Chris Wondolowski and Victor Bernardez were named to the 2012 MLS Best XI on Monday, the third consecutive time on the list for Wondolowski and the first for Bernardez.
Wondolowski, also a candidate for Volkswagen MLS MVP, led both the Quakes and MLS in scoring after netting 27 goals and tying Roy Lassiter’s 16-year record of goals scored in a season. The lethal finisher had six multi-goal games, including a July 14 hat-trick against Real Salt Lake and an Oct. 6 hat-trick against the Colorado Rapids. For his efforts, he was awarded the 2012 Budweiser Golden Boot. Wondolowski is the first MLS player to lead the league in scoring three years in a row.
Also known for stoppage-time heroics, Wondolowski scored 11 game-winning goals and helped give credence to the Goonies-Never-Say-Die attitude that defined San Jose’s team in 2012. The Danville native was recognized for his goal-scoring ability midway through the season after being named an MLS All-Star. He would later score an opening goal against Chelsea FC in the 21st minute en route to a 3-2 victory.
In his debut season for the Quakes, Bernardez anchored a stingy Quakes defense that recorded seven shutouts in 2012. A finalist for both Newcomer of the Year and Defender of the Year, the imposing Honduran recorded three goals and one assist on the year. Bernardez was also a free-kick specialist, netting the 94th minute stoppage-time game-winning goal against the LA Galaxy in the first-leg of the MLS Cup Playoffs Western Conference Semifinals.
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MLS Best XI:
Jimmy Nielsen: Goalkeeper, Sporting Kansas City
Victor Bernardez: Defender, San Jose Earthquakes
Matt Besler: Defender, Sporting Kansas City
Aurelien Collin: Defender, Sporting Kansas City
Osvaldo Alonso: Midfielder, Seattle Sounders FC
Landon Donovan: Midfielder, LA Galaxy
Chris Pontius: Midfielder, D.C. United
Graham Zusi: Midfielder, Sporting Kansas City
Thierry Henry: Forward, New York Red Bulls
Robbie Keane: Forward, LA Galaxy
Chris Wondolowski: Forward, San Jose Earthquakes