With a four-goal outburst to close the regular season, San Jose Earthquakes forward Chris Wondolowski came out of nowhere to claim the Budweiser Golden Boot and also earned his third MLS Player of the Week as voted on by the North American Soccer Reporters (NASR).
The storybook season of the former MLS Reserve League player took a magical twist in Wednesday’s 3-0 victory over Chivas USA, after he netted a hat trick off the bench to put him in a tie atop the MLS goal-scoring charts with LA Galaxy forward Edson Buddle with 17.
Wondolowski then scored one last goal on Saturday night in Kansas City to jump ahead of Buddle, who failed to find the back of the net on Sunday in the Galaxy’s regular-season finale.
His 18 goals, an Earthquakes club record, have vaulted him into the MVP race are more than half of the Earthquakes’ 34-goal total. Nine of Wondolowski’s goals have been game-winners. He also set an MLS record by scoring his team’s final 10 goals.
After starting on the bench in the midweek match-up against Chivas USA, the Northern California native came on for an injured Cornell Glen in the 40th minute and needed just 17 second-half minutes to put three goals past the Goats.
Wondo's hat trick against Chivas USA
On Saturday, Wondolowski netted a 70th-minute sitter, tapping home a Geovanni cross for a consolation goal in a heavy 4-1 defeat in Kansas City. (WATCH the goal here)
The Player of the Week award was Wondolowski’s third in the last five weeks, a reward for a blistering finish.
2010 MLS Player of the Week Winners
Week 1: Javier Morales (Real Salt Lake)
Week 2: Kenny Mansally (New England Revolution)
Week 3: Sebastien Le Toux (Philadelphia Union)
Week 4: Edson Buddle (LA Galaxy)
Week 5: Dwayne De Rosario (Toronto FC )
Week 6: Edson Buddle (LA Galaxy)
Week 7: Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy)
Week 8: Alvaro Saborio (Real Salt Lake)
Week 9: Emilio Renteria (Columbus Crew)
Week 10: Dwayne De Rosario (Toronto FC)
Week 11: Brek Shea (FC Dallas)
Week 12: Chris Pontius (D.C. United)
Week 13: Juan Pablo Angel (New York Red Bulls)
Week 14: Álvaro Saborío (Real Salt Lake)
Week 15: Justin Braun (Chivas USA)
Week 16: Sebastien Le Toux (Philadelphia Union)
Week 17: Steve Zakuani (Seattle Sounders)
Week 18: Juan Pablo Ángel (New York Red Bulls)
Week 19: Jeff Cunningham (FC Dallas)
Week 20: Javier Morales (Real Salt Lake)
Week 21: Brian Ching (Houston Dynamo)
Week 22: Fredy Montero (Seattle Sounders)
Week 23: Omar Cummings (Colorado Rapids)
Week 24: Alan Gordon (Chivas USA)
Week 25: Blaise Nkufo (Seattle Sounders)
Week 26: Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)
Week 27: Bouna Coundoul (New York Red Bulls)
Week 28: Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)
Week 29: Steve Zakuani (Seattle Sounders)
Week 30: Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)