CenterLine Report: Wondo vs. Vancouver

Chris Wondolowski has scored six goals in his last four games vs. Vancouver

Chris Wondolowski vs Toronto FC

Photo Credit: 
Abelimages Getty

Since rejoining the San Jose Earthquakes as part of a blockbuster trade with the Houston Dynamo midway through 2009, Chris Wondolowski has netted 66 goals and sits as the most prolific scorer in franchise history. Wondo has scored at least one goal against every team in MLS save Houston, and since the start of 2011 has victimized no other team to as great a degree as Vancouver Whitecaps FC.

In his last four matches over the last two seasons against Vancouver, Wondolowski has scored an impressive six goals. In two visits to Buck Shaw Stadium by Whitecaps FC since their inaugural MLS season, the Earthquakes’ forward has scored two goals in each. Clearly, Vancouver has not figured out a way to stop Wondo.

However, Whitecaps FC are not alone in that failure. Since scoring the first of his career total 70 goals back in 2006 as a member of the Dynamo, Wondolowski counts no less than five MLS teams that have yielded at least six goals to him. Topping the list of porous club defenses is the Colorado Rapids with seven goals allowed. Chivas USA, Seattle Sounders FC, and Toronto FC join Vancouver in giving up six goals to Wondo.

As was once said about NBA legend Michael Jordan: You can’t stop him; you can only hope to contain him. The same is often proclaimed about Wondolowski, especially from those in Vancouver. Whitecaps FC’s record of defensive futility against the reigning Volkswagen MLS MVP looks even worse when viewed through the lens of the first four meeting between them, when Wondo put up his six goals against the club. To their credit, Vancouver, playing at BC Place, was able to shutdown Wondolowski the last time out.

Since the start of 2013, last year’s Golden Boot winner has been rather quiet in front of goal, netting just once from the run of play, but he is certainly getting a large number of opportunities. Through the first month of the MLS season, Wondolowski has attempted twenty shots, six on target, and converted 10 percent of them for goals. During his MLS record tying 2012 campaign of 27 goals scored, Wondo’s conversion rate was a more robust 21.3 percent. For his entire MLS career his scoring rate stands at 19.6 percent.

Is the Earthquakes’ forward due to begin a new scoring streak against the Canadian side? With Saturday’s match at the friendly confines of the Buck, and Wondo starting the 2013 season converting only half as many opportunities compared to his career average, the odds seem clearly in his favor. His track record against the ‘Caps speaks for itself, and if he can return to his standard bearing two goals per home game average against the Vancouver, Wondolowski will celebrate the ascension of a new side to top of his scoring hit list.

Watch out Whitecaps! Wondo will have history and statistics on his side this Saturday night.

Wondolowski goals versus opponents

Club

Goals

Colorado Rapids

7

Chivas USA

6

Seattle Sounders

6

Toronto FC

6

Vancouver Whitecaps FC

6

Real Salt Lake

5

Chicago Fire

4

DC United

4

New England

4

New York

4

Kansas City

4

FC Dallas

3

LA Galaxy

3

Portland Timbers

3

Columbus Crew

2

Montreal Impact

1

Philadelphia Union

1

San Jose Earthquakes

1

Houston Dynamo

0

Total

70

Robert Jonas is a writer for CenterLineSoccer.com and SJEarthquakes.com. Send him feedback on Twitter: @RobertJonas