be without their offensive weapons. Striker Jermaine Defoe has netted 10 goals on the year while Bale has added nine more.
League leaders, Manchester United, are expecting three points from the affair. The Red Devils are unbeaten in their past nine Premier League matches, including eight victories. Robin van Persie leads his side with 17 goals in 22 matches played and, based on his form from the past year, is hungry for more.
Valencia vs. Real Madrid: Tuesday, Jan. 15, 12:00 p.m. PST, Estadio Mestalla
In the first leg of this home and home Copa del Rey matchup, Real Madrid look to the non-league match to rebound to winning ways. A media firestorm has surrounded the most illustrious and accomplished European club. Real's manager, Jose Mourinho, is no stranger to the media's spotlight but a departure from the club appears imminent for the self-described "Special One." Real Madrid sit in third-place with 37 points after tying La Liga bottom-dwellers Osasuna 0-0 over the weekend. Although Los Merengues were without defender Sergio Ramos and the oft-polarizing Cristiano Ronaldo to suspensions, Madrid sit 18 points behind archrivals F.C. Barcelona; a near insurmountable lead.
To keep their trophy ambitions alive (and Mourinho's career), Madrid's matchup against historic rival Valencia may be the turning point that the side needs.
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.